Disrepair - using the right to repair scheme
If your landlord is a local authority, you could use their right to repair scheme to help get your repairs done. If the repair work isn't done within certain timescales, you can claim compensation.
Other social housing landlords, for example, housing associations, may operate similar schemes, but they don't have to. This page tells you more about how the right to repair scheme works and the types of repairs it covers.
Local authority tenants
Local authorities must have a right to repair scheme in place for secure, flexible and introductory tenants to use.
Repairs available under the right to repair scheme
Only certain types of repairs are covered under the right to repair scheme. These are called qualifying repairs. They include insecure windows and doors, unsafe power sockets or electrical fittings, leaking roofs and broken entry phone systems. A full list of the qualifying repairs is set out at the end of this page.
A repair won't qualify for the scheme if:
- it exceeds an estimated cost of £250, or
- the local authority has fewer than 100 properties, or
- the local authority isn't responsible for the repair.
The repair may be inspected before your landlord decides it's a qualifying repair. If it isn't a qualifying repair, your landlord should write to you and tell you that the scheme doesn't apply.
What happens when you report a qualifying repair?
When you report a qualifying repair, your landlord must issue a repair notice to a contractor and send you a copy with information on how the right to repair scheme works. There will be a time limit for the contractor to do the work by, which will depend on the repair needed.
What happens if the work isn't done in time?
If the repair work isn't done within the specified time limit, you need to tell your landlord and ask for another contractor to do the work. If another contractor is available, your landlord must issue a repair notice to them and send you a copy. Your landlord can only use contractors on their list.
What happens if you're not in when the contractor calls?
If you're not at home to let the contractor in as arranged, the scheme no longer applies.
If the second contractor doesn't do the repair work within the time limit, you'll get £10 in compensation. For every extra day you wait, you'll get another £2. The most compensation you can get for any one job is £50.
If you have any rent arrears, your landlord can use the compensation to reduce the arrears rather than paying you the money.
Housing association and other social housing tenants
Unlike local authorities, other social housing landlords don't have to have a right to repair scheme in place. However, many do, and these often operate along similar lines as the scheme for local authority tenants.
You should check your tenancy agreement, tenant handbook or ask your landlord if they have a right to repair type scheme in place.
Qualifying repairs under the right to repair scheme for local authority tenants
|Repair type||Response time(working days)|
|Total loss of electric power||1|
|Partial loss of electric power||3|
|Unsafe power or lighting socket or electrical fitting||1|
|Total loss of water supply||1|
|Partial loss of water supply||3|
|Total or partial loss of gas supply||1|
|Blocked flue to open fire or boiler||1|
|Heating or hot water not working between 31 October and 1 May||1|
|Heating or hot water not working between 1 May and 31 October||3|
|Blocked/leaking foul drain, soil stack or toilet||1|
|Toilet not flushing (if there is only one toilet in the property)||1|
|Blocked sink, bath or basin||3|
|Tap cannot be turned||3|
|Leak from a water pipe, tank or cistern||1|
|Insecure external window, door or lock||1|
|Loose or detached banister or hand rail||3|
|Rotten timber flooring or stair tread||3|
|Door entry phone not working||7|
|Mechanical extractor fan not working||7|