A rented property in disrepair needs repairing and maintaining. The landlord and tenant have responsibilities and obligations for making repairs.
REPAIRS AND MAINTENANCE: Landlords and tenants must keep the property in good condition.
A landlord renting out a property must also meet some specified safety standards. This applies to any gas or electrical systems installed in the property.
Section 11 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 is the law implying a term into a tenancy agreement. It covers private landlord responsibilities and obligations for carrying out basic repairs.
The landlord repairs law applies to written and oral tenancy agreements.
A landlord has the legal right to enter their property to make an inspection or to carry out repairs.
But, landlords must give at least 24 hours' prior notice to their tenant before entering. Your tenant has the legal right to be inside the property during any repair.
As a rule, the landlord has the responsibility for making repairs to:
Note: Immediate access to the home may be possible in emergency situations.
Landlord repairs responsibilities cannot get cancelled out by anything agreed in the tenancy. A landlord must not pass any of their costs for any obligatory repair work to their tenant.
What if the property sustains severe damage from a flood, fire, or other similar incident? In this case the landlord is not compelled to rebuild or renovate it. But, if they do, then they cannot charge their tenant for making property repairs of this sort.
The landlord of a block of flats is usually responsible for repairing any common areas. This can include common walkways and spaces such as staircases.
In some cases, local councils can ask the landlord to fix problems in such common areas. They may also instruct landlords to repair a flat that another tenant damaged.
If a landlord refuses to make repairs, the tenant can:
Your tenants have legal rights if you fail to make repairs to remove hazards. They can ask the council to inspect the property under the Housing Health and Safety Rating System. They can then take any necessary action to get the hazard removed.
The council will take action on any dangerous Housing Health and Safety Rating System hazard ratings.
There may be some situations that make the property temporarily unfit to live in. In this case you can ask your tenants to move out while making major repairs. But, you should agree certain points in writing before they move out, such as:
The house repossession process does not allow you to repossess a property for repair work. But, there are options available if you are planning to carry out substantial repairs or redevelop the property.
You should apply to the courts to get an order informing your tenants to leave. Courts usually grants the order when you provide alternative accommodation for your tenant.
In some circumstances the repairs may be very disruptive for your tenants. Often, they can claim a reduction on their rent or 'rent abatement'. As a rule, the amount of reduction depends on how much of the property is unusable.
Most of this information covers landlord responsibilities for making repairs. But, tenants responsibilities mean you must occupy your home in a responsible way. That means you should:
A landlord has no responsibility for fixing any furniture or appliances that you own. These types of personal possessions are your full responsibility.
Tenants rarely need to pay for fair wear and tear to a rental home. But, in most cases you must pay for repairing things that you have damaged in the property.
Note: Your landlord can deduct money from your tenancy deposit if you fail to fix damage that you cause.
Landlord Making Repairs Responsibilities when Renting Out Your Property