Maintenance Responsibilities Explained

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  • Maintenance Responsibilities Explained

Tenants have the right to have their accommodation kept in a reasonable state of repair. They also have an obligation to look after the accommodation they live in. Therefore, there is a shared responsibility to look after the accommodation which we outline below.

Landlord Responsibility

There are certain repairs which will almost always be the landlord’s responsibility, these are: –

1) The structure and exterior of the premises (such as walls, floors and window frames)

2) The drains, gutters and external pipes

3) If the property is a house, the steps from the street are also included in ‘structure and exterior’. Garden paths and steps are also included

4) Water and gas pipes and electrical wiring (including, for example, taps and sockets)

5) Basins, sinks, baths and toilets – however, in the event that food, hair or other items put down by the tenant have caused the block then the tenant should be charged

6) Fixed heaters (for example, gas fires and water heaters)

7) The boundary walls and fences surrounding the property that are the landlord’s responsibility legally

8) The boiler and all fittings

It is important to report maintenance issues to us as and when they occur to avoid the problem getting progressively worse.

If the problem is severe, such as a boiler breaking down, then the landlord has a responsibility to fix this as a matter of urgency. Urgent maintenance may include boiler breakdowns and leaks. We have previously written an article regarding the human habitation act 2018: A guide for landlords, feel free to have a read of this also – https://harringtonslettings.co.uk/the-human-habitation-act-2018-a-guide-for-landlords/

Tenant Responsibility

The majority of repairs and breakages in a rental property are down to the landlord to fix. However, there are some items that a tenant is expected to repair. The main principle is that tenants are responsible for malicious damage or negligence. In other words, if a tenant breaks it, it is their responsibility to fix it!

Most agreements specify that tenants should maintain the property in a tenant-like manner which means not causing damage and dealing with minor defects. Changing a light bulb, or a fuse, changing batteries, or un-blocking a sink fall into this category.

If you wish to find out more information please visit the government website – https://www.gov.uk/private-renting/repairs

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