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A guide to tenants’ rights and responsibilities for repairs

What do you do if something in your property needs repairing? Your landlord is responsible for keeping your property in safe, good condition - but you need to let them know if there's any damage.

DAS UK

EBOOK: Your guide to lettings and the law

Your landlord is responsible for keeping most of the property in a safe and good condition and repairing anything major which is damaged. 

When necessary, your landlord must fix:

  • Any structural problems or damage to the property’s exterior (external walls, roof, windows, etc.).
  • Sanitary fittings like sinks, baths and toilets, as well as pipes and drains;
  • Heating and the hot water supply;
  • Gas appliances;
  • Chimneys, pipes, flues and ventilation;
  • Electrical wiring;
  • Any damages to common areas, like entrance halls or shared staircases;
  • Any damage they have caused themselves when trying to repair things.

If any of these things need repairing, you should contact your landlord about it. If the damage is potentially dangerous, tell them immediately. Your landlord should let you know when they will have the repairs done.

As well as carrying out repairs, your landlord is responsible for keeping your home safe in general. Their duties include checking up on the following:

Gas safety: They must ensure that gas equipment on the property is installed, maintained and annually checked by a Gas Safe registered engineer, and provide you with a copy of the gas safety check record prior to you moving in or within 28 days of the check taking place.

Electrical safety: They must ensure that the electrical system and any electrical appliances supplied are safe.

Fire safety: They must ensure that the property complies with fire safety regulations and supply fire alarms and fire extinguishers where appropriate, as well as only providing fire-safe furnishings on the property.

Your landlord can’t demand that you do repairs which are their responsibility, but, if your tenancy agreement allows it, you can carry out minor repairs to the property. You may be able to claim money back from your landlord if this costs you money or you have to pay someone to carry out the repair.

If you cause damage to the property, you will need to fix it or pay to have it fixed. Let your landlord know about it so they can ensure that they approve of the way the repairs are done. If you don’t repair any damage you have caused, you may lose some of your deposit at the end of the tenancy to cover the cost.

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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