Doing repair work if your landlord refuses

Your landlord is usually responsible for fixing repairs in your home. If they're not doing repairs you may decide to do them yourself and use money from your rent. There's a strict process you should follow or you could be evicted. Use our letter templates to help you.

Before you do repairs yourself

Only do repairs yourself if you have followed our other guidance on repair problems:

If you still decide to do repair work yourself make sure:

  • you have given your landlord time to fix the problem

  • you can afford to pay for the repair and any unexpected costs

  • you keep evidence, such as copies of letters, emails, photos and receipts

How to tell your landlord you're fixing repairs yourself

Keep a copy of the letters you send your landlord. If you post them send it recorded delivery and keep the receipt.

You must send all 4 letters before withholding the cost of repairs from your rent.

If you do not, you could be evicted for not paying your rent.

Step 1: write to your landlord

Explain that you're going to do the work yourself unless the repairs are done within a reasonable time.

Use letter template 1 to warn your landlord you will do repairs yourself.

Step 2: get quotes for the work

If your landlord has not responded to your request get three quotes for the necessary work.

You should then send a letter explaining that you'll go with the cheapest quote unless your landlord arranges for the repairs to be done within a certain time.

Use letter template 2 to give your landlord quotes for repairs.

Step 3: arrange for the work to be done

Hire the company that gave you the cheapest quote and pay for the work.

Send a copy of the receipt to your landlord, asking them to refund you the cost.

Use letter template 3 to ask for a refund.

Step 4: if your landlord does not refund you

Send your landlord a final letter. Explain that you're going to deduct the money from your rent.

Use letter template 4 to confirm you're withholding the cost of repairs.

Last updated: 29 June 2022

Housing laws differ between Scotland and England.

This content applies to Scotland only.

Get advice if you're in England