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Carrying Out Housing Repairs

As a housing association or council tenant you may decide to carry out housing repairs using your rent money yourself if your landlord refuses to accept responsibility.

If this is the case tenants must follow the correct procedure and to remember that you do not have the right to withhold rent, especially as your landlord may try to evict you.

Housing benefit claimant withholding rent:

As a council tenant you do not have the right to withhold rent. If you are a tenant of a housing association, ensure you let the housing benefit department know about your intentions so they will not make payments to your landlord. The payments may be suspended temporarily until the situation is resolved.

It is recommended to take the advice of a specialist solicitor before attempting to stop payments.

Eviction due to withholding of rent:

Your tenancy will determine whether your landlord can evict you if you decide to withhold rent. If you have limited rights and the repairs are not essential it is recommended to find other methods of getting the repairs to your house. 

In cases where the tenant has an introductory tenancy or a demoted tenancy, the landlord may be able to evict the tenant easier than a secure tenant. Likewise, if you rent from a housing association, you can be evicted more easily than if you have an assured short hold tenancy.

If you decide to withhold rent from your landlord ensure you keep copies of all correspondence and keep accurate records of what you have paid.

How to carry out repairs on your own:

If repairs are needed to your council or housing association home, ensure you report the issue to your landlord allow time for the repairs to be completed.  You can report for repairs to be completed either online or in writing and remember to keep a copy for yourself.

Write again if repairs have not begun:

If your landlord does not get in contact with you again regarding the repairs write another letter and state you intend to carry out the repairs yourself and will take the costs out of the rent owed, unless the repairs are carried out within a certain time.

Get quotes for the work to be carried out:

After a period of two to three weeks get a maximum of three quotes for the work to be completed by reliable contractors.

Write to your landlord with the quotes:

Write a letter to your landlord with the estimates; explain that you are going to go ahead with the cheapest quote, unless the landlord arranges for the repairs to be carried out within a certain time period.

Arrange for work to be completed:

After the time period stated in the previous step has expired, if your landlord has not responded arrange for the work to be carried out.

Pay for work and send the landlord a receipt of work:

Pay for the work and send a copy of the receipt to the landlord along with a letter asking them to refund the money.

If money is not refunded, deduct it from the rent:

If your landlord does not give the money owed to you, write a letter stating your intention to deduct the money from the future rent, explaining clearly when the deductions will start and how long you will withhold rent for.

Who is responsible for the work?

In this case the tenant will be responsible for the quality of the work carried out. Ensure the work carried out is to the correct standards or you will be legally responsible for repairing damage caused due to the repairs.

Housing Disrepair Claims

To start your housing disrepair claim today or to find out more about claiming ... or give us a call for free on 01626 248608 and speak with one of our advisers.

No Win No Fee

*No Win No Fee: Our No Win No Fee policy only applies to cases involving council owned properties and those owned by housing associations. No Win No Fee does not apply in cases where the property is owned by a private or commercial landlord.