A Guide to Social Housing


Your responsibilities

As a tenant you have 3 main responsibilities when it comes to repairs:

  • To report any repairs to the landlord as soon as possible

  • To take good care of the property and avoid causing and damage

  • Allow reasonable access to your landlord to fix any repairs

The landlord’s responsibilities

Your landlord is responsible for major repairs to the structure and installations of the property, while you will be responsible for minor interior repairs and decoration. Your tenancy agreement should set out exactly who is responsible for what.

Your landlord is not required to fix any damage caused by you or a member of your household or guest, either accidentally or on purpose.

Right to repair

The right to repair scheme covers repairs which cost less than £350 to carry out. These are known as 'qualifying repairs' and have to be completed, depending on what needs repair, within 1, 3 or 7 working days, they include repairs to:

  • unsafe power or lighting sockets or electrical fittings

  • the electricity or gas supply

  • blocked flues to fires or boilers

  • external windows, doors or locks which are not secure

  • the space or water heating systems, if no other sources of heating are available.

  • tell you how long the repair will take to fix

  • explain your rights under the right to repair scheme

  • give you the contact details of the contractor who usually does repair work of this type for their properties, and at least one other contractor from their list of approved companies

  • arrange with you a day for the repair to be carried out.

If the repair is not carried out within the required time then your landlord will have to pay you £15 initially then an additional £3 for everyday over the time limit until the repair is carried out, up to a maximum amount of £100.

Other repairs

For repairs not covered under the right to repair your landlord should have a procedure for dealing with these kinds of repairs, which should be explained in your tenants' handbook.

When you report the repair, your landlord should let you know how long it will take to get the work done. There is no legal time limit, but the work should be done within a reasonable time.


Your landlord should have a formal complaints procedure if you're not happy about any aspect of your tenancy, including repairs. Your tenants' handbook should have details of the complaints procedure, and you may also be able to find information about this at your landlord’s website.

Last updated: 5 October 2020

Housing laws differ between Scotland and England.

This content applies to Scotland only.

Get advice if you're in England