The student house I’m renting is damp or in a state of disrepair

If the property you're renting is in a poor state of repair, you can complain to your landlord or letting agent to fix the problem.

If the problem is serious and your landlord won't make repairs, your local council's environmental health department may be able to help. 

Minor or major repair

When it comes to repairs, you’ll usually be responsible for minor repair jobs, unless they’re caused by disrepair or damp.

In most cases, it's the landlord’s responsibility to make major and structural repairs. 

Tenants are usually obliged only to take reasonable care of the property, for example carrying out minor jobs such as gardening and general housework.

Checklist

Damage to personal property

The landlord must also take reasonable precautions to prevent their property from causing personal injury or damaging personal property. 

This obligation will also apply to the tenant, and anyone living with them and their visitors.

If the property you're living in is damp, or in a poor state of repair, you should first complain to your landlord or letting agent. You can use our how to claim against your landlord for disrepair guide.

Once your landlord is made aware that your house is in disrepair then they should take action to fix the problem as quickly as possible.   

If your landlord doesn't fix the problem, you can contact your local council’s environmental health department to inspect the house. 

If the disrepair is serious enough, the council will serve the landlord with a legal notice to carry out repairs.

Gas safety

The safety of gas installations and appliances are the landlord’s responsibility. 

The landlord must arrange and pay for safety checks and any necessary work to be carried out on appliances at least once every twelve months.

The checks must be carried out by a person who is registered with the Gas Safe Register. You can ask your landlord for proof of this. 

Electric appliances

Landlords also have responsibility for ensuring that any electrical appliances supplied with the accommodation are safe. 

This includes heaters, cookers, kettles, and any other electrical goods.

If an electric appliance, like a washing machine, breaks down your landlord should repair or replace it within a reasonable period of time.

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