Disrepair in your rented accommodation

Disrepair in your rented accommodation

Your landlord is responsible for keeping your home in a good state of repair and ensuring that it is safe to occupy. The ‘how to rent a safe home’ document may help in identifying what is and is not a safe property.

Is your property in disrepair?

If there is a problem with the repair or maintenance of your rented home then in the first instance you should contact your landlord, in writing. Our deregulation Act 14 day tenant letter can be used as a template. If after 14 days your landlord or their representative has:

  • Not responded to your initial request;
  • Given an inadequate response; or
  • Given inadequate timescales in which the works will be completed,

Then report the disrepair to us.

After receiving your request you will be contacted within 7 days in the first instance. We may visit your home to inspect the problem(s) and assess the hazards using the Health and Safety Rating System which allows us to determine the health effects on those living in or visiting the property.
If you think that the disrepair poses an immediate risk to health then contact your landlord straight away and also contact North Kesteven District Council so that appropriate, timely action can be taken.

Hazards found - what next:

If there are hazards found at the property we will contact your landlord to explain what work should be done to avoid one of the following notices being served:

  • Hazard awareness notice - used for relatively minor hazards and is intended to make persons aware of a problem
  • Improvement notice - specifies the defects, what needs to be done and when it needs to be done by. This notice can also be suspended to become active when a certain event occurs
  • Prohibition order - used for the most serious hazards and will stop the landlord renting out all or parts of the property or prevent certain groups from occupying
  • Emergency remedial action - used for serious hazards which need to be resolved relatively quickly
  • Emergency prohibition order - these are used in extreme circumstances. An emergency order can immediately stop the use of all or part of the property as living accommodation.

If on receipt of one of the above notices (with the exception of a hazard awareness notice) your landlord is not co-operative, the local authority would then consider whether it would be appropriate to prosecute.

Retaliatory eviction

Retaliatory eviction is when a landlord tries to evict the tenant after they have asked for repairs or complained about conditions in their home. New legislation which came into effect on the 1st October 2015 could make it harder for some landlords to do this. The change affects assured shorthold tenancies that started or were renewed on or after 1 October 2015.

If you have an assured shorthold tenancy which started before 1st October 2015 there is no special protection that prevents your landlord evicting you if you complain about repairs. This new legislation will apply to these older tenancies from 1st October 2018. However, any actions by the landlord to remove you from the property would be subject to The Protection from Eviction Act 1977. More details of this new legislation is available on the Shelter website and in the retaliatory eviction guidance note booklet.