How to report disrepair to your landlord

You must report any issues of disrepair to your landlord before you contact us. We will ask to see a copy of your letters or emails as well as any responses.

You first need to write to your landlord or agent setting out the issues you have. This will protect your tenancy rights. You can use one of Shelter's letter templates.

You can then send the letter by email or post. Remember to always keep a copy for your records. You should provide photographs as evidence if you have them.

Urgent repairs 

For an urgent repair, such as a lack of heating or hot water, or dangerous electrics, you should contact your landlord or agent immediately by phone and follow the call up with a letter or email.

Housing associations

Housing associations operating as registered social landlords are regulated through their own internal complaints procedure and the Housing Ombudsman.

If you are a housing association tenant and have disrepair in your home you should do the following:

  • Report the problem to your housing association.
  • Make a formal complaint to them if they fail to respond in an appropriate and timely manner. The complaints procedure is often on their website.
  • If they still fail to deal with your complaint, contact us and complain to the Housing Ombudsman.

Council tenants 

We cannot act on behalf of council tenants. If you live in a council property, please see our reporting a repair page.

What to expect from your landlord

You will need to give them 14 days to respond unless the matter is a serious hazard.

Landlords should try to fix serious hazards within three working days. Less serious hazards can take longer to fix.

Remember to keep all correspondence between you and your landlord or agent, even if they are text messages.

Please note that we cannot get involved in disputes between tenants and landlords over minor defects or routine maintenance.

What is expected of you

If your landlord agrees to carry out the repairs, it is important that you give them:

  • reasonable access to inspect the property
  • time to find a contractor
  • enough time to start and finish the work.

Your landlord should let you know how long it will take to complete the work.

If your landlord doesn’t carry out the repairs, it is important that you do not withhold your rent. If you do, it may result in your landlord applying for possession of the property.

If your landlord doesn't respond

If your landlord doesn’t respond or give a reasonable response to your issues, you can report the matter to us using this form:

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We use a risk assessment method to assess the condition and standards of your home. This is called the Housing, Health and Safety Rating System. It means that we will look at the hazards and risks in your home and if they are serious we may be able to take action to get them to complete work. 

We have to inform your landlord before an officer can inspect the property. You are legally obliged to allow your landlord access to the property to carry out repairs subject to appropriate notice being given.

Our contact details

Phone: 020 8760 5476 (answerphone is monitored)


Address: Environmental Health, Trading Standards & Licensing, Sustainable Communities, Regeneration & Economic Recovery, Floor 3 zone B Bernard Weatherill House 8 Mint Walk Croydon CR0 1EA