Private rented housing
Reporting a problem with a rental property
Landlords must ensure that their rented properties meet set standards to make them habitable - find out more about the housing health and safety ratings system.
Whilst we do not inspect all private rented properties, we will investigate health and safety concerns about private rented housing, particularly if your landlord is refusing to or has simply not fixed an issue.
The government states your landlord is always responsible for repairs to:
- the property’s structure and exterior.
- basins, sinks, baths and other sanitary fittings including pipes and drains.
- heating and hot water.
- gas appliances, pipes, flues and ventilation.
- electrical wiring.
- any damage they cause by attempting repairs.
Your landlord (if they are the freeholder of the building) is also usually responsible for repairing common areas and structures, for example staircases in blocks of flats. Check your tenancy agreement if you’re unsure.
If you live in a rented property and are worried about health and safety, we would encourage you report any problems to your landlord at least twice in writing, and allow a reasonable time for them to be fixed. Download our template letters:
- Send immediately: first request for repairs - letter template
- Send after 14 days if your landlord has not carried out/arranged to carry out the repairs: second/reminder request for repairs - letter template
- Send after 48 hours/2 days if your landlord has not carried out/arranged to carry out the repairs: third/final reminder request for repairs - letter template
If your landlord does nothing please submit a formal complaint:
After submitting your complaint, our private sector housing officer will contact you to arrange a time to visit to carry out a Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) assessment.
Before we visit we must write to your landlord (this is called serving notice). This lets us come into your property and take photographs to help record and understand the issue.
We will then visit you and carry out an inspection, before sharing our findings with you and your landlord. This could require your landlord to resolve the issue, and if they do not, we can put measures in place to enforce any necessary improvements.
It could also involve us providing you with advice and guidance on how to resolve the issue – for example advice on heating and ventilation use.