Reporting repairs and allowing access if you have a private landlord
- Repairs should be reported to your landlord as soon as possible
- Your landlord must give you 24 hours’ notice if they want to enter your home for inspections or repairs
- You should be given an address that you can use to report repairs to
If you rent from a private landlord you must let them know about any repair work that needs doing. Your landlord should give you at least 24 hours’ notice in writing before they come to your home to carry out repairs or inspect what needs to be done.
How do I report repairs?
Report all repair problems to your landlord (or your landlord’s agent) as soon as possible. Don’t wait until the problem has got really bad – it might end up costing more to put right.
It is probably a supplementary term of your occupation contract that you must report repairs, so if you don’t do it, your landlord may try to take money out of your deposit when you leave.
You can report repairs in person, by phone or text. You should always follow this up with a letter or email confirming the details. Make sure you date any letters and keep copies.
What if I don’t know who the landlord is?
It is a legal requirement that you are provided with an address for the landlord or their agent that you can send correspondence to. This includes for reporting repairs. If you don’t receive this your landlord may be liable to pay you compensation, and may find it more difficult to evict you.
If you do not have the landlord’s or agents address, ask the person who collects your rent (eg. the letting agent) to provide the details.
You can also find the name of the owner of your property by doing a Google search or by searching the Land Registry information here, but you will have to pay a small fee for this service.
How quickly should repairs be done?
This depends on the type of repairs needed. There are no fixed time limits, but they should be carried out within a reasonable time. Certain repairs, such as blocked drains or problems with gas should be carried out urgently.
Call the Gas emergency number 0800 111 999 immediately if there is a gas leak or you notice any signs of carbon monoxide poisoning.
Do I have to let the landlord come in?
You should allow your landlord access to the property so they can assess what repairs are needed and to carry out the work. They should give you reasonable notice of at least 24 hours before coming round, unless it’s an emergency.
Bear in mind that landlords only have the right to come into the parts of your home that need repair work done. If they need to fix the kitchen sink, for example, it doesn’t mean that they can look round the rest of your home without your permission. If they’re using repairs as an excuse to snoop around or come round all the time, they may be guilty of harassment, which is a serious offence.
Although your landlord should arrange the repairs, they may ask you to be at home to let in any contractors.
What if they want to come in to do improvements?
Your landlord doesn’t have the right to come into your home to carry out improvements, unless this is specifically stated in your occupation contract. They will have to get your permission before entering your home. If they want to make your home nicer, it may be in your best interests to agree. However, bear in mind that it may be more difficult to ensure that your home is redecorated afterwards and your landlord may want to increase your rent as well.
If your landlord refuses to carry out repairs, you might need to take further action. It’s important to always keep records of the repairs that are needed, and what you have done to get your landlord to carry them out.
Download our disrepair factsheet for further information on what type of evidence you will need to gather.