Disrepair Claims

What to Do When Your Landlord Ignores Disrepair: A Tenant’s Options

Landlord Ignores Disrepair

What to Do When Your Landlord Ignores Disrepair: A Tenant's Options

The Importance of the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS)

As a tenant in the England and Wales, you have the right to live in a safe and well-maintained property.

Your landlord, whether a private individual, the local council, or a housing association, has a legal obligation to carry out repairs and ensure your home meets certain standards.

However, what happens when you report disrepair, and your landlord fails to take action?

This blog post will outline your options and the steps you can take to resolve the situation.

Reporting Disrepair to Your Landlord

The first step is to report the issue to your landlord in writing.

Clearly describe the problem, provide photographs if possible, and keep a copy of the letter or email for your records.

Allow a reasonable amount of time for your landlord to address the issue, which may vary depending on the severity of the disrepair.

Involving the Local Council

If your landlord fails to respond or carry out the necessary repairs, you can contact your local council’s environmental health department.

They have the authority to assess the property and determine if it meets the required housing standards.

If the council identifies hazards or disrepair, they can issue an enforcement notice, compelling your landlord to take action within a specified timeframe.

Initiating a Housing Disrepair Claim

In some cases, you may be entitled to compensation for any inconvenience, distress, or damage to your belongings caused by the disrepair.

If your landlord continues to ignore the issue, you can consider initiating a housing disrepair claim.

This process involves seeking legal advice from a solicitor specialising in housing law.

To pursue a claim, you must demonstrate that:

  • The disrepair falls under your landlord’s responsibility
  • You have reported the issue to your landlord in writing
  • Your landlord has failed to take reasonable steps to address the problem
  • You have suffered inconvenience, distress, or damage as a result of the disrepair

Your solicitor will assess your case and advise you on the strength of your claim.

They may send a letter to your landlord outlining your intention to pursue legal action, which can often prompt a response and lead to a resolution without the need for court proceedings.

Understanding Your Rights as a Tenant

The Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 sets out your landlord’s responsibilities for repairs and maintenance.

This includes the structure and exterior of the property, heating and hot water systems, gas and electrical appliances, and sanitary facilities.

As a tenant, you have the right to:

  • Live in a property that is safe and free from health hazards
  • Have repairs carried out within a reasonable timeframe
  • Not be unfairly evicted for reporting disrepair or involving the local council
  • Seek compensation for inconvenience, distress, or damage caused by the disrepair


Dealing with a landlord who ignores disrepair can be frustrating and stressful, but it’s essential to know your rights and the steps you can take to resolve the situation.

By reporting the issue in writing, involving the local council, and considering a housing disrepair claim, you can ensure that your home is safe and well-maintained.

Remember, if you are experiencing disrepair in your council or housing association property, don’t hesitate to seek advice and support from your local council, Citizen’s Advice, or a housing law solicitor.

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