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Report a problem with your rented home

You can report a problem with your rented home, whether you rent from a private landlord or a housing association.

Examples of the sort of problems you can report are:

  • things which make the property dangerous to live in (such as a broken front door or stairs)
  • the general poor condition of the property (such as damp or a leaky roof)
Help with damp problems
For help with damp problems, please see our damp and cold homes page.

Before you report it

What you need to do

Your landlord is legally responsible for providing a property which is a safe and healthy environment for you to live in. Before you contact us, you should tell your landlord about your housing problem, preferably in writing. You can download and complete this example letter to inform them. We recommend you keep a copy of any communications you have.

What we can do

After you have reported your housing problem to your landlord, we can do the following:

  • advise you on acceptable housing conditions, if you are unsure if the problem with your property qualifies
  • provide inspection services
  • enforce legal housing regulations

To learn more about how we assess the safety of housing conditions, read about the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS).

Report it

If your landlord refuses to complete repairs or fix conditions in your home within a reasonable time period, then you should call us on 01225 396444 for advice. You can also download and complete this letter informing your landlord that you have contacted us.

Reasonable time periods allowed for different sorts of repair
Landlords need to complete repairs 'within a reasonable period of time'. The period that we consider to be 'reasonable' depends on the seriousness of the problem, and how much it affects your safety, health or comfort in your home.

  • Emergency repairs which affect your health or safety: 24 hours (for example, a major electrical fault, or a blocked WC)
  • Urgent repairs which affect your comfort: five working days (for example, hot water, heating or fridge failure or a serious roof leak)
  • Other non-urgent repairs: 20 working days (for example, a shower breaking down, when you are still able to take baths)

Next steps

After you have reported your housing problem to us, we will respond within five working days to discuss your concerns further and decide if we can help or not.

If we can help
We will (any or all of the following):
  • arrange a visit to your property (Monday to Friday, between 9am and 4pm)
  • contact your landlord and give them at least 24 hours' notice of our intention to enter the property
  • make notes, draw plans and take photographs, where appropriate, during our inspection. You and your landlord should expect us to need to be at the property for around half an hour
  • carry out an assessment of any hazards which we identify. We will do this after the inspection, and will use the rules set out by the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS).
  • inform you of the results of our inspection and any action that we plan to take
  • send a schedule of necessary repairs to your landlord, if we identify a significant hazard. The schedule will give timescales for completing any work which needs doing

We will try to deal with any problems informally to begin with. If this does not work, then we will consider taking formal action against your landlord.