Repairs in private tenancies

If you are a private tenant and your home needs repairs, your landlord is responsible for most repairs, but you also have some responsibilities. This section explains who is responsible for what and what you can do if your landlord refuses to carry out repairs.

You might want to download our Disrepair factsheet.

If you are under 25 take a look at our Repairs and bad conditions advice page, specifically put together for young people.


Landlords’ repairing obligations have not changed during the coronavirus pandemic.

You should inform your landlord of any repairs needed to the property by phone, email or online. They might not be able to get the problem fixed during the usual timescales but shouldn’t delay repairs unreasonably.

You normally have to allow your landlord access to carry out repairs but you can ask your landlord to postpone any repairs which are not urgent.

You should use your own personal judgement around letting somebody into your home.

What if my boiler breaks, or something else happens which is an urgent risk to my health?

If it is safe and reasonable, you are able to allow local authorities, landlords or contractors access to your property in order to inspect or fix any urgent health and safety issues. Anyone who comes to your property should follow Welsh Government guidance on social distancing.

Welsh Government recommends no work should be carried out in any household which is self-isolating unless it is to repair a fault which poses a direct risk to people’s safety.  Inform your landlord if you are self-isolating, you should arrange for them to contact you either by phone, email or through a family member or friend.

Urgent health and safety issues might include:

  • a leaking roof
  • a broken boiler leaving you without heating or hot water
  • plumbing issues meaning you don’t have washing or toilet facilities
  • broken white goods which mean you don’t have a washing machine or fridge to store food safely
  • security issues such as a broken window or external door
  • repairs to equipment that a disabled person relies on.

Annual gas safety checks remain an important legal requirement but they should be rearranged if they cannot go ahead safely because someone in your home is at high risk or self isolating.  Further guidance for tenants and landlords is available on the Gas Safe Register website.

Responsibility for repairs

This section explains what repairs your landlord is responsible for, and what your responsibilities are as a tenant.

Is the place fit to live in?

All rented properties must meet certain standards to make sure they are safe and fit to live in.  Find out what you can do to make sure your property is safe.

Tenants doing repairs

There are some situations where private tenants have to carry out repairs themselves, for example where a tenant has caused damage. If you want to do repairs because your landlord won’t do them, there’s a procedure you must follow.

Reporting, evidence and access

Private tenants must let their landlords know about any repair work that needs doing. Tenants also have to allow reasonable access so that the work needed can be done.

Furniture and equipment

If you rent privately and the place is furnished, it’s likely that both you and your landlord have responsibilities to repair or replace furniture and other household items provided.

Disruption and poor work

If your landlord arranges repairs, they are responsible for the builders’ work. This page explains what you can do if the work isn’t done properly, or if it causes major disruption.

Moving due to disrepair

If you’re living with serious disrepair, sometimes moving out may be the best option. If you are considering doing this you need to understand your rights and responsibilities.

Taking court action

If a landlord won’t carry out repairs, it may be possible to get a court order instructing them to do the work and/or claim compensation.

Compensation for disrepair

If disrepair in your home has made you ill, caused you inconvenience and stress, or damaged your belongings, you might be able to claim an amount of compensation from your landlord.

Risk of eviction

Before you take action, you need to consider the risk that your landlord might try to evict you rather than do the repairs.

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 08000 495 495.

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This page was last updated on: January 25, 2022

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.