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Can you go without rent for repairs?

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Reviewed By: John Black

John is Claim's Bibles lead content writer and is passionate about helping people claim the compensation they deserve if they have been mis sold or mislead.

Last Updated on 16th May 2024 by John Black

Home E Housing Disrepair Claims E Can you go without rent for repairs?
Renting a property in the UK comes with its own set of responsibilities and rights for both renters and landlords. For landlords, this means ensuring that the condition of the rental property is in a good, livable condition. For renters, they are responsible for making rental payments on time. When the landlord doesn’t hold up to their end of the bargain – by refusing to make repairs, for example – it might feel like the right thing to do is withhold rent. However, this is rarely the right thing to do.
Instead, working with our team at Claims Bible can help you make a claim against your landlord for issues such as mould growth or housing disrepair. Approaching issues this way is easy with our help and keeps you on the right side of the law.

What the law says about not paying rent for repairs

In the UK, the law is clear: rent should not be withheld without prior agreement from the landlord. The legal framework primarily protects the tenant’s right to a safe and habitable living environment but also safeguards the landlord’s right to receive rent. According to the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 external link icon light blue, landlords are required to keep the property in a good state of repair. However, withholding rent can be legally risky and lead to potential eviction for non-payment.

If you are considering withholding rent to compel repairs, it is very rarely the right approach to take. Withholding rent is generally seen as a last resort and must be handled delicately and legally to avoid breaching your tenancy agreement.

What to do if you need repairs to your property

When repairs are needed, the first step is always to notify your landlord or managing agent in writing. This not only formally communicates your concerns but also starts a paper trail that can be useful if further action is required. Be specific about the repairs needed and the timeline in which they have become apparent.
If the issue is urgent and affects your safety or security – such as electrical problems, heating failures in winter, or severe water leaks – your landlord has an obligation to act swiftly. If they don’t, then they are in breach of their responsibilities as a landlord and could face severe consequences. At Claims Bible, we try to help people who are dealing with difficult landlords by helping them make claims for housing disrepair issues external link icon light bluehousing disrepair issues and other concerning issues such as mould accumulation in the property.

What to do if repairs are not being done

If your landlord does not respond or fails to make the necessary repairs, then withholding rent is not your first option. Instead, you can begin a claims process against your landlord to seek compensation. Our team at Claims Bible can guide you through this process in a stress-free way, ensuring that your issue is dealt with as effectively as possible.
In cases where the landlord is still unresponsive, we may decide to make a complaint with the local council.

The council’s Environmental Health Department can inspect your property under the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) external link icon light blue and can take action against the landlord if the property is found to be hazardous.

How long do you have to wait for your landlord to make the repairs?

The reasonable time to wait for repairs depends on the nature of the problem. For urgent repairs affecting your health and safety, your landlord should act within 24 to 48 hours external link icon light blue. Non-urgent repairs should generally be addressed within a few weeks, but this can vary depending on the severity and nature of the issue.

What to do if your landlord does not complete the repairs in time

If repairs are not completed within a reasonable timeframe, you can write to your landlord stating the delay and requesting a new, firm deadline. If this does not resolve the issue, then our team at Claims Bible can take a look at your situation and begin legal action. We will be there to guide you on the next steps, which could include arranging the repairs yourself and deducting the cost from your rent, though this should be done cautiously and under legal guidance.

How to start a claim against your landlord for repair work not completed

Starting a legal claim against your landlord for housing disrepairs might seem like a drastic step, but in many cases, it’s the only way to get things done. At Claims Bible, we will work with you to build your claim and guide you through the claims process with ease. Our legal partners will also be available to provide legal counsel and guidance for your claim. We offer comprehensive support, from helping you gather evidence to finding the most effective path for you to seek compensation.

Living in a rental property that requires repairs can be frustrating, uncomfortable and hazardous to your health. While the law offers protection to tenants, it is important to handle such situations correctly to ensure your rights are maintained without risking your tenancy. At Claims Bible, we will work with you every step of the way to ensure that you are addressing this issue legally and with your best interests in mind. That way, you can safeguard your own health and receive fair compensation for the dangerous situation your landlord has put you in.

Working with Claims Bible means that you get the best legal experts fighting your corner to get the compensation you deserve. Start your claim today and check your eligibility in 5 minutes with our simple claims form.

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