If your tenancy agreement states that the landlord should carry out the repairs and he or she has refused to do these you should tell the landlord that he is in breach of your contract.
Write to your landlord, informing her/him of the repairs which need to be carried out. If you do not get a satisfactory response to your letter, send a follow up letter giving your landlord a deadline by which you expect a reply. If you are still not satisfied with your landlord's response, you can write again, informing the landlord of your intention to involve the local council if the repair work is not carried out. Keep copies of all of these letters as they will be important to you if your dispute ends up in court.
If the level of disrepair in the property is damaging your health and your landlord refuses to carry out repairs to remedy the situation, you should contact your local Environmental Health Office. You may also be able to get help from the local council if the property doesn't meet the basic fitness standards.
If your tenancy agreement is due to run out, or you don't have a current tenancy agreement and are renting on a month to month basis, you can be asked to leave the property at any time. Your landlord may prefer to find a new tenant in than have to carry out a particular repair.
You are entitled to a minimum of 28 days' notice to quit before you have to leave the property. If you've lived in the property for more than 5 years your landlord will have to give you more notice. If your landlord tries to evict you without giving the proper amount of notice it may be an illegal eviction.
If your landlord is refusing to carry out repairs, it can be tempting to withhold your rent. This is a risky strategy and could backfire. If you don't pay your rent, your landlord is entitled to serve you with a Notice to Quit. If you are considering using this strategy, you should get advice from an independent agency.
You must inform your landlord of your intention to withhold rent if the repair work is not carried out. Give your landlord a reasonable amount of time to respond to your letter. If you then decide to actually withhold rent, make sure you let your landlord know in writing and keep a copy of your letter. You should not attempt this strategy without advice and you should be very careful about attempting this strategy if you are a periodic tenant as your landlord does not have to have a reason to commence eviction proceedings against you.
If you do decide to withhold rent, keep the money you should have been paying as rent in a separate bank account, because:
Give your landlord a statement of this separate account every time you would normally have paid your rent.
It's not recommended that tenants carry out any repairs, improvements or decoration in a property without getting the landlord's written permission first. If your landlord isn't responding to your requests for repairs you could try using the following method to encourage him to act.
If you decide to do this you need to make sure you get at least 3 quotes for the cost of the work and that you choose the cheapest quote. Keep your landlord informed in writing at each step of the process and allow your landlord an opportunity to sort out the problem before you resort to this method. Send your landlord copies of the quotes and explain that you have chosen the most affordable option. Keep copies of everything you sent to the landlord.
If you don't pay your full rent your landlord may try to evict you. If your tenancy agreement has expired and you haven't signed a new fixed term agreement, you will have to leave if your landlord serves you with a Notice to Quit. If your contract hasn't expired yet, you may be able to fight the eviction in court. Contact Housing Rights Service for advice on dealing with eviction.