Your lease will outline whether the freeholder has any responsibility for repairs. If you own a leasehold flat the freeholder may be responsible for repairs to the structure of the building, or shared areas. If you own a leasehold house it is unlikely that your freeholder will be responsible for repairs.
You should report any damage or disrepair to your landlord immediately. It's always a good idea to follow up any reports you make over the phone or in person with a letter so both you and your landlord have a record of any work that needs to be done.
It's easy to be won over by a nicely decorated property, but you need to be sensible when deciding where to live. Consider your household's needs carefully and assess whether the location, size and style of the property suit these. You should also check the property thoroughly for signs of disrepair which may cause issues once you're living in the property.
It can be tempting to stop paying rent if you feel the property you are renting is not up to standard or the landlord is not sticking to the tenancy agreement. This is a risky procedure as your landlord may try to evict you if you stop paying rent.
At some point in your tenancy, something in the property will probably need to be repaired. Your tenancy agreement should explain what type of repairs your landlord is responsible for and what repairs you are expected to carry out yourself.
There is a fitness standard that all privately rented accommodation must meet. If the state of your home is making you ill or causing a public health issue, there are agencies you can contact who can make your landlord carry out repairs. The fitness standard is quite low so often only homes in serious disrepair will fail to meet this.