Property Repairs – Who is responsible?

What the landlord is responsible for

  • the property’s structure and exterior
  • basins, sinks, baths and other sanitary fittings including pipes and drains
  • heating and hot water
  • gas appliances, pipes, flues and ventilation
  • electrical wiring
  • any damage they cause by attempting repairs

Your landlord is usually responsible for repairing common areas, eg staircases in blocks of flats. Check your tenancy agreement if you’re unsure.

The tenant’s responsibilities

They should only carry out repairs if the tenancy agreement says you can.

They can’t be forced to do repairs that are your landlord’s responsibility.overflow-bath

If they cause damage to the property or another tenant’s property, eg if water leaks into another room from an overflowing bath, they are responsible for paying for the repairs. The tenant is also responsible for paying to put right any damage caused by family and friends.

If the property needs repairs

If the property needs repairs the tenant should contact their landlord/agent as soon as they can. The landlord should then arrange for the works to be carried out.  The tenant should carry on paying rent while you’re waiting.

If repairs aren’t done

The tenant can then contact the environmental health department at the local council for help. They must take action if they think the problems could harm the tenant or cause a nuisance to others.

If the house isn’t fit to live in

If the tenant thinks the home’s unsafe, they may contact the housing department at the local council. They’ll do a Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) assessment and must take action if they think the home has serious health and safety hazards.

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Posted on: 20 January 2016
Categories: All articles, Investment insights, Property investor advice
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