You must follow all the steps below if you want to pay for repairs and take the cost out of your rent. Otherwise, your landlord could evict you.
Be sure to keep copies of all letters and emails, and keep accurate records of what you have paid and when.
Step 1 :
Report the repairs to the landlord in writing and allow time for them to be done.
Step 2 :
Write to your landlord again, explaining that you intend do the work yourself and take the costs out of your rent unless the repairs are done within a certain time (eg. two weeks).
Use our sample letter – 1st letter before doing repairs yourself
Step 3 :
Once this time has passed, get three quotes/estimates for the work from reliable contractors.
Step 4 :
Send the quotes to your landlord with a letter explaining that you are going to go ahead with the cheapest quote unless your landlord arranges for the repairs to be done within a certain time (eg. a further two weeks).
Use our sample letter – 2nd letter before doing repairs yourself
Once this time has passed, if your landlord hasn’t responded, arrange for the work to be done by the contractor that gave the cheapest quote.
Step 6 :
Pay for the work yourself and send a copy of the receipt to your landlord, asking them to refund the money.
Use our sample letter – 3rd letter after doing repairs yourself
Step 7 :
If your landlord does not give you back the money, write and confirm that you are going to deduct the money from your future rent. Explain exactly when the deductions will start and how long you will withhold rent for.
Use our sample letter – 4th letter after doing repairs yourself
If you are claiming housing benefit, tell the housing benefit department what you are doing, and ask them not to make payments directly to your landlord. Your housing benefit payments might be suspended temporarily until the issue is resolved.