Moving out during repairs

If you rent privately and your home needs major repair work, you may need to move out for a short time or even permanently.

Moving out temporarily

If your landlord needs to carry out major repair work, you may have to move out temporarily whilst the works are being carried out.

Before you move out, ask your landlord to confirm in writing:

  • how long the works will last
  • if you have to pay rent during this period
  • your right to return to the property after the work is completed
  • any compensation or costs they are willing to pay.

Unless it is part of your tenancy agreement, your landlord does not have to provide you with somewhere else to live.

It’s worth speaking to an adviser if you’ve been asked to move out. They can:

  • check whether it is really necessary for you to move
  • make sure your landlord follows the right legal procedures
  • make sure that any rights you have are protected.

Moving out permanently

If the disrepair in your home is really bad and your landlord is refusing to co-operate, moving out permanently might be the best option.

If you’re planning on doing this, make sure you end your tenancy properly. Otherwise you may be liable for the rent, even after you’ve left.

You can still take court action to claim compensation if you’ve already left but you should be aware that it may be more difficult to get legal aid.

If you still have a few months to go on your agreement (for example, if you have a six-month assured shorthold tenancy and have only lived there for two), your landlord may say you have to pay rent for the whole period. If they do, you can consider taking court action against them for refusing to carry out repairs.

Can the council help me find somewhere else?

If the conditions in your home are so bad that it isn’t reasonable for you to stay, you could make a homelessness application to your local council. If your home is not reasonable for you to live in, the council may have a duty to help you.

Applying to your local council as homeless is not the same as going on the waiting list for a permanent home.

If you have problems getting the council to help you, get advice from a Shelter Cymru adviser.

What if my landlord wants me to go?

Your landlord may be able to take steps to end your tenancy rather than do the repairs whilst you are there.

Your landlord will need to follow the correct procedure to end your tenancy, which involves giving you notice to leave and, in some cases, proving a legal reason to evict you. The correct eviction procedure depends on what type of tenancy you have.

The eviction may be illegal if your landlord does not follow the right procedure.

Your landlord must not try to force you out by making life difficult for you. If they do, they may be guilty of harassment.

Phone an adviser

If you have a housing problem, call our expert housing advice helpline
0345 075 5005

Email an adviser

If you have a non-urgent problem and would like to speak to an advisor
email us

We are sorry that we cannot provide this information in Welsh, however if you would like to speak to an adviser in Welsh please contact 0345 075 5005.

This page was last updated on: November 13, 2018

Shelter Cymru acknowledges the support of Shelter in allowing us to adapt their content. The information contained on this site is updated and maintained by Shelter Cymru and only gives general guidance on the law in Wales. It should not be regarded or relied upon as a complete or authoritative statement of the law.