Council tenants - Who is responsible for repairs?
Important - you may be recharged for the cost of any works that are the result of damage or negligence caused by you or your visitors.
Council housing repairs
Report a repair
You can request a repair online.
Or call us on 020 8379 1000 (option 4, then option 2 for council housing repairs), or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
When requesting a repair, you should tell us:
- your name, address and daytime contact number
- what needs repairing
- whether you require any adjustments
An emergency repair is when there is an immediate danger to health or safety. We will attend within four hours to make the situation safe. We may need to return to complete the full repair.
All emergencies must be reported by calling 020 8379 1000 (option 4, then option 2 for council housing repairs).
Emergency repairs include:
- burst pipes or major uncontainable leaks
- flooding sewage
- lift breakdown
- broken glazing which is a hazard
- unsecure front door or window (where there is a security risk)
- total loss of water or electrics
- unsafe or dangerous electrics
- toilet not flushing (only toilet)
Use our repair responsibility finder above, to check who is responsible for carrying out repairs.
If you are a leaseholder check the repair responsibilities (PDF, 208.2 KB).
Under certain circumstances, we may do repairs under our special repairs for vulnerable tenants.
If a fault is caused by you, your family or friends, or through negligence of failure to meet your obligations under your tenancy agreement, you must pay for repairs. If the damage is caused by vandalism, report the incident to the police and get a crime reference number before reporting the repair to us.
You will be offered an appointment for a surveyor to make an inspection, or for a contractor to do the repair. You must allow our staff or contractors into your home at any reasonable time to do repairs, inspections or improvement work.
We will give you at least 24 hours’ notice, except in an emergency. If it is an emergency and you do not let us in, we may force entry. Contact us if you cannot make an appointment on 020 8379 1000, or email email@example.com.
We service all gas appliances supplied by us every year and will leave a certificate confirming that they are safe and in good working order. If this has not been done, email firstname.lastname@example.org. As per your tenancy agreement, you must allow us into the property to service appliances. This applies to all properties where gas can be used.
Even if no appliances are connected or the only appliances belong to you, we need to check the pipework. We will take firm action against anyone who does not allow access for this. For more information, contact the HSE Gas Safety Advice Line on 0800 300363.
Our environmental services asbestos team survey homes we manage to identify materials containing asbestos and assess its condition. If necessary, they will arrange to remove or seal it (through our repairs team). If you have asbestos in your home, leave it alone, as it is safe if it is undamaged. If you suspect there is damaged asbestos in your home, you should email email@example.com.
Our letting standard sets out the standard of repair and appearance you can expect when you move in. This means that your home will be clean and in a state of good repair. If you think your new home does not meet the letting standard, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Special repairs for vulnerable council tenants
The repairs below, which are usually a tenant's responsibility, will be carried out by us if we are sure that the repair or renewal is reasonably required, and one of the following apply:
- The tenant is above the age of 65 and no person below the age of 65 lives in the property
- The tenant has a mobility difficulty or serious visual impairment and there is no able-bodied adult living in the property
- The tenant has a learning difficulty which substantially restricts their ability to arrange the repairs
- The tenant has a history of mental illness which substantially restricts their ability to arrange the repairs
Examples of repairs included:
- Minor plastering work (excluding hairline cracks)
- Replacement of wall tiles (splashbacks only)
- Draught proofing
- Blocked sinks, baths and wash basins
- Repairs to fences and gates
- Replacement of cylinder jackets
- Replacement of tap washers
- Skirting boards
- Internal doors
- Cleaning and drying out after floods
The above repairs will not be carried out if the defect is due to the tenant's neglect or negligence.
Tenants renting privately
Tenants renting from a private landlord have the right to a decent standard of home, free from health and safety risks. If you're a private tenant and are having problems with disrepair, contact our Housing Enforcement team on 020 8379 1000, Monday to Friday, from 9am to 5pm.
Our team works to improve housing conditions for tenants renting privately in the borough. Housing Enforcement Officers liaise with landlords and agents to fix disrepair. If the landlord is reluctant or refuses to carry out reported repairs, enforcement action may be taken.
The Department for Communities and Local Government have produced a repairs guide for landlords and tenants (PDF, 289.43 KB).
Preventing repair problems
A common problem that arises in many homes is condensation and mould growth. To prevent condensation:
- reduce moisture levels when cooking, cover boiling pans and don’t leave kettles boiling
- dry washing outside or use the bathroom with the window open and the door shut
- don’t dry washing on radiators
- if you use a tumble dryer, make sure it’s ventilated to the outside air
- avoid using portable gas or paraffin heaters
- always keep the house warm and ventilated
- when using the bathroom and kitchen, keep the doors shut
- regularly check spots where air circulation is poor, for example, behind furniture and inside cupboards
Black mould is caused by condensation and can be removed with fungicides available in most DIY stores. After treatment and removal, the affected areas can be redecorated using anti-fungal paint.
If wallpaper is affected, it’s best to remove it and treat the wall. Damaged plaster may need to be removed, affected clothing should be dry cleaned and carpets should be shampooed and dried.