Advice about disrepair in your rental property
You should report disrepair to your landlord as normal, and they must carry out necessary repairs. However we recommend tenants and landlords take a common-sense approach to non-urgent issues which are affected by coronavirus related restrictions.
Health and safety issues
Where safe, we recommend you allow local authorities, landlords or contractors access to your property in order to inspect and fix urgent health and safety issues.
Urgent health and safety issues are those which will affect your ability to live safely and maintain your mental and physical health in your home. This could include:
- a problem with the fabric of your building, for example the roof is leaking
- a broken boiler, leaving you without heating or hot water
- a plumbing issue, meaning you don’t have washing or toilet facilities
- broken white goods, such as fridge or washing machine, meaning you're unable to wash clothes or store food safely
- a security-critical problem, such as a broken window or external door
- installation or repair to equipment a disabled person relies on or requires~
You must follow sensible precautions to keep yourself safe when contractors or others are visiting your property. You can read public health guidance here.
Where an issue is critical to your health and safety, we strongly advise you take extra measures such as remaining in separate rooms during any visits and following Government advice on hygiene and cleanliness before, during and after visits.
You do not need to have direct contact with anyone visiting your property to carry out repairs.
Gas and electrical safety inspections
Landlords must provide tenants with all necessary gas and electrical safety certification at the beginning of a tenancy. They should also carry out all scheduled inspections and tests where required. Where inspections have already been carried out, documents can be sent by post or digitally.
Landlords should make every effort to follow existing gas safety regulations and electrical safety regulations which come into force on 1 July. There are provisions in both regulations to account for situations in which a landlord can't do this, and they must show they have taken all reasonable steps to comply with the law.
If a landlord is not able to gain access to the property due to coronavirus restrictions, or can't get a contractor to carry out the necessary work, we recommend they document their attempts to do so.
Advice regarding your tenancy agreement
If you're a tenant you should continue to pay your rent to your landlord as normal. If you can't pay your rent, you need to tell your landlord as soon as possible.
Extended notice periods
The government have introduced measures to protect tenants during the current pandemic. This includes extending the notice period that your landlord needs to give you when following eviction procedures to three months.
Where to get help
If you need advice about your tenancy agreement or think your landlord is not following the correct procedures you can contact Advice Portsmouth. Advice Portsmouth can provide you with advice over the phone on 07789 550593 or 023 9279 4340 or you can email them at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you live in a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO)
If you are living in shared accommodation, or share facilities with other people, this counts as one household for the purposes of self-isolation and you should follow current Public Health England guidance.
Certificates required as part of HMO licence conditions are still required - landlords should arrange to fulfil these in advance of the deadline date.
Good to know
- Nobody can be removed from their home because of the virus
- Landlords do not have to provide alternative accommodation for tenants if others in the property contract the virus
- House moves should be delayed unless moving is absolutely unavoidable
- If you're having to leave accommodation, you should seek alternative accommodation, or get in touch with your local authority
Find out more
Enforcement by Portsmouth City Council
Portsmouth City Council are taking a pragmatic approach to enforcement in line with guidance from the government. Our revised Enforcement Policy can be found here.