Landlords, housing associations and local authorities are legally required to ensure that properties are kept in a good condition and free from disrepair.
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If you live in a rented council or housing association property, your landlord is usually responsible for most repairs and maintenance. Problems such as pests, vermin, damp, mould, exterior disrepair and plumbing issues are common. But what is your landlord’s responsibility when it comes to repairing these issues? Read our FAQs below to discover the most common problems encountered by council/ local authority or housing association tenants and what can be done to solve them.
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Frequently asked questions
Finding pests in your home, such as rodents or insects, can be very stressful. It can disrupt your daily life and enjoyment of your home and be distressing for the whole family. So, what should you do if you encounter pests or vermin in your council property? Unfortunately, it is not always straightforward to determine who is responsible.
Firstly, you should try to identify the cause of the infestation. Suppose it is something that you may have inadvertently caused. In that case, you should seek immediately to remove the cause as the council or housing association will not be responsible for fixing the problem. For example, vermin may be attracted by food left in the garden or excess litter around the property.
Please read Mice, Mould and Misery… is my Landlord responsible? article below.
If the tenant has not caused the issue, the council or housing association will likely be responsible for fixing it. This will be part of their responsibility to ensure that the property is fit for human habitation. Furthermore, the council or housing association is also usually responsible for pest control in communal areas such as stairwells. If there is a structural issue such as a hole in the property or pipework which is allowing an entry for vermin, your landlord will likely be responsible.
If the infestation is coming from a neighbouring property, the local authorities must be informed to take action. If you have reported the issue to your landlord but it remains unrectified, contact us for a free chat to see if we can help.
Damp in your home can be unsightly, not to mention cause or exacerbate health problems. So, it is important to get it resolved as soon as possible. What should you do if you find damp in your council property?
Firstly, identify what type of damp you have. There are several types with different causes, so this is key for taking action. If the damp is caused by you as the tenant (for example by not using proper ventilation in the bathroom), you will typically be responsible for preventative measures and treatment. This is because you must take reasonable steps to ensure your home is properly ventilated. However, if the damp is caused by disrepair or unsafe property, or your attempts to solve the issue haven’t worked, and it is causing health issues, the landlord will be responsible for fixing this.
You should report the damp to your landlord as soon as possible, as they are only responsible for fixing problems they are aware of. If you have reported the damp but the issue remains unresolved, contact us to see if we can help.
Mould is another problem that can cause health problems if not dealt with quickly. If you find mould in your council property, you should firstly try to discover the cause of the mould. Your landlord will be responsible for dealing with mould caused by disrepair or a property unfit for human habitation.
Report the mould to your landlord as soon as possible. If they do not take action they should be responsible for, you should contact the Environmental Health department of your local authority. Mould can cause health problems and should be treated seriously.
Your landlord is responsible for ensuring that the exterior of the property is safe and secure prior to you, the tenant, moving in. Once you have moved into the property, the landlord must carry out any repairs to the exterior, with the tenant being given notice of the repairs. However, the landlord is not responsible for repairing any damage caused to the exterior of the property by the tenant, and as such, the tenant may be charged for these.
Problems with your boiler can cause inconvenience and even be dangerous in some circumstances, so it is important to resolve them as soon as possible. Your landlord is responsible for the gas safety of the property and ensuring that the boiler is safe and functioning correctly. As the tenant, you are responsible for any gas items you own that are not a part of the property, such as portable gas heaters you purchase. If you have any issues with your property which remain unresolved, please contact us for a free initial chat.
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