Reporting a repair to your private landlord or letting agent

Your landlord is usually responsible for repairs in your home. You must report the repair as soon as you notice it. Use our template letter to help you report your repair and get it fixed.

How to report a repair

Report repairs as soon as you can. If you do not report the problem, you could be responsible for paying for any unnecessary damage it causes.

If you report your repair by phone, you should send a letter or email too. This is in case you have to prove that your landlord was aware of the problem.

Send letters by recorded delivery and keep your emails. To find your landlord’s address, search the Scottish Landlord Register.

What to mention in your letter or email

Tell your landlord about:

  • the repair problem

  • any damage that has been caused

  • what effect it is having on you

Ask them to confirm:

  • who will do the repair

  • how long they expect it to take

Use our template letter for reporting a repair to help you know what to say.

If you rent from a letting agent, report the repairs to them. They should either:

  • carry out the repairs themselves

  • tell the landlord so the landlord can do the repairs

Your landlord is usually responsible for doing repairs, but the letting agent must tell you when repairs will be fixed and keep you informed.

Ask for the landlord’s name and address if you want to contact them directly. Your letting agent must give you it if you ask.

Keep evidence of repair problems

Take photographs or videos of the repair when you report it so you can check if the problem is getting worse. Keep receipts for anything you have to replace.

Get a note from the doctor if the repair is having an impact on your health.

How long repairs should take

There is no set timeframe for repairs. They must be fixed in a reasonable amount of time.

This means you can decide what is reasonable for you and then ask your landlord to agree to it.

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

  • whether it’s an emergency

  • what effect it’s having on you and the people you live with

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

After you report the repair

Your landlord should confirm when repairs will be fixed and who will do the work.

They may want to inspect repairs themselves first. You should get at least 24 hours warning before they come round.

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.

If your landlord is not doing the repairs

We have guidance on repairs not done or done badly.

If you rent from a letting agent and they do not tell the landlord about repairs, you can make a complaint.

If you’re worried about eviction

In most cases, you cannot be evicted for asking for repairs. You can be evicted fairly easily if you:

Your landlord must follow the correct process if they want to evict you. If they do not it could be an illegal eviction.

If you're worried that you'll be evicted for acting on your rights get advice from Shelter Scotland.

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