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A guide to landlords’ rights and responsibilities for repairs

It's important that you're aware of your rights and responsibilities for keeping a property in safe and good condition while it's occupied by tenants.

DAS UK

EBOOK: Your guide to lettings and the law

While you have tenants in your rental property, you have certain responsibilities to them as their landlord, one of the most important of which is to carry out certain repairs when necessary. Your tenants have the right to live in a property which is safe and in good condition, so you need to ensure that you take action if they contact you over any issues.

Landlords - or letting agents acting on their behalf - are considered responsible for repairing or arranging repairs to:

  • The property’s exterior or overall structure
  • Sanitary fittings such as sinks, baths and toilets
  • The pipes and drains of the property
  • Heating equipment and the hot water supply
  • Gas appliances
  • Flues, chimneys, and ventilation
  • Electrical wiring
  • Damage to shared areas such as entrance halls or common staircases
  • Any damage you cause to the property yourself if you are attempting to repair things
  • Any other fixtures or fittings provided as part of the tenancy agreement, such as kitchen appliances 

If your tenants contact you requesting a repair, you should let them know when they can expect it to be completed. You may choose to allow tenants to carry out repairs in the tenancy agreement, but you cannot make them repair anything which is meant to be your responsibility.

When there are tenants living in the property, you need to give them notice if you wish to visit it, whether to carry out an inspection of the premises or to do repairs. You should give them 24 hours’ notice, or whatever time period is specified in the tenancy agreement if this is different, and arrange your visit for a reasonable time. However, if you need to carry out emergency repairs on the property, you do not need to give your tenants notice.

The legal advice in this article was provided by DAS Law, part of the DAS UK Group. This information is for general guidance regarding rights and responsibilities and is not formal legal advice as no lawyer-client relationship has been created.

About the author

The DAS UK Group

Goodlord partners with leading specialist legal expenses provider DAS UK Group to offer its Rent and Legal Protection policy. With 40 years of experience, DAS UK are experts in legal expense insurance products, writing more than seven million policies in 2018.

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