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All you need to know about your rights when it comes to housing repairs

If you're renting a property, there are certain things you should be aware of

Written by Evelyn Coffin and posted in life

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If you’re renting a property, you’re entitled to certain standards that your landlord must keep up with. This includes the right to repairs made in a timely fashion so that your property meets the minimum standards of accommodation, not only for safety but for your comfort, as well. (For more information on the minimum standards of accommodation and your rights as a tenant, see this article). Here’s a quick article about what to consider when your rental property needs some attention.

How to get a repair made

  • Tell your landlord, in writing, and give them the necessary time to address the problem.
  • If you think your property doesn’t meet minimum standard requirements, you should contact your local authority.
  • If you’re having trouble getting your landlord to cooperate, you can contact for advice.

Timeframes for making repairs

There is no specific legal timeframe for when repairs should be carried out, but there are some guidelines that you should expect your landlord to go by.

Routine repairs: 14 days

These are the little things that pose no threat and that aren’t particularly urgent, like a piece of furniture needing repair, a sticky window, or a dripping tap.

Urgent repairs: 3-5 days

This type of repair is usually for something that either could become unsafe, or is seriously hindering your comfort in the residence, for example, a broken refrigerator, stove, or shower; mould build-up, or a toilet not flushing.

Emergency repairs: as soon as possible; immediately

This type of repair could cause serious damage or even loss of life. Examples include faulty wiring, damage due to flood, loss of heat or hot water in winter, etc.  

Making improvements

If you want to change the appearance of your rental property considerably—maybe a fresh coat of paint, hanging some photos, or even doing your own repairs—you’ll need your landlord’s permission, in writing. (One thing you can’t do, though, is change the locks; if you’re having trouble with someone entering your property without your permission, you can contact for more advice.)

Dealing with pests

If you’ve found yourself with an infestation of some kind (bed bugs, mice, etc.), normally it is your responsibility as a tenant to deal with it. However, if your landlord doesn’t provide you with pest-proof storage for trash, or hasn’t made sure the property is structurally sound (doesn’t have cracks, holes, etc.), your landlord may be the one liable. 

Need more information?

We are here to answer your questions and talk through your options. Our online chat service is for 16 to 25 year olds and is available Monday to Friday, 4pm to 8pm. Chat to us now about your situation.

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Published April 4th2016
Last updated Feb­ru­ary 23rd2018
Tags your rights renting
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