Help for private sector tenants
If you are renting in Derby and are having problems with your landlord or rental home, our Housing Standards team can help or advise you.
If you think your home is unsafe or in need of repairs, you must inform your landlord as soon as possible. You can contact the Housing Standards team if you think your landlord or agent:
- is taking too long to carry out the repairs
- is not responding to your request to fix the problem.
Your landlord’s responsibilities
Your landlord is responsible for most repairs to your rental home. Some landlords employ a letting agent to deal with issues such as repairs that occur in their rental homes. Check your rental agreement to see who you should report any repairs to and how to do this.
Tenants also have some responsibilities regarding repairs and conditions to the property.
Find out who is responsible for repairs to your home by checking Shelter's website for advice on landlord and tenant responsibilities.
How we can help
Your landlord needs to make sure that the house, flat or rooms that you live in are safe and not going to make you ill.
Some of the common problems that we can help with are:
- Disrepair, for example, dangerous electrical systems or no hot water.
- Fire Safety, when the fire alarm or smoke detectors are missing or do not work.
- Dangerous or inadequate facilities, such as a missing stair handrail or broken bannisters.
- A cold and damp home if your home has no gas or electric central heating system.
- Inadequate facilities when there may be too many people having to share the bathroom or kitchen.
- Overcrowding if there are too many people living in too small a space.
The actions needed to make your home safe.
- Tell your landlord. Give your landlord a list of the problems; put the date and your address on the letter and keep a copy for yourself.
- If there is no progress (after about a month but sooner if it is urgent), tell the Housing Standards team.
- Give the name and contact details of your landlord to the team. We will contact the landlord and arrange a date with you to visit.
- A full survey will be carried out, and hazards listed and photographed.
- A letter and list of work that needs to be done will be sent to the landlord. You will get a letter listing what the landlord should be doing and anything that you can do to help.
- We will check the progress and make sure the repairs are completed.
The next steps
If the landlord does not carry out the repairs we can take enforcement action. This means serving a notice to get the work done or an order to stop the house from being occupied.
If the repairs are urgent we can skip some of these stages.
A notice gives a landlord a specific time to carry out the repairs but if the work is not done we then have ‘permission’ to get the repairs completed so that your home is safe. We then send the landlord the invoice for the cost of the work so that we can get the costs back. You do not normally have to leave your home while the repairs are done. If you are told to leave you must contact the Housing Standards team who will advise you what to do and will also talk to your landlord.
Your landlord must follow certain fire safety requirements such as:
- provide smoke alarms on each floor of the rental home
- carry out an electrical safety check every 5 years
- carry out a gas safety check every year, (if the property has a gas supply)
- make sure the furniture and appliances they provide are safe
Landlords must provide smoke alarms but the tenant is responsible for making sure they continue to work after the initial test.
For more information on responsibilities for fire safety, check on Shelter's website.
For more advice for tenants about fire safety download Fire safety in shared or rented accommodation.