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Getting repairs done

We believe that everyone has the right to a decent and secure home and we work with private landlords and their tenants to help achieve this.

If you are renting a property or living in bed and breakfast accommodation you are a private tenant.

This page sets out what you should do, and what you can expect the council to do, if the home you rent is in disrepair, is affecting your health, or posing a risk to your safety.

Tell your landlord first

Most landlords want to provide a good standard of accommodation for their tenants, so the first step to getting repairs done is to let your landlord know about the problem. The best way to do this is to put it in writing and to keep a copy yourself, that way there can be no confusion about what you've asked them to do.

Usually a landlord will want to look at the problems and then ask a builder or tradesman to sort them out. If a lot of work is needed your landlord may want to get some estimates from several builders. This will mean that it may take a few weeks for your landlord to find the right tradesman for the job. You will have to make sure that the tradesman can get in to your home to have a look at what needs doing.

Lancaster City Council's role

Sometimes some landlords may take too long to carry out repairs, or even refuse to do them altogether. If this is the case you should contact us and explain the problem. Our contact details are on this page.

An officer from our housing standards team will make an appointment to come out and see you within five working days, or sooner if you have an emergency such as no hot or cold water.

The officer will inspect the property and explain to you what is causing the problem and who is responsible. There may be something you need to do to help reduce a problem, such as making sure your home is well ventilated, or heating a room that is suffering from condensation dampness.

You will also be advised about what repairs your landlord should be doing. We have powers to require your landlord to carry out all the necessary works. Occasionally you may also be advised to talk to a solicitor.

After we have inspected your home and decided what works are the landlord's responsibility, a letter will be sent to him or her telling them about the necessary repairs. Your landlord will be invited to come and talk to the officer who inspected your home to discuss what is required and why. A date will then be set by which time all the works must be finished. You will be informed of this date.

What if my landlord does not agree to do the works?

If your landlord does not agree to do the works then the council will serve a legal notice requiring them to be done. This can lead to your landlord being prosecuted and the council doing the repairs themselves. The charge for this will be registered against the property.

What if my landlord tries to get me to leave the property so he doesn't have to do the repair?

Your landlord cannot normally force you to leave your home without first serving a proper notice on you, and then getting a court order for possession. There are very few exceptions to this rule.

If you are told to leave you should contact us straight away. We will advise you what to do and will talk to your landlord for you.

Further information

For more information and advice please contact us. There are also other local agencies who may also be able to help you:

Housing Advice Service
Customer Services
Lancaster City Council
Morecambe Town Hall
Telephone: 01524 582257

Housing Benefit Service
Morecambe Town Hall
Marine Road
Telephone: 01524 582965

Housing Benefit Service
Lancaster Town Hall
Dalton Square
Telephone: 01524 582965

Morecambe and Heysham Citizens Advice Bureau
87 Queen Street
Telephone: 08444 994197

North Lancashire Citizens Advice Bureau
87 King Street
Telephone: 01524 400405

Last updated: 12 January 2023

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