Council & Housing Association landlord responsibilities for winter repairs

If you’re a tenant living in a property owned by your council or a housing association, you will have been provided with details of your responsibilities for maintaining your home when your tenancy started. However, if you’re still unsure about what you are expected to fix yourself and what your landlord’s responsibilities are, you should always contact them to check.

There are a number of repairs and maintenance tasks that might be needed on a home in the winter, and the consequences of them not being fixed quickly are usually worse than at other times of the year. For example, if the guttering is faulty and rainwater is leaking onto brickwork, the increased quantity of rain at this time of the year can make damp problems significantly worse. Therefore, it’s more important than ever to report repairs to your landlord as soon as you spot the issue.

What are landlord responsibilities for heating and hot water systems?

Your landlord is responsible maintaining and repairing the heating system in your property, including ensuring you have safe access to hot water. If you find that your boiler is faulty, or you just can’t get your heating or hot water to work, your landlord should arrange for this to be assessed and repaired. Most housing associations and councils will have internal deadlines for when they try to repair problems like this, especially in the winter, when it could be dangerous to be without heating at times. Usually this will be within a few days, or they will try to provide you with another means by which you can heat your home until the system can be fixed or replaced e.g. portable electric heaters.

The only circumstances in which the council or housing association will not usually be responsible for repairing your heating system is if it has been damaged by the tenant, guests or visitors.

What are landlord responsibilities for damp?

There are three main types of damp – condensation damp, penetrating damp and rising damp. Tenants are usually expected to take steps to reduce condensation within the home to prevent condensation damp from forming, but landlords are responsible for dealing with penetrating damp and rising damp in the property. Find out more about diagnosing damp problems here.

What are landlord responsibilities for burst pipes?

If a pipe bursts in your home due to cold weather, it is generally your landlord’s responsibility to fix this and make right any damage that the escaping water has caused.

For information about other areas of landlord and tenant responsibility, use our Landlord & Tenant Responsibility Tool.

If you’ve reported repairs to your landlord and they have not taken steps to fix the issue(s) within a reasonable amount of time, you may be eligible to make a disrepair compensation claim. Contact CEL Solicitors to find out more and for a free claim assessment. Call us on 0203 925 4551 today.