What repairs are landlords responsible for in a rental property?

A. Most of the landlord’s responsibilities should be clearly documented in the tenancy agreement and this will include repairs to:

The structure and exterior of your home, including walls, roof, foundations, drains, guttering and external pipes, windows and external doors.

The structure and interior of your home, including basins, sinks, baths, toilets and their pipework, water and gas pipes, electrical wiring, water tanks, boilers, radiators, gas fires, fitted electric fires or fitted heaters.

These repair responsibilities cannot be modified or removed by anything contained in your tenancy agreement. The landlord cannot pass on the cost of any of this repair work on to the tenant.

Landlords are only obliged to make repairs when they have knowledge of any problems which puts the onus on the tenant to keep them informed and up to date.

In most types of tenancy, landlords have the responsibility to ensure that a home is fit for human habitation. Issues that might make a home unfit are:

  • Damp or mould problems
  • Temperature regulation problems
  • Overcrowding
  • Pest infestation (i.e. mice, rats or cockroaches)
  • Irregular or unsafe water supply

These problems have to be tackled whether they were there at the start of your tenancy, or if they occur subsequently.

A landlord cannot be held responsible for acts of negligence by the tenant. These may include:

  • Severe neglect of the home, leading to damage or infestation
  • Not making use of extractor fans leading to a build up of damp and mould
  • Dangerous practises, such as leaving exposed candles burning overnight

If you are looking to rent a property in London, always use a reputable agent who is a member of Propertymark.

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About the Author

A board director since 2001, Marc oversees the company’s London rentals operation as well as marketing and developing strategies for new business. He has been instrumental in the company’s expansion, working closely with managing director Anita Mehra to develop its core services and frequently co-hosts property seminars for investors in many international locations. Read more about Marc von Grundherr here - Read full profile

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