1. Report repairs
Before you start court proceedings you must report the repairs to your landlord.
You don’t have to report repair problems if they are in communal areas, like shared hallways or the lift, but it is always best to let the landlord know.
2. Gather evidence
You’ll need evidence to back up your claim, such as:
- photographs of the things that need repairing
- your belongings that have been affected (such as clothes damaged by damp), or photographs of them
- copies of any letters or emails you send to your landlord, and any response you have received from them
- notes of any conversations you have with your landlord. Include dates, and what was agreed
- copies of any doctor’s notes or hospital reports which show that your health has been affected by the problem
- receipts for any money you need to spend because of the repair problem (eg if you have to replace clothes or furnishings because of mould)
- copies of your energy bills if you have had to spend more eg because of defects to your heating system.
3. Get an expert’s report
It is possible that the court will need a report from experts such as an environmental health officer or surveyor. You can find surveyors in your area through the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors website. If possible you should try and agree the appointment of a surveyor with your landlord.
Use our sample letter Repairs 9 : letter of instruction to send to a surveyor but remember a surveyor’s report will cost you money. Find out how much it will cost before sending the letter of instruction to make sure you can afford it. In some situations you may be able to get legal aid to help cover the costs.
4. Record details
Use our schedules to record all of the important details of your claim :