In the aftermath of a shocking disaster like the Grenfell Tower fire, social housing tenants, including those who rent from private landlords, as well as from housing associations, councils or other registered housing providers, will be asking questions about their own homes and wondering where to turn for advice.
For council tenants, some small repairs may be covered by the right to repair scheme. The purpose of the scheme is to ensure that urgent or emergency repairs which would cost under £250 can be completed urgently. If they aren’t you could be entitled to compensation.
For tenants renting privately, Shelter has a good guide to landlords’ legal obligations, including repairs. There have been some cases of tenants being evicted after making complaints but Shelter notes that if you have an assured shorthold tenancy that started or was renewed on or after 1 October 2015, you have some legal protection against revenge eviction if you complain about repairs.
If you have reported repair problems to your landlord and they aren’t responding, there are a number of steps you can take.
First of all, ensure you have raised the case formally in writing. If you are a resident in a housing association or a housing cooperative, there should be a formal complaints procedure that should detail how to complain, but in general, the letter should include details of the problem and what you would like the landlord to do to solve it. Include details about your rights, what you feel the landlord should have done, and any evidence, such as photographs and previous correspondence, to back your points up.
If concerns are still not dealt with, there are a number of options you can take. You may want to contact your local authority for help. After raising a complaint, the case should be investigated and you may be asked for more information.