Figures from Citizens Advice indicate that many landlords are failing in their duty to carry out repairs within a reasonable timeframe. According to the CAB, 40% of tenants have had to wait longer than they should for repairs to be carried out by their landlord.
How Much Time Does a Landlord Have to Make Repairs?
Accepted timescales for landlord repairs are:
• urgent repairs must be carried out within 24 hours and
• problems that cause discomfort or inconvenience must be carried out within 28 days.
Common problems include faulty boilers, dodgy electrics, and water leaks. Many families give up waiting for their landlord to take action and end up fixing the problem at their own cost.
The figures from Citizens Advice show that 31% of tenants took matters into their own hands and made their own repairs. A further 13% paid for a professional to fix the issue and 9% organised repairs but deducted the cost from their monthly rent.
Tenants can Seek Redress
Even though tenants are legally allowed to seek financial redress from an independent ombudsman if their landlord doesn’t carry out timely repairs, only 1% of tenants applied to the court for compensation. When asked why, more than 50% of tenants said they were fearful of the consequences if they forced the issue. In others words, they thought their landlord would instigate eviction proceedings if they complained about repairs not being carried out.
The CAB is calling on the government to give renters in the private sector greater protection from retaliatory evictions if landlords don’t carry out repairs.