Home Property What to Do When Your Landlord Does Not Fix Things 

What to Do When Your Landlord Does Not Fix Things 


If you are renting a property, maintenance issues are an inevitable part of the tenant experience. From leaky faucets to faulty wiring, these problems can significantly impact the quality of life for renters. 

According to a recent survey conducted by Shelter, a leading housing charity in the UK, a staggering 30% of renters reported experiencing issues with their homes that their landlords failed to address promptly. This statistic sheds light on a recurring problem that many tenants face – the challenge of getting landlords to fulfill their responsibilities regarding property maintenance.

Know Your Rights and Responsibilities

Understanding your rights and responsibilities as a tenant is the first step in addressing maintenance issues. In the UK, tenants have the right to live in a property that meets certain health and safety standards. This includes having a property free from damp and mold, adequate heating and safe electrical and gas installations.

Before taking any action, familiarise yourself with the terms of your tenancy agreement. This document outlines the specific responsibilities of both you and your landlord. If your landlord has breached their obligations in maintaining the property, you may have grounds to take further action.

Document the Issues and Communicate Clearly

When faced with maintenance problems, it’s crucial to document the issues thoroughly. Take clear photographs, videos or notes detailing the problems you are experiencing. This documentation can serve as valuable evidence if the situation escalates.

Next, communicate the issues to your landlord in writing. Use a formal letter or email to clearly outline the problems, the impact on your daily life and request prompt resolution. Keep copies of all correspondence, creating a paper trail that may prove useful in the future.

Report the Issues to Local Authorities

If your landlord continues to ignore your requests for maintenance, it may be necessary to involve and report to local authorities. In the UK, various regulatory bodies oversee housing standards, depending on your location. Reporting the issues to the appropriate authority can prompt an inspection of the property and potentially lead to enforcement action against your landlord.

Before taking this step, research the relevant local housing authority and gather all necessary documentation. Be prepared to provide a detailed account of your communication with the landlord and the ongoing issues with the property.

Consider Withholding Rent

In some cases, tenants may consider withholding rent if their landlord consistently fails to address maintenance issues. However, this is a serious step that should not be taken lightly. In the UK, tenants have the right to withhold rent if their landlord has breached their responsibilities, but certain conditions must be met.

Before taking this action, seek legal advice to ensure you have a valid case. You must follow the proper procedures, such as informing your landlord in writing and providing them with a reasonable timeframe to address the issues before withholding rent.

If your landlord still neglects necessary repairs, consider legal action. Small Claims Court is an option for disputes under £10,000 or you can look at making a housing disrepair claim against them in a formal way. Consultation with a solicitor is invaluable, as they will provide guidance on the strength of your case and the most effective legal avenues to compel your landlord to address the issues.

Empowering Tenants for Better Living Conditions

In conclusion, dealing with a landlord who neglects maintenance issues can be a challenging and frustrating experience. However, by understanding your rights as a tenant, you can empower yourself to address these issues head-on.

It is essential for tenants to be proactive in seeking resolutions, not only for their own well-being but also to contribute to a healthier and more accountable rental market. As the demand for rental properties continues to rise, fostering a culture of responsible property management is crucial for the overall satisfaction and safety of tenants across the UK.


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