My boiler stopped working last week and I can't get hold of my landlord to arrange repairs. I informed the estate agent and was told that a plumber would be sent out the next day. I waited in for the plumber all day but no one came. I repeatedly called the agent but there was no answer. I am still without heating or hot water. What action can I take and should I withold my rent until the repairs are done?
There may be ways of getting your landlord to do the repairs. As a tenant you cannot withhold your rent to force your landlord to do repairs. A tenancy is a legally binding contract in which you agree to live in your home and pay rent. If you do this you may risk being evicted for rent arrears.
In some circumstances, you could carry out the repairs yourself and subtract the cost from your rent. But there are set rules you must follow, and you should get advice before doing this.
You may want to contact your landlord directly as he could be unaware of the problems that you're having.
If you pay rent through an agency you are entitled to know the name and address of your landlord. If you request these details in writing your letting agency has a legal duty to supply this information within 21 days. If they do not provide these details they are committing a criminal offence. Your local council may have a tenancy relations or harassment officer that deals with these problems.
You may also be able to take your landlord to court to get repairs done. If the disrepair has led to your belongings being damaged you may be able to claim compensation from your landlord.
You could contact a local advice centre that may be able to help you take action.
Question answered by Shelter