Hopefully you saw the condition of the property when you were viewing and you were happy with it when you moved in so any repairs or poor condition will be minimal and easy to rectify.
If you have just moved in, have a look at out moving in pages for more information.
As a general rule your landlord is responsible for maintaining and repairing the:
structure and exterior of the building, including the walls, windows, doors, stairs, roof and chimneys
sinks, baths, toilets including pipe work and drains
heating and hot water
gas supply and any appliances provided by the landlord.
In the first instance, you should report this to your agent or landlord as soon as possible. We would always recommend that you put this request in writing. If you have any conversations about the repairs, follow this up with a text or email to confirm what you discussed as it might be useful for evidence further down the line if there are any problems.
Try and get an idea of a timeline of when something will be fixed or someone will come to take a look.
Nothing is being done
If the landlord or agent doesn’t respond to your complaint within a reasonable time it is important that you write to them again. Give the landlord reasonable time to respond but state that if the repairs are not carried out within 21 days that you will take further action.
If you believe your landlord is not fulfilling their obligations, you can take action. If the lack of repair work is affecting your health or safety, you can contact the Council’s Private Rented Sector department, who may be able to come out and examine the issues. They have the power to order the landlord to carry out repairs, or in extreme cases, carry out the work themselves and bill the landlord.
If your landlord is refusing to carry out repairs we may be able to help you, there is a Private Rented Property Complaints form on the council’s website. However, before contacting the Private Sector Housing Team you should always report repairs to your landlord or letting agent, keeping all copies of correspondence.
The property is not safe and I am worried about my health
You can contact the Private Sector Housing Team on 01392 265147 to ask for help and advice especially if you think that the property is unsafe and potentially a risk to your health and safety It is important to keep records of the issues that may have been caused e.g. photos, keeping damaged property, doctor’s notes etc. that show the impact of the problem.
You need to be sure that you are willing for the council to speak to your landlord. You will need to give details of your landlord or agent including how to contact them.
An assessment of the property will be made to decide if the issue comes under current housing law. If the repair issue is not a risk to health or safety we will not be able to assist with resolving the problem.
What action can the council take?
The options are:
Serve a notice on the landlord requiring that the work is carried out within a specified time. If the landlord does not act, the council can do the work and recover the cost.
Make a legal order controlling the occupancy of the dwelling.
Take emergency action if the defect needs immediate attention.
The action that the Private Sector Housing team can take depends upon a number of factors including:
the nature and severity of the defect
whether it can be remedied
and the overall condition of the house or flat.
The officer will let you know what action is appropriate in the circumstances.
Can I stop paying my rent?
We would not advise you to do that as you are still liable for the rent. If it is
My letting agent is useless, what can I do?
All letting and managing agents are bound by secter standards and need to be acting appropriately. You should be able to make a complaint internally to raise the issue. If you are not happy with the outcome, you may wish to raise your complaint to one of the redress schemes.
Letting and managing agents are legally required to be a member of a redress scheme. These schemes are in place to deal with complaints made by tenants or landlords about agents. The three Government-backed schemes are;
The schemes provide a free, independent service for resolving disputes between letting agents and their customers. Exeter City Council can issue a fixed penalty fine of up to £5,000 to a letting agency if it fails to join one of the schemes.
If you think you would like to make a complaint, please speak to one of our advisors for help.
Ombudsman Services Property
The Property Ombudsman (TPO)
The Property Redress Scheme