As a tenant, it is important to be aware of your landlord’s responsibilities, especially when it comes to repairs. Find out what your landlord is responsible for, and if they are refusing to carry out repairs, what your next steps should be.
A good number of tenant-landlord disputes stem from a misunderstanding of responsibilities on both sides when the rented property is in need of repair. Details about tenant and landlord responsibilities are usually indicated in the tenancy agreement. However, it is always a good idea to familiarise yourself with everything and keep your own list for future reference. This way, you won’t have to rely on the tenancy agreement or take the word of your landlord without verifying the information.
Reasonable repair requests
Whether you are renting from a council, housing association, or a private landlord, the majority most of the repairs in your rented home are the responsibility of your landlord. However, it is essential for tenants to understand what constitutes a reasonable repair request.
A repair request is reasonable if it involves something that you cannot remedy or correct on your own. It is reasonable when only your landlord is capable of addressing or solving the issue. It is your right as a tenant to request for reasonable repair because it is covered by your rent. However, it is your responsibility to inform your landlord right away about the problem. You shouldn’t wait for the situation to get worse.
After sending your request to your landlord, you have to give them enough time to do the repairs. What is deemed a reasonable timeframe is up for debate, but generally speaking they should reply to you with their plans within 21 days. You also have to provide them access to your home and the area/s that are in need of repair. The timeframe also typically depends on the severity of the problem.
If the problem or damage is a result of your doing, such as when you were careless and accidentally burned the carpet with your cigarette, the repair is your responsibility. Your landlord has the right to charge you in such situations.
Damage that results from fair wear and tear is your landlord’s responsibility. An example of this is a carpet that has faded over time. This is It’s a natural thing that happens when an object is used every day.
Your landlord’s repair responsibilities
The following are your landlord’s repair responsibilities:
Exterior and Structure:
- External doors
- External pipes and guttering
Other essential parts or aspects of the property:
- Electrical wiring
- Gas and water pipes
- Water tanks
- Gas fires
- Fitted heaters or fitted electrical fires
According to the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 and your tenancy agreement, your landlord is not allowed to pass on the cost of the repairs for any of the issues above to you. Additionally, they cannot remove any of the repair responsibilities that are indicated in the tenancy agreement.
If your tenancy started on or after January 15th 1989, your landlord’s repair responsibilities includes other common parts of the property or building. Some examples are the lifts, stairs, and entrance halls.
The tenancy agreement requires landlords to attend to the housing disrepair repairs as soon as they are informed about the problem. As such, you should inform them immediately once you discover something or an area in need of repair.
Keeping the property free from hazards
It is also your landlord’s responsibility to keep the rented property safe, liveable, and free from hazards. If the home is not fit to live in, your landlord should take care of the necessary repairs right away. Some of the most common contributors of properties that are not fit for human habitation are:
- Damp and mould
- Infestation by rodents and other pests
- Not performing gas safety checks
- No smoke and carbon monoxide alarms
- No safe water supply
- Incorrect or no ventilation
- Problems with plug sockets, wiring, and anything related to electrical appliance safety
If you reported the problem but your landlord failed to carry out do the repairs and you get injured or your personal belongings effects are were damaged, this is classified as negligence on the part of the landlord. Negligence can also refer to haphazard or carelessly executed repair work.
Any medical bills that occur as a result of the disrepair, or any costs due to damaged property, is covered under a housing disrepair compensation claim.
Your most important responsibility, aside from paying the rent on time, is to take care of your rented home in a tenant-like manner. As such, you are expected to:
- Ensure the garden and other outside areas are well-maintained
- Regularly keep the home organised and clean
- Perform regular safety checks on your electrical appliances (the ones you own)
- Do minor maintenance work, such as changing the batteries on the smoke alarm or changing light bulbs
It is also your responsibility to check the tenancy agreement before you agree to sign it. Take note of everything, specifically any additional responsibilities that are indicated.
Again, you are responsible for reporting the needed repairs to your landlord as soon as you can in writing. If you wait for days or weeks, your landlord will no longer be responsible for the repairs.
If you’ve already informed your landlord but no action has been taken, even after you’ve waited for a few days or weeks, you can file a housing disrepair claim complaint against them. This means you can potentially claim compensation for the suffering you have been through. You can file for housing repair claims.
Filing a housing disrepair claim
Filing a disrepair claim against your landlord for taking housing repairs for granted can be a challenge, so it’s important that you know what you need and what to do. The panel of expert housing solicitors at ClaimExperts.co.uk can assist with a No Win, No Fee claim. To find out if we can help you, get in touch today. See if you are eligible to claim compensation by using our free eligibility checker below.
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