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Rent abatement while the council is doing repairs

If repair work is very disruptive you may be able to withhold rent, claim a rent reduction or compensation for any disturbance you experience.

Rent reduction for disruptive repairs

If your home needs serious repairs and this is very disruptive, for example, if you can't use all the rooms in the home, you may be entitled to claim a reduction on your rent, called a rent abatement.

How much rent abatement can I claim?

This depends on how much of the property you can use. For example, if you can only use half the property while the repairs are being carried out, you should get a 50 per cent reduction of your rent.

When should I claim?

You can claim an abatement while the repairs are being carried out or after the repair work has been done.

What if my landlord won't give me an abatement?

If your landlord refuses to give you a rent abatement, talk to an adviser at a Shelter Scotland advice centre or Citizens Advice. They can tell you whether you should be entitled to an abatement, and whether you would be justified in withholding rent. You may also be able to pursue your claim in court.

Am I allowed to claim?

You can't claim a rent abatement if you rent from the council and are claming housing benefit.

What other options are there?

If the repairs seriously affect your quality of life, you may be able to claim compensation.

What if the workmen are using my electricity and gas?

Inevitably, your landlord's workers will have to use your supply of electricity, gas and other services during repair works. If you think the usage is excessive, or if it continues for a long time, speak to your landlord and see if you can arrange for them to make a contribution towards your utility bills.

What if I have to move out?

If your landlord needs to carry out major repair work to the property, they may have to ask you to move out for a while. This is known as 'decanting'. In this case, they will have to provide you with somewhere to stay while the work is going on, and should compensate you for any extra expenses you incur. For example, if you have to travel further to get to work from the place you are staying, you may get your extra travel costs refunded. You will still be charged your usual rent during this time.

What if I don't want to move out?

If you won't move out voluntarily, your landlord may try to evict you. However, they can only do this if they can offer you suitable alternative accommodation, and in some circumstances you may be able to get a home loss payment.

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This content applies to Scotland only.
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The important points

  • You may be able to claim up to 50% rent abatement.
  • You can't claim a rent abatement if are claiming housing benefit. 
  • If you are asked to move out, because of repairs, this is called decanting.

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