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Responsibility for Repair:

If you live in rented accommodation, you landlord will be responsible for most major repairs, such as:

· The structure (walls, roofs, windows, doors, etc.)

· Sinks, baths and toilets

· Pipes and wiring

· Heating, hot water and the boiler

Your landlord should also get Gas Safety checks done every year, Electrical Safety checks done every 5 years and Energy Performance checks done every 10 years. Your landlord should provide you with free certificates to show these checks have been done.

You’ll need to do minor repairs, like changing fuses and lightbulbs, and fix anything which you’ve broken.

If your home is damp, this might be the responsibility of you or your landlord, depending on the type of damp.

Landlords have to make “reasonable adjustments” for people with disabilities.

Asking for Repairs:

You should tell your landlord or their agent as soon as you notice a problem. It’s best to do this in writing (letter, email, text, etc.) and keep a copy as evidence, in case it’s needed later. You could also take pictures of the problem, keep receipts from any expenses you’ve incurred and get letters from your GP if the problem’s made you ill. Repairs should be done in a “reasonable” amount of time. This will depend on the urgency of the problem.

If your Landlord won’t do Repairs:

Don’t stop paying your rent – this will get you into rent arrears which might mean your landlord tries to evict you. If your home is unsafe or making you ill, you can contact the Council’s Environmental Health Service on 823000. For other repair issues, you can contact the Council’s Housing Renewals Service on 823040.

If you’re a Council tenant, the Council can’t take action against itself. Your next steps could be to take your landlord to Court. Citizens’ Advice Isle of Wight will be able to advise you on this.

Retaliatory Eviction:

If you’re a private tenant and you ask for repairs to be done, or you complain about your landlord not doing repairs, your landlord might try to evict you. Some tenancies have some protection against this. For more information, see the national Citizens’ Advice website or to get advice, contact Citizens’ Advice Isle of Wight.

(Published 23/06/2021)