Property in poor state of repair

Landlords have a legal responsibility to keep in good repair:

·       the structure and exterior of your home, for example, the walls, roof, foundations, drains, guttering and external pipes, windows and external doors

·       basins, sinks, baths, toilets and their pipework

·       water and gas pipes, electrical wiring, water tanks, boilers, radiators, gas fires, fitted electric fires or fitted heaters.

These responsibilities cannot be removed by clauses contained in a tenancy agreement.  Landlords are in breach of this duty if they fail to carry out repairs in a reasonable timeframe, when they have been informed of the disrepair.  Therefore, reporting disrepair to your landlord and keeping a record of all correspondence is important. 

A tenant can, at any time, make a request to the Council’s Private Sector Housing department for a property inspection to assess whether accommodation is unsafe or in poor condition.  The Council will assess the property under the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS).  The assessment may determine that there are hazards or disrepair that a landlord is responsible for remedying.  The Council will contact the landlord and raise any issues.  It is in the landlord’s interest to maintain his property to preserve their investment and avoid greater expense if the disrepair worsens.  When the condition of a property does not comply with health and safety legislation or there is an imminent risk of serious harm, BCP Council may serve an Improvement Notice or Emergency Works Notice.  To contact the team and request an inspection email,

Budgeting Loans for claimants of qualifying means tested benefits and a Budgeting Advance for claimants of Universal Credit can offer small loans to afford household repairs or maintenance.

To apply for a budgeting loan, see, or to apply for a Budgeting Advance sign into your Universal Credit account and contact your work coach.  

There are many UK charities and trusts, from those who consider helping anyone in need to those targeting particular groups, occupations or trades, for example ex-service personnel, members of a specific religious group, or those with a particular illness or disability. The remit of some extend to former partners and dependent children. The ‘Turn2Us website’ hosts grant search,

Homeowners with a mortgage should approach their lender and get advice about re-mortgaging or taking out a home improvement loan.  0% interest credit card products should only be used if customers can repay the amount borrowed over the 0% interest period, as rates are generally higher than home improvement loans when this introductory period ends.  Equity release is a product for homeowners to consider, however, this option has significant risks and homeowners considering this option should get independent, qualified financial advice.