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Does my landlord have to do anything about damp?

As a tenant, you have the right to have the structure of your home kept in good repair by the landlord. This includes some of the installations in the home such as heating and hot water systems. You will often be responsible yourself for repairs to internal decoration and for minor repairs such as a blocked sink. Details about repairs are usually set out in a written tenancy agreement that describes the landlord's and tenant's responsibilities. If you do not have a tenancy agreement the law may still give you some basic rights. However, you should always check your housing status before you complain about housing conditions, as some landlords try to evict tenants who wish to enforce their legal rights to repair.

When you have decided that your repair should be done by the landlord, you must tell them about the repair that is needed. You should write out a description of the problem and collect evidence such as photographs, a report from environmental health officers, and medical reports if the disrepair is affecting your health or the health of someone in your household.

If the landlord still fails to carry out the work you could consider contacting the Environmental Health department at your local authority, or you could take the landlord to court. If your landlord is a housing association or a private landlord, then the local authority may be able to force them to take action. If you are a tenant of the local authority itself, then you should make a complaint using the authority’s complaints procedure.

You should carry on paying your rent while you try to get the repair work done, as your landlord may try to evict you if you have rent arrears.

For more information about problems with damp, see Disrepair – dampness.
For more information on general problems with privately renting tenants, see Common problems with renting.

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