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Report a repair to your landlord

You must always contact your landlord first to report a repair. It is the landlord’s responsibility to give you their contact details or the details of their agent. If this information is not on your tenancy agreement or you don’t have one, contact Shelter about your rights.

You must speak with your landlord or agent first – please follow these steps:

  1. Contact your landlord or letting agent, telling them what needs to be repaired. Do this in writing in case you need to prove this at a later date
  2. Wait 10 working days and if you haven’t heard back – send a final letter or email giving them 48 hours to respond
  3. Keep copies of all correspondence and any evidence you have, for example photographs of the issue
  4. You will need to allow access to the property for the repair work, and give your landlord a reasonable time to get the work done
  5. You can then contact the private sector housing team if you do not receive a response from your landlord

Please get in touch for advice if your problem is an immediate danger or serious threat to health or security, such as:

  • Unsafe electrics
  • An external door that can’t be locked
  • No cooking facilities
  • A permanent loss of heating in the house during cold weather
  • Something that particularly affects vulnerable people. For example – a baby, someone who is old and infirm, or a person with a relevant medical condition or disability
How do I report a problem to my landlord or agent?

Always make contact in writing. The Shelter website has some very useful letter templates that you can use to report repairs to your landlord or agent.

The private sector housing team can help if your landlord is refusing to do the repairs

Please ensure you have followed the above process before you report the problem to us. We will be unable to help you until you have raised your concerns with your landlord or agent and given them a reasonable amount of time to rectify this issue.

The Housing Act 2004 introduced the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) in 2006 to help identify and evaluate defects and deficiencies that may have a potential effect on the health and safety of the occupiers and visitors in a dwelling or house in multiple occupation.

A rating score is produced for each hazard. This is used to determine what, if any, action needs may be taken to make a property safe. In Portsmouth, any action taken by the council considers:

  • The rating score as determined by the HHSRS
  • Whether the private sector housing team or the council have a duty or a power to act depending on the severity of the hazards identified
  • The most appropriate course of action is to deal with the hazard

For more information on the HHSRS visit The Housing Health and Safety Rating System.

If you have notified your landlord of an issue with your privately rented property, and you have not received a response, this can be reported to Private Sector Housing via our online report form or by emailing The team can also be contacted by calling 023 9268 8369.


The main aim of enforcement action is to make sure that:

  • Non-compliance in the local housing market is addressed in the most effective way, and
  • Compliance is achieved for the benefit of all

Please view our Private Sector Housing team Enforcement policy for more information.