East Lothian Council

Getting repairs done by a private landlord

Privately let housing repairs

This topic is for you if you are currently renting from a private landlord and you are concerned about the standard of repair of your home. It is also useful information for private landlords to read. If you are a Council tenant, please go to our information on Help for Council tenants, or if you are a housing association tenant, go to 'Help for Housing Association Tenants'.

What repairs are my responsibility?

Private tenants must look after the property and avoid causing any damage wherever possible. Some small repairs will be your own responsibility. This involves:

  • keeping your home reasonably clean
  • keeping the fittings, appliances and furniture in good condition (allowing for normal wear and tear)
  • carrying out minor maintenance (for example, checking smoke alarm batteries, changing light bulbs, replacing tap washers etc)
  • making sure your home is kept reasonably well heated, so that (for example) pipes don't freeze up and burst.

What must my landlord repair?

Any private landlord must ensure the house does not let in wind or water, and is reasonably fit for someone to live in. This is called the 'Repairing Standard'. The structure and outside of the property, various items that have been installed or fitted into the property permanently, and appliances (fires etc)must be satisfactory. If the landlord has furnished the property, furniture provided must be safe. Smoke alarms/detectors are also required, and these must be wired up (not battery-operated).

What happens if repairs are not carried out

If after trying to resolve a matter with your landlord you still consider (s)he has failed to meet their duty to repair, you can apply for the case to be considered by the Private Rented Housing Panel (PRHP). This is much easier than going to court.

If the property is simply not fit to live in

The Council's Environmental Protection Team will give advice, and inspect homes to identify properties which are not fit to live in at all, or do not meet the 'tolerable standard.' They will decide whether the home meets the criteria, and the best course of action to take. Do not give up your tenancy voluntarily without seeking the Council's advice. Contact the Environmental Protection Team at: John Muir House, Haddington, EH41 3HA ☎: 01620 827365 Email: ehts@eastlothian.gov.uk


This linked page will help if you are a tenant looking to have adaptations made to a private house.

Care and Repair

There is a scheme for private tenants to get assistance with repairs called, Care and Repair East Lothian.

If you want to know more about your housing options, click on the link or call 01620 827827 and ask for your Local Housing Office - they will be happy to help

East Lothian Council, John Muir House Brewery Park Haddington East Lothian EH41 3HA.