Repairs in social housing

This section explains what rights you have if your home needs repairs and you are a council or housing association tenant.

You might want to download our Disrepair factsheet


Social landlords’ repairing obligations have not changed during the coronavirus pandemic.

You should inform your landlord of any repairs needed to the property as soon as possible. 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.

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

You are able to allow the council, your landlord or contractors in to your property to inspect or fix any urgent health and safety issues. Anyone who comes to your property should follow current Welsh Government guidance on social distancing.

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 anyone in your house:

  • has symptoms of COVID-19
  • are self-isolating.

Further guidance for tenants and landlords is available on the Gas Safe Register website.

Responsibility for repairs

Find out what repairs your landlord is responsible for, and what your responsibilities are as a tenant.

Disrepair affecting health

All rented homes must meet certain health and safety standards. If poor conditions in your home are affecting your health, report them to your landlord immediately.

Reporting and allowing access

You must let your landlord know about any repair work that needs doing. You also have to allow reasonable access so that the work needed can be done.

Right to repair scheme

If you are a council tenant you can use the right to repair scheme to get small repair jobs done quickly. The repairs must cost less than £250.

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.

Withholding rent over repairs

You don’t have the right to withhold your rent. If you do, your landlord might take action to evict you.  If you want to use rent money to pay for repairs yourself because your landlord won’t do them, there’s a procedure you must follow.

Court action for disrepair

If your landlord refuses to carry out repairs, it may be possible to take them to court to get an order that they carry out the work / pay compensation.

Complaining to the Ombudsman

If you’ve already complained to the council or housing association about repairs to your home, and you’re not satisfied with your landlord’s response, you can ask the Ombudsman to investigate the matter.

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: September 28, 2021

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.