Repairs and bad housing

Your rights to have repairs in your home and how to complain about bad housing

Living in poor housing conditions can have as big an impact on your mental health as it does on your physical health. Find out what you can do if your home is hurting your health.

Right to repairs

You have to sort out your own repairs if you own your home. You may be able to get a grant for certain work, like improving your heating system or making your home more energy efficient. Contact your local advice agency or Housing Rights to find out more. 

Your tenancy agreement or tenant handbook will explain what repairs your landlord has to do if you rent your home from the Housing Executive, a housing association or a private landlord. Usually, the landlord is responsible for structural repairs and repairs to electrical, heating and plumbing services. The tenant is usually responsible for looking after the home properly and basic repairs like changing bulbs and fuses. 

Asking your landlord to do repairs

You should tell your landlord as soon as you find a problem in the property. You can end up in trouble if you don’t report an issue and this causes a bigger problem. 

Most landlords will do repairs as quickly as they can. You may have to wait a little while for the right contractor or for certain parts. 

Get help if your landlord is ignoring you or won’t fix problems in your home. Contact Housing Rights for help and advice. Contact your local council’s environmental health team if you are a private renter. The council can sometimes force a landlord to fix a problem.

Asking for help when you have mental ill health

It can be hard to ask for help when you have mental ill health. You may not be able to explain the problem and you may feel as though you are being ignored or dismissed when you do ask for help. 

Our Advocacy for All service can help if you need extra support to have your voice heard.