Poor conditions in your privately-rented property

If the condition of your privately-rented property is causing problems and making it difficult to live safely and comfortably, you can potentially:

Asking us to intervene

We respond to requests for intervention when a landlord will not carry out necessary work to make your accommodation safe. 

However, we will only act if you have:

  • written to your landlord or managing agent with details of the problems
  • given a reasonable amount of time for the works to be carried out

This may also help to avoid a revenge eviction.

You can use our letter template to write to your landlord.

What we'll do

An officer will contact you to discuss the situation in more detail. They will decide how we should respond and whether inspection of the property is necessary.

The inspection will not inform or influence any application for re-housing with the council.

During the inspection

We carry out a health and safety 'risk assessment' where we identify any significant hazards. For example:

  • defective boiler resulting in lack of heating and/or hot water
  • electrical faults
  • leak from roof or ceiling
  • faulty gas or water pipes
  • broken lavatory, sink, bath or shower

Some hazards may be less serious and we may make you aware of them without enforcing any immediate improvement. 

We take informal action first, requesting the landlord to make necessary repairs. If this isn't effective, we would then consider formal enforcement action.

You can find further details of available enforcement actions in our enforcement policy.

Request our intervention

You need to provide:

  • your name, address and contact details
  • details about your complaint
  • landlord and/or managing agent name and contact details

Take action against your landlord yourself

Tenants have the power to take action against their landlord in the courts for breach of contract on the grounds that the property is unfit for human habitation. This can be done by tenants with no involvement from the council.

The remedies available to the tenant include an order by the court requiring the landlord to

  • take action to reduce or remove the hazard
  • pay damages to compensate them for having to live in a property which was not fit for human habitation

You can find more information about the process on the GOV.UK website:

Ths housing charity Shelter also offers detailed information on the Homes Act 2018 with examples of letters that tenants can adapt as they need:

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