3. Repairs and maintenance

You’re likely to be responsible for things like:

  • fixing a curtain or shower rail
  • getting keys cut if you lose them
  • arranging and paying for any damage you or your visitors have caused in your home to be put right

Your council is responsible for making sure:

  • the structure of your property is kept in good condition – this includes the walls, ceiling, roof and windows
  • gas and electricity appliances work safely
  • shared parts of a building or housing estate are kept in good condition

Your council will have a published policy setting out the timescales in which it will carry out different types of repairs.

You should get several weeks’ warning of any work needed.

You can request a repair to your council property to fix an urgent problem.

Leaving your home

You may have to leave your home if major works are needed on the building. Your council must find you somewhere to live while work is carried out and pay for the cost of this.

You may also get money from your council to pay for the cost of moving and the inconvenience it causes.

If council works damage your property

The council should repair any damage caused by maintenance or building work. You may be able to get a reduction in your rent if the repairs cause a lot of disruption.

Your own home improvements

The kind of improvements you can make to your council property depends on the type of tenancy you have.

Introductory tenants are usually limited to minor improvements like redecorating inside.

If you’re a secure tenant, you have the right to carry out improvements to your property. These include:

  • installing a new bathroom or kitchen
  • building an extension
  • putting up a garden shed or greenhouse
  • installing a new gas fire or fireplace
  • cavity wall insulation
  • redecorating the outside of a house
  • fitting an aerial or satellite dish

You might need your council’s written permission for work you do.