Your landlord has a legal obligation to ensure that your home is safe for you to live in. As part of this responsibility, your landlord must make sure that your home is kept in a good state of repair, that it is fit for human habitation and that it is free from serious hazards. This means that your landlord will be responsible for most of the repairs in your rental property.
Your landlord’s duties and responsibilities when it comes to safety issues in your home include carrying out electrical safety and gas safety checks, providing adequate heating, ensuring sanitary fittings are in working order, maintaining gas and electricity supplies, ensuring your home is free from damp, providing secure waste disposal facilities and providing an Energy Performance Certificate.
Safety issues in your home can be a risk to both your physical health and your mental health. If there are safety issues in your rental property then your landlord should fix them within a reasonable time. Issues that have the potential to cause serious harm should be dealt with urgently.
As well as those outlined above, there are many other health hazards in your home that your landlord is responsible for. The Housing, Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) is used to identify potential hazards in your rented home. There are 29 hazards assessed by the system, a few of the most common hazards include:
My flat was repaired in time for my child’s birth and I received rent refunds and compensation. The team were very helpful and understanding of my dangerous situation.
Housing Association Tenant
Couldn’t leave any clothes in any of the bedrooms due to dampness and mould, our clothes, possessions & electronics were ruined and not to mention the huge amounts of stress this caused over the years. I am so grateful for your help with getting my property repaired for me & the financial compensation awarded to me has changed my life. Thank you so much
We had been waiting for 12 months for the damp to be repaired by the council but got nowhere. We were told by a friend that this company could help and within 6 months we received compensation for damages & all the damp and mould was removed.
Electrical hazards are a very serious threat to your safety. Your landlord is responsible for making sure that electrical installations and electrical equipment supplied by them are safe and in good working order. This means that they must maintain and make repairs to electrical wiring and cookers, kettles washing machines and other electrical appliances if they have supplied them.
New electrical safety regulations mean that as of July 2020 private landlords must now also carry out an electrical safety check at least every 5 years. During the checks, all fixed electrical installations in the property should be inspected by a qualified electrician.
Local authorities and housing association landlords do not need to do these electrical safety checks but are still responsible for maintaining electrical appliances and fittings.
Your landlord also has certain duties and responsibilities when it comes to gas safety. Your landlord must make sure that gas appliances have been safely installed and are kept in proper working order. They must also arrange for an annual gas safety check to be carried out, this must be done by a Gas Safe registered engineer who will then issue your landlord with a gas safety certificate.
Your landlord must provide you with a copy of the gas safety certificate at the start of your tenancy as well as within 28 days of each new gas safety check.
Gas safety laws do not obligate your landlord to install a carbon monoxide alarm near gas appliances, if this is something that you would like then you should negotiate with your landlord about this.
Fire safety is another very important part of ensuring that your home is safe for you to live in and your landlord must follow the safety regulations set out for this. This means that they must:
If you live in a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) then your landlord has extra responsibilities when it comes to fire safety measures that include providing you with fire extinguishers and fire alarms.
If your rented council home or housing association property has issues that have not been repaired find out if you are eligible to make a housing disrepair claim for property repair and compensation.
If you are concerned about safety issues in your rented home then it is important that you speak with your landlord. You should tell your landlord what the issue is, whether a repair needs to be made and how it is impacting your health and safety. Your landlord should then take action on the issue.
Unfortunately, not all landlord’s uphold their responsibility when it comes to safety issues in rented properties, however, there are other steps that you can take. If your landlord refuses to make necessary repairs or does not communicate with you then you should follow these steps:
Step one: make an official complaint to your landlord or letting agent, you can either follow your landlord or letting agents complaints procedure or write a letter of complaint yourself.
Step two: contact your local authority about the issue. The council could take a few different types of action if safety issues are found including serving your landlord an improvement notice or in severe cases taking an emergency remedial action.
Step three: Take legal action against your landlord, if the steps above do not work then you could make a housing disrepair against your landlord. The court can order your landlord to make repairs and can also award you compensation
If your rental property is unsafe there are several different types of action that you can take including:
Your landlord must make sure your home is fit for human habitation. If you are living in poor or dangerous conditions that mean it is not safe for you to live in your home then it could be classed as uninhabitable.
Some examples of problems that could mean your rental home is uninhabitable include:
Yes, if the safety issues in your home are serious and your landlord refuses to fix them then you could contact the Environmental Health Department about the issue.
They may send an environmental health officer to carry out an inspection of the property and they will assess the hazards in your home using the Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS). If a Category 1 hazard is found then the council must take action. If a Category 2 hazard is found then the council has the power to take action.