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Getting your landlord to fix your boiler, heating or hot water

If you rent your home, your landlord must make sure you have heating and hot water. Report repairs to them and ask for alternatives while repairs are being done.

Your landlord’s responsibilities

Your landlord must do repairs if your boiler or heating system stops working properly.

If you have a gas boiler or gas fire, there must be a carbon monoxide detector in that room. Your landlord is responsible for installing and maintaining this.

We have guidance on gas safety in your home.

If you rent privately

Your home must have a fixed heating system. This means it's plumbed in or hard wired.

Plug-in or portable heaters cannot be the main source of heating. They can only be used temporarily while repairs are being done.

Getting your heating or hot water fixed

Tell your landlord about repairs. Allow them access to your home for inspections and repair work.

They should give you at least 24 hours' warning before they come round. If you have a private residential tenancy, then you should get 48 hours' warning.

You may want to let them in sooner to get the repairs fixed, but you do not have to let them in if they turn up unannounced.

Follow our guidance on:

While heating and hot water repairs are being done

If you need them, ask your landlord for:

  • plug-in electric heaters

  • water heaters, such as a kettle

  • electric blankets, if your heating is off overnight in cold weather

If you think using plug-in heaters will give you higher energy bills, ask your landlord to reduce your rent to cover the increase.

If you have no heating or hot water for several days

Ask your landlord for somewhere else to stay. They can pay for a hotel or B&B, and the costs should be covered by their insurance. Keep paying your rent as normal.

If they say no, ask them not to charge you rent until the repairs are fixed.

Get any agreement in writing to avoid misunderstandings.

How long repairs should take

If you rent from the council or a housing association

Usually, a loss of heating, hot water or gas supply should be fixed within 1 working day. You could get compensation if it’s not done in time. This is called the Right to Repair scheme.

If you have another source of heating or hot water, there’s no set deadline. The repair should be done in a reasonable amount of time.

Use our repair checker to find out when you could get compensation and what to do if it’s not fixed on time.

If you rent from a private landlord or letting agent

There’s no set time for boiler or heating repairs. However, they should be done in a reasonable amount of time. What counts as reasonable depends on the circumstances.

For example, if you're left without heating or hot water in cold weather, it could be reasonable to ask your landlord to have it fixed within 1 working day.

To decide how long you think the repair should take, ask yourself:

  • whether it’s an emergency

  • what effect it’s having on you

  • how long is fair and realistic for your landlord to fix it

Follow our guidance if your private landlord or letting agent is not doing repairs.

Last updated: 1 March 2024

Housing laws differ between Scotland and England.

This content applies to Scotland only.

Get advice if you're in England