Renting privately: repairs and improvements

Our Private Sector Housing Enforcement team are environmental health professionals responsible for ensuring your home meets basic standards. We're also responsible for property licensing in Southwark.

If you have a problem with your accommodation, report it to your landlord or agent first.

You can visit the Shelter website for help, including a letter template for writing to your landlord explaining the problem.

If your landlord or agent doesn't respond or carry out works within 1 week, contact us. If your landlord has threatened you or been violent, contact us right away (before reporting the problem to your landlord).

If the problem is urgent, report the problem to your landlord first and if they don't respond within 24 hours, report it to us. Situations which may be classed as urgent include:

  • a leak near electrics
  • an external door that can’t be locked
  • no cooking facilities
  • a permanent loss of heating in winter
  • a flood
  • an issue that particularly affects vulnerable people (eg a baby, someone who is old and infirm or a person with a severe medical condition/disability)

You should use our online form to tell us about your problem. For general issues we'll respond within 2 working days; for urgent issues we'll respond the next working day. We'll check that you've reported the issue to your landlord first. For urgent problems, we'll check that it's a genuine emergency.

Page last updated: 12 June 2017