Reporting repairs and allowing access if you have a community landlord
- Repairs should be reported to your landlord as soon as possible
- Your landlord must give you 24 hours’ notice if they want to enter your home for inspections or repairs
If you rent from a community landlord you must let them know about any repair work that needs doing. Your landlord should give you at least 24 hours’ notice in writing before they come to your home to carry out repairs or inspect what needs to be done.
How do I report repairs?
Report all repairs to your landlord as soon as possible. Do this even if the repair is minor and you’re not that bothered about getting it fixed.
It is probably a supplementary term of your occupation contract that you report repairs as soon as you can. Your landlord should have given you information about how to contact them to report repairs. There should be an emergency number you can call out-of-office hours.
You should be able to report repairs online, in person, by phone or text. You should always follow this up with a letter or email confirming the details. Make sure you date any letters and keep copies.
What happens when I report the problem?
After you report the problem, your landlord should tell you whether the repair needs to be done and if it is their responsibility. If they agree that they are responsible, they should tell you when the repair work will be completed. If your landlord is the council, they should confirm whether or not the repair is covered by the right to repair scheme.
Your occupation contract (or other documents your landlord has provided) may tell you how long a particular type of repair should take to be fixed. Certain repairs, such as blocked drains or problems with gas should be carried out urgently. Call the Gas emergency number 0800 111 999 immediately if there is a gas leak or you notice any signs of carbon monoxide poisoning.
If the repairs aren’t done within a reasonable time community landlords should have an official complaints procedure you can use. If you are not happy with the response you get, you may then be able to:
- complain to the ombudsman
- take your landlord to court
- contact the environmental health department
- do the repairs yourself and deduct the cost from your rent. It is important that you’re careful if you want to do this. You must follow certain rules. Deducting from rent can also increase the risk of being evicted because of rent arrears. For more information about this procedure click here.
Allowing your landlord access
You should allow your landlord access to the property at reasonable times so they can assess what repairs are needed and carry out the work. Your landlord (or anyone acting on your landlord’s behalf) should give you at least 24 hours’ notice in writing before coming round, unless it’s an emergency. They don’t have to give you notice to do work in communal areas such as shared hallways or lifts.
If your landlord needs to get access to your home in an emergency, they are entitled to break in if necessary (for example, if a pipe bursts in your home while you’re away and water is leaking into other properties nearby). However, your landlord will have to repair any damage caused if they force entry.
Although your landlord should arrange for repairs to be done, they may ask you to be at home to let in any contractors.
Most often the landlord will carry out the necessary repairs. However if you need to take any further action, you should collect all the evidence you can of the repairs that are needed, and what you have done to get your landlord to carry them out.
Download our disrepair factsheet for further information on what type of evidence you will need to gather.