Private housing repair responsibilities

We are not able to become involved in disputes between tenants and landlords over minor defects, routine maintenance, and non-essential works such as painting and carpeting. These types of repairs will need to be negotiated between you and your landlord.

Before reporting a disrepair problem to us you must:

  • Check your tenancy agreement to find out which repairs are your responsibility, and which are the responsibility of your landlord
  • Report the problem to your landlord and produce evidence of doing so
  • Not unreasonably deny your landlord access to carry out repairs

Visit the below websites for sample templates if you need help composing letters to your landlord:

For issues relating to your Housing Association property, you need to contact the housing association directly.

Specific repair issues

Most of the time private housing repairs should be sorted out between you and your landlord.

Sewers and drains

Maintenance of an individual drain serving just the single property is the responsibility of the owner of the property and you can report this to us if the blockage is affecting your property. For advice on blocked drains and sewers or to report a sewer blockage see the Thames Water website.

Broken boilers

If you can smell gas call 0800 111 999 immediately.

All gas boiler engineers should be able to provide a valid identity card on request and must be  Gas Safe registered.

Gas, electrical and fire safety

Read about your landlord's safety responsibilities (GOV.UK website).

Disconnection of services

Your landlord must not cause any interruption to your gas, electric or water supply. If any of these services are interrupted due to your landlord's actions, you must let them know and allow them a reasonable time to resolve the problem. 

If your landlord does not take action to reinstate the supply, you can report it to us and we can intervene and may take enforcement action to ensure the supply is reinstated.

Pest control

If the infestation has occurred recently and you have lived in the property for some time, it would generally be your responsibility to arrange pest control treatment. However if there are clear defects to the structure of the property that has caused the infestation, we would expect your landlord to arrange the pest control treatment and necessary proofing works.

Our pest control service offers a discounted rate to people receiving a means tested benefit.