Who is responsible for repairs on a rental property?

Who is responsible for repairs on a rental property

This article was written by the Great British Mag editorial team on 11 Nov, 2020

If you have chosen to rent a house or flat, instead of taking university run accommodation, and something goes wrong with the property your landlord is responsible for undertaking repairs and in most cases not charging you.

In this article we look at what kind of maintenance and repairs your landlord has to do legally and what you can do if your landlord refuses or takes a long time.

Are tenants responsible for damage they cause?

If you, your family, or friends cause damage to the property, for example leave a bath running and it overflows, you will have to pay for the repairs. Equally if the damage you cause impacts on an adjacent property you will be liable for the cost of those repairs.

What repairs are landlord or property management agencies responsible for?

Your tenancy agreement will outline what your landlord or property management agency are responsible for and how you need to report faults about the property, so dig it out and have a read.

Broadly speaking in the UK landlords and property management agencies are responsible for

  • basins, sinks, baths and other sanitary fittings including pipes and drains
  • heating and hot water
  • gas appliances, pipes, flues and ventilation
  • electrical wiring
  • the property’s structure and exterior
  • Repairing common areas, such as hallways and staircases in blocks of flats
  • any damage they cause by attempting repairs

Do tenants have to organise and pay for repairs

If anything needs repairing or replacing in the property first look at your tenancy agreement. It will outline what you should do even in an emergency. Generally, you should not organise repairs without consulting your landlord or property management agency. Nor should your landlord ask you to organise and pay for repairs, unless this is something you have agreed to do in your tenancy agreement.

If your landlord is forcing you to pay for repairs you can ask the students union, the student welfare team at your university as well as Citizens Advice, which is a free service that will give you advice and support online, over the phone and in person, for help.

What should I do if the landlord will not carry out repairs?

If your landlord is refusing to carry out repairs on the property, is taking longer than has been agreed or you feel the property is unfit to live in then follow our step-by-step guide on lodging a complaint against your landlord.

If you feel overwhelmed by this you can seek free help from the Students Union and student welfare department at your university as well as Citizens Advice.

You may also want to read

How to report a bad landlord

Do students have to pay Council Tax

Five things you should know before signing a tenancy agreement