Housing Disrepair: What to Do

If you're experiencing housing disrepair in your property, it's important that you're aware that most of these issues tend to be the landlord's responsibility. Our advisors have compiled a list of tips to help you know what steps to take.

If you're experiencing housing disrepair in your student property, it's important that you're aware that most of these issues tend to be the landlord’s responsibility to repair and maintain, and you shouldn't be charged for any repairs unless you used the property improperly or neglected the property. 

If you’re not sure whether you're responsible or not for an issue in your property, get in touch with our Advice Centre with your specific situation and they will tell you who should pay and when. In the rare case that you have to pay for repairs, we can also check that you’re not being overcharged or charged too early.

Heating, plumbing and safety

If there are problems with heating or plumbing in your rented home, or if you’re worried that anything is unsafe, then you should report this to your landlord or agent immediately. Call them to get a faster response and then follow-up with an email reminding them of what you said and what they promised. Problems in this category are usually urgent and should be dealt with within 24 hours. If they don’t take action as expected, speak to one of our advisors. 

Damp and mould problems after the winter break?

This is a common problem in British houses, especially if the property is old and hasn’t been ventilated and heated properly in a while. First, you need to try and treat the damp yourself using our tips below:

  1. Ventilate all the rooms in the house a couple of times a day for about 15 minutes by opening the windows
  2. Heat your home to a good temperature (18-24 C°). Close your blinds/curtains and keep all doors closed to keep heat in
  3. If mould has formed on reachable areas of the walls, put on some rubber gloves and wipe them down with diluted bleach once every few days
  4. Avoid drying clothes in the house, but if you do, you must open a window to let the moisture out of your home
  5. If you see condensation on walls, windows, etc. wipe the surface with a cloth

If the damp persists, or if it has already spread too much, then you need to contact your landlord or agent and ask for help. Let them know that you have been following our tips above, but that the damp is not going away or it's too much for you to deal with. Ignoring damp can cost you your deposit and more, so if there’s a funny smell at home, deal with it before it stinks out your bank account too!

Other general disrepair

If there’s other disrepair in your home, like broken furniture or malfunctioning appliances, then report this to your landlord or agent (text or email is best) – it is their job to keep your home in good condition. It says so in every tenancy agreement. If they don’t, then you should contact us for guidance. We can help you get things done and maybe even get some rent refunded!

Disrepair in halls

You should report any disrepair in your room to your Halls Reception. You can also report disrepair to Customer Services. If you want help with reporting disrepair, remember our advisors can guide you.


If you've already looked through our web pages and you can't find the information you're after, or if you'd prefer to discuss something face-to-face, it's easy to book an appointment. 

  • Email us at advice@su.rhul.ac.uk
  • Pop along to the Union Helpdesk on the first floor of the Students' Union
  • Alternatively, you can call the Helpdesk on 01784 276700