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Does my landlord have to use approved tradesmen?

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756 views 1 replies latest reply: 28 July 2014

I am a private tenant and my local council has just served an improvement notice on my landlord due to his failure to make repairs. I am classed as ‘vulnerable’ by the council as I have Autistic Spectrum Disorder and Dyspraxia. On the few (emergency) occasions that my landlord has made repairs he has used his ‘mates’ and the repairs were made outside of normal working hours. The repairs in the Improvement Notice are for Cat 1 and 2 hazards and the work is quite extensive and potentially disruptive. Do I have a right to ask that he only use council approved tradesmen? I will be unable to leave the house during the works unless I trust the people who are working in it. I do not trust my landlord at all and he is abusive to me – even in front of the Environment Officer who came to assess the property.


Thanks for writing in our forum. It sounds as though your landlord is not too pleased that he was served with an improvement notice. Unfortunately, this is what it takes for some landlords to maintain their properties – well done for arranging an HHSRS inspection by the local council.

Your comment regarding the landlord abusing you is concerning. You should document all such incidents including dates and times, especially if it has happened before. Landlord harassment is a serious offence and can be defined as ‘action taken by your landlord to deliberately disrupt your life at home or make you leave.’ If this continues, there are steps you can take to stop the harassment such as asking your landlord to keep all communications with you in writing. That way you have records and documentation in case you decide to take action against your landlord.

With regard to approved tradesmen, I have done some research but have not found any information stating that your landlord needs to use an approved tradesman for repair or building work, with the exception of electrical and gas works. However, The Defective Premises Act 1972 states that landlords and builder/improvers have a duty to do work safely and properly. Your landlord will be liable if there is any damage or injury as a result of the repair work. Considering that he has been issued an improvement notice byu the council, it is in his best interests to ensure that the work is carried out to the necessary standard. However, do contact your local council to clarify whether the landlord needs to use approved tradesmen, ask whether they will inspect the completed repair work, and always ask for identification from any person coming to your home to do work or an inspection.

Lastly, if the repair work is very disruptive or there are parts of your home that will be out of use while they are being carried out, then you will be able to claim compensation. I would recommend you use Shelter’s advice services directory to find a face-to-face adviser near you:

All the best of luck.

Disclaimer: This information is derived from personal experience and should not be relied upon as a definitive or accurate interpretation of the law.

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