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How to report repairs as a social housing tenant

If you’re a social housing tenant, your landlord – usually your local council or a housing association – will be responsible for most repairs. Naturally, you want repairs to be undertaken as soon as possible. Especially so if significant issues affect your enjoyment of your property or even put your safety at risk.

As a tenant, you should know that your landlord only becomes responsible for repairs when you tell them about the issue.

If having reported the repair issue, your landlord fails to arrange the work being done, you can potentially look at taking further action. In such cases, you must follow the necessary processes and keep evidence of your reporting. Most repair reporting systems are online these days, so keeping proof of notification and correspondence is pretty straightforward.

If you have reported a repair issue in your property and your landlord has failed to rectify the problem, you may have grounds for a housing disrepair claim. Contact LawPlus today for a FREE assessment of your claim!

Quick tips: Reporting repairs to your landlord

Depending on who your landlord is, you will have a specific reporting system to follow. For example, the “Fixflo” system is pretty widely used and well known. Some councils and housing associations have bespoke portals or reporting apps, too.

Regardless of the process you must follow, always keep the below tips in mind. We will look at these in more detail below, too:

  • Report any repair issues straight away, even if a minor issue.
  • If your reporting process involves calling someone, ask for a correspondence address to follow up with written queries. If you send any physical letters to report or follow up on an issue, ensure you keep a copy.
  • You’re responsible for allowing access to the property for repairs to be complete. This may include arranging access in your absence if you’re at work, for example.

When to report a repair issue to your landlord

You should report repair issues as soon as they become apparent. Your tenancy agreement will usually include a clause about reporting repairs, too. As such, you should report everything as soon as you can, regardless of how minor an issue is or how concerned you are about it being repaired.

Waiting to report a repair only increases the chances of a problem getting worse and then costing more to fix. If you’ve failed to report a repair promptly, you could end up being liable for some of the repair costs, too. Is that something you can afford?

How to report a repair issue to your landlord

You will probably have a set process for reporting repair issues.

If the process is to call your landlord or visit the housing association in person, ensure you have an avenue for following up in writing, too.

Ensuring you have a record of what you have reported and when will be helpful if you need to escalate your repair issue later.

What evidence should I keep regarding the repairs?

As much as possible!

If your repair reporting process is predominantly digital, then you may not need to proactively keep much at all. You should receive email or app notifications to confirm issues have been submitted. Any further emails will automatically save to your “Sent” box anyway. Set up a folder in your Inbox to keep a record of any correspondence you receive.

Evidence to keep regarding repair issues includes:

  • A written record of any conversations you had with your landlord. Include the date you spoke with them, whether it was over the phone or in-person, and what they said they were doing about the issue.
  • Emails to and from your landlord about the issue.
  • Copies of any letters you send via physical mail.
  • Photographs of the problem. Take these on a smartphone if possible, as they’ll automatically be timestamped. Photos can also be helpful if you need to document a repair issue that has gotten worse while waiting for your landlord to take action.
  • Keep or photograph any belongings damaged because of the problem. For example, if your clothes have been damaged by mould, your landlord should cover the cost of replacing them, rather than you needing to claim on your home contents insurance. If you have had to buy replacements for essential items, keep your receipts.
  • Details of any visits to your GP or a hospital resulting from the repair issue.
  • Any expert evidence you may have relating to the repair, such as a surveyor’s report.

If you have an outstanding repair issue relating to your property, you may have grounds for a housing disrepair claim. Contact LawPlus now for a FREE assessment of your claim.

Providing access to the property

You must grant access to your landlord or appointed contractor to assess the work needed and make the repairs.

Your tenancy agreement will usually detail that you’ll get at least 24 hours’ notice, for example. However, if a repair is urgent or an emergency, you may need to grant access quicker.

You may also need to arrange or allow access to the property while you’re not at home so the landlord or contractor can do the work promptly.

When will the work be done?

It depends on:

  • The repair work needed.
  • The urgency of the repair.
  • Any timescales set out in your tenancy agreement or tenants’ handbook if you were given one.
  • Whether the landlord wants to pay for it!

Some landlords will decide to not do anything about minor repairs. In such cases, you should remain aware of the issue and report it again should it worsen.

What if my landlord doesn’t do anything?

If your landlord fails to do anything about a significant repair issue that is affecting your health or enjoyment of your property, you may have grounds for a housing disrepair claim.

Housing disrepair claims will often push your landlord into undertaking the necessary work, and you may also get compensation.

Contact us now for a FREE assessment of your situation and potential housing disrepair claim!