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.
Health and safety issues are issues 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~
We continue to recommend you to 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 came into force on 1 July 2020. 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 and the latest advice on notice periods can be found on the government website.
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 email@example.com
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
The government has introduced measures to protect tenants during the current pandemic. The latest advice on notice periods can be found on the government website
Portsmouth City Council will take a practical approach to enforcement that ensures tenants are kept safe and landlords are supported. Inspections of properties will take place with appropriate risk assessments and in some cases, such as where a tenant might be self-isolating, an assessment could be made through photographs, video or live broadcasting by the tenant where appropriate to do so.
Portsmouth City Council aim to work closely with landlords and tenants to ensure standards in rented properties are maintained. Portsmouth City Council will use communications and marketing where possible to emphasise with landlords the importance of keeping properties free from hazardous conditions, but also reassure them that a pragmatic, risk-based and common-sense approach will be used when enforcement decisions are taken.
The Government has produced specific guidance for tenants and landlords.