If you rent from a private landlord, you can expect your home to be kept in a good condition. You should report any problems to your landlord as soon as possible, such as dampness or a broken boiler. We can help you if your landlord is unwilling to carry out repairs.
There are no set time limits but your landlord should carry out the repairs within a reasonable period, considering how serious the problem is and how difficult it will be sort out. If the job is large or complicated it will take longer to repair as your landlord may have to contact specialist contractors and arrange quotations. You should be willing to provide access to the property for contractors.
If you landlord is unwilling to carry out repairs or there is an immediate risk to your safety then you should contact us. It's a good idea to keep a record of the communication you have had with your landlord.
Problems we can help with
Using the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) we can help with a range of hazards that might affect your health or safety, including:
- dampness, excess cold/heat
- pollutants e.g. asbestos, carbon monoxide
- lack of space, security or lighting, or excessive noise
- poor hygiene, sanitation, water supply
- accidents - falls, electric shocks, fires, burns, scalds, collisions, explosions, structural collapse (all or part of the building falling down).
How we can help
We can give you advice on how to deal with the problem and we might inspect your home.
We will arrange an appointment with you for the inspections and we will notify your landlord of this. If you do not want us to contact your landlord then we will only be able to give you advice.
When we inspect your home we will make notes of any hazards, and how serious they are. If we find a serious hazard we have a duty to take appropriate action to remove or reduce the risk.
After an inspection we will take steps to make sure that the landlord deals with any hazards. We will usually write to the property owner as a first step.
If this is not successful or if there is an imminent risk to safety we may serve a statutory notice on your landlord, such as a:
- hazard awareness notice
- improvement notice
- prohibition order
- emergency notices or orders.
If the landlord fails to comply with a statutory notice we may prosecute them, or we can carry out the work if your landlord is unable to do so.
If you live in rented accommodation your landlord has specific legal responsibilities for gas safety.
Landlords should have the gas pipe work, appliance and chimneys / flues checked for safety by a Gas Safe Registered engineer.
Landlords must also have the gas installation tested every year by a registered engineer. You should ask to see a copy of the safety record when the test has been done. If your landlord does not provide the record when asked, you should report this to the Health and Safety Executive.
Landlords' full responsibilities for gas safety are laid out in the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998.
In an emergency
If you have a gas or carbon monoxide leak you should call the 24 hour emergency gas service line on 0800 111 999.
Fire safety in rented accommodation
In rented accommodation your landlord is responsible for meeting fire safety standards. You should expect smoke alarms on each floor. If you live in a shared house (known as an HMO) you should expect a fire blanket and extinguisher in the kitchen, and a fire door between the kitchen and escape route.
Please do not keep fire doors wedged open as they are vital to stop fire spreading.
As a tenant you are responsible for testing your smoke alarms regularly, and reporting any faults to your landlord.
Requirements for landlords
According to the Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015 all rented accommodation must have a smoke alarm on each floor. Carbon monoxide alarms are also required in rooms that burn solid fuel, such as coal fires or wood burning stoves.
If you rent a house in multiple occupation (HMO) you must also meet the . Failure to do so may result in a penalty.
The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 applies to HMO properties, and requires the 'responsible person' carry out a fire risk assessment. The fire safety order is enforced by Surrey Fire and Rescue Service. We have produced a to help you comply.