Private rental repairs – Who is responsible?

December 21, 2011

Landlord Information

Keeping the property you own well maintained is extremely important, especially in winter.

It is up to the landlord to maintain the property they own and rent out, also carry out necessary repairs when they need to be done. It is also up to the tenant to look after the property and to keep it in good repair.

 Landlord’s responsibilities for repairs

If you are a landlord renting out your property the property must be kept in a good, livable condition. All gas electrical systems must meet specified safety standards.

Landlords are responsible for:

  •  The structure of the property*
  •  Basins, sinks, baths and other sanitary fittings*
  •  Heating and hot water systems*
  •  Any damage you cause through attempting repairs*

If there has been a fire in your property and it is damaged or even damaged by a flood you do not have to renovate or rebuild. If the property is severely damaged and you do have to do the above you cannot ask your tenants to pay a service charge for any of the repairs to be done.

If you own a block of flats, you will usually be responsible for repairing common areas, like staircases

The council can ask landlords to deal with any problems in common areas, and/or to repair a tenant’s flat that has been damaged by another tenant. If you own a block of flats and a tenant. If you own a block of flats and a tenant is damaging another tenant’s flat – for example if they leave an taps running and water overflows to the flat below, the tenant who is responsible can be asked to pay for the repairs.

Landlords are also responsible to have the relevant insurance to cover any problems. In most cases it is a mandatory requirement with any buy to let mortgage offer to have Landlords buildings and contents insurance.

 Tenant’s responsibilities for repairs

If the tenancy agreement says you can, as a tenant you should carry out repairs.

If there are damages caused by family and friends, you are responsible for this and they must be put right. You should always make sure you prevent anything like burst pipes and must always take care of the property you live in.

Anything that you personally own is not your landlord’s responsibility and should be looked after and repaired by you if damaged unless it has been damaged because the landlord hasn’t stuck by their agreement and their obligations, for example, not fixing a leaking roof.


Source – *Direct gov

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