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Repairs and pests

Your landlord’s responsibilities and what to do if they refuse to do repairs.

Repairs your landlord has to do

Under Section 11 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985, your landlord must legally keep in good repair:

  • the structure of the property, including roofs and gutters, ceilings, walls and floors, windows and doors, staircases and steps, banisters and handrails, drainage and paths
  • installations in the property that supply gas, water and electricity, including baths, toilets and sinks
  • installations for heating water, including gas boilers and immersion heaters
  • space heating, such as storage heaters, radiators and gas fires.

They are not legally required to repair moveable appliances, such as heaters or fridges, but you can negotiate this with your landlord.

Gas and electrical appliances

Find out about your landlord’s responsibilities for gas and electrical appliances.

Electrical appliances

Your landlord is not legally required to get safety certificates for electrical appliances.

If your landlord refuses to do repairs

When to contact us

If your landlord is refusing to do repairs that pose a serious risk to your health, such as dangerous wiring, contact our Environmental Health Residential Team. We can visit the property and serve a notice ordering your landlord to do the repairs. Find out how we assess hazards in your home.

When to contact a solicitor

If your landlord refuses to do minor repairs that fall under Section 11, you can take civil action through a solicitor.

You can sue your landlord in the county court for breaching their legal obligation to do repairs and be awarded damages. The limit for small claims is £10,000.

Court action can be expensive and does not guarantee success, but there are solicitors who will do the work for you on a ‘no win, no fee’ basis.

Don’t stop paying your rent

In most cases it will not help your case if you withhold rent because your landlord hasn’t done repairs. If you are considering doing this we strongly recommend that you obtain independent legal advice from a solicitor or barrister specialising in housing law.

There is an exception to this, called a set-off, which allows you to use your rent to pay for a repair covered by Section 11. However you should get legal advice if you want to do this, as not paying your rent puts you at risk.

Get more information from Citizens Advice about withholding rent to pay for repairs and when you can use off-set as a defence.

If you damage the property

If you damage the property, it is reasonable that your landlord expects you to pay for the cost. You would need to negotiate this with your landlord. For example, you could ask your landlord to pay for the repair and arrange to pay a weekly sum to clear the costs.

Rats, bedbugs and other pests


If there are rats in your property, you can book a free visit from our Environmental Health Residential Team, who will check if there is a broken sewer.

We will try to find out what the source of the infestation is.

Other pests

For mice, bedbugs and any other infestation problems, you need to book a pest control visit. These services are chargeable and concession rates are available if you are on benefits. Your landlord is not legally obliged to pay for pest control, so you need to negotiate with them about payment.

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