What repairs are the council responsible for?

So, in today’s article, we will be exploring what the council are responsible for, and what your responsibilities are.

Dealing with housing issues is a difficult situation to face. If you’re currently renting your house from the council, they are obliged to repair many issues that affect the property. However, they’re not responsible for fixing everything – there are some issues you will need to resolve yourself. 

So, in today’s article, we will be exploring what the council are responsible for, and what your responsibilities are. 

Rising Damp in UK Home

What is the council responsible for?

It’s easy to assume that the council are responsible for repairing most damages to the property you’re renting from them. However, this assumption is incorrect. The council is obliged to repair many issues within a property – but not everything.  

Structural issues

If there are issues with the integrity of a property’s construction, the council will need to resolve them. This includes issues such as cracks in walls and sagging ceilings. When it comes to housing disrepair claims against the council, structural issues are of utmost importance. The council is responsible for addressing these issues promptly to ensure the safety and stability of the property. Residents can hold the council accountable for these repairs, ensuring that their homes are maintained to a suitable standard for habitation.

Water leaks

Water leaks are another issue the council is responsible for fixing. Whether originating from pipes or drainage systems within the property, water leaks are a common concern in housing disrepair claims against the council. It’s up to the council or housing association to repair these leaks to ensure the property is habitable and prevent further damage. 

Faulty electrics

A serious safety hazard that requires the council or housing association’s attention immediately is faulty electrics. Faulty wiring or switches can increase the risk of electrical fires or shocks, which is a significant concern for the tenant. The authorities in charge are responsible for resolving the faulty electrics promptly. 

Faulty heating

Correct and working heating is an essential component of a habitable house, especially during the winter months. If the heating system is faulty, this is a serious problem that the council need to address; as damaged boilers or radiators can seriously impact a resident’s well-being. The council or housing association are responsible for providing satisfactory living conditions for tenants. 

Damp problems

Dampness within a property can cause a variety of issues if not dealt with. Rising damp, penetrating damp, or condensation issues are common concerns raised in housing disrepair claims against the council. It’s their responsibility to fix damp problems effectively, employing measures such as proper ventilation, insulation, and repairs to the property’s exterior.

Mould problems

As briefly mentioned above, dampness can cause mould problems within a property, which is a major concern for tenants. It can have a serious impact on the residents’ living conditions, so the council or housing association must have the issue rectified as soon as possible. 


The penultimate issue the council is responsible for is infestations. Pest infestations, such as rodents or insects, can pose health risks and damage a property.  In housing disrepair claims against the council, tenants can raise concerns about pest infestations affecting their living conditions. It’s the council’s responsibility to address pest infestations quickly by deploying pest control measures, sealing entry points, and addressing any underlying sanitation issues. 

Internal & external damage

The final issues the council is obliged to resolve cover many types of internal and external damages. Natural wear and tear caused by weather conditions or any other external factors can leave an unpleasant imprint on a property; which is why the council needs to repair it.

housing disrepair damaged external windows

Your responsibilities

Now you’re aware of what the council has to repair for the property, you need to know what your responsibilities are. Yes, you have duties too. 

Carrying out minor jobs

As a tenant, it is your responsibility to attend to minor repairs and maintenance tasks within the property. This includes tasks such as fixing curtain rails, shower rails, and replacing smoke alarm batteries, light bulbs or any other fittings that may become loose or damaged over time. By frequently managing these minor issues, your living space will feel much more like home. 

Getting keys cut if you lose them

If you lose or damage keys to the property, it is the tenant’s job to replace them. It’s up to you to get keys cut promptly to help prevent unauthorised access and maintain the safety of your home and belongings. 

Property damage caused by you or visitors

Damage to the property caused by yourself or visitors is your responsibility to rectify. Whether the damage is accidental or intentional, you are expected to arrange and cover the cost of repairs.

Leaving your home & if council work damages your property

In instances where major maintenance or construction work is necessary, the council may be required to temporarily vacate you for safety reasons. If so, the council must find you somewhere to live while work is carried out and pay for the cost of this. You might also get money from the council to pay for the cost of moving and the inconvenience it causes.

Furthermore, if maintenance or building work conducted by the council results in damage to the property, it is their responsibility to rectify it. If there is significant damage, you might be able to get a reduction in your rent if the repairs cause a lot of disruption.

Guidance from housing disrepair solicitors 

If you’re currently renting from the council or housing association, and they’re not repairing any issues with the property – we’re here to help. 

If your rented home fails to meet expected standards, our team of housing disrepair experts is here to assist you in filing a claim. Not only can we advocate for your rights to ensure your landlord undertakes necessary repairs to bring your home up to standard, but we can also pursue compensation on your behalf, ensuring that you are fairly compensated for any inconvenience. You don’t need to accept poor living conditions. 

If you’re uncertain about your eligibility to file a housing disrepair claim, consider these three questions:

  • Have you been living with disrepair in your home for months, if not longer?
  • Have you complained to your landlord about the disrepair?
  • Has your landlord failed to take any action within a reasonable time?

Ready to move forward? Start your claim today by clicking here
For more information about what repairs the council or housing association are responsible for, get in touch with our housing disrepair experts today.

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