Your landlord is usually responsible for repairs to:
- Gas appliances, boiler, pipes, radiators, flues and ventilation systems
- Heating and hot water
- Electrical wiring
- Baths, toilets, sinks, pipes and drains
- The structure and exterior of the property, this includes doors, windows, roof, drains, guttering, walls and stairs
Landlords must carry out repairs for which they are responsible by law; you as the tenant cannot be forced to do so. Landlords are also usually responsible for Electrical and other appliances that were provided by the landlord and included with the tenancy.
If the property is in need of repairs, you should contact your landlord as soon as possible to arrange this.
If your landlord fails to carry out repairs, we would recommend getting in touch with your local council about the guidelines your landlord should be operating within. Your local authority will describe how long a landlord should take to repair your issue depending on the category your repair falls within, as well as describing the conditions of each category.
Smaller and more straightforward tasks, on the other hand, are often considered to be the responsibility of the tenant. This is because UK courts have ruled that tenants are obliged to use their homes 'in a tenant-like manner', which means carrying out small jobs which a reasonable tenant would do. A classic example of this would be changing a standard lightbulb. You can read more on tenant responsibilities for repairs here.
Your landlord must also ensure that the property is safe for you to live in
If the property isn’t safe to live in, it might be ‘unfit for human habitation’. The Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018 requires all private landlords in England to ensure their properties, including any common parts of the building, are fit for human habitation at the beginning of the tenancy and throughout.
This applies to all tenancies that began after 20 March 2019.
Your landlord is normally responsible for dealing with issues including:
- Damp and mould
- Rats, mice and other pests
- Water supply
- Gas safety
- Electrical installations and appliances that were provided by the landlord
- Fire safety
Your landlord is responsible for the above issues regardless of whether the problems began at the start of the tenancy or mid tenancy, although tenants may be held responsible for problems that have arisen due to their own actions or those of their guests. Again, you will need to contact your landlord as soon as possible to repair these issues.
Your landlord only has to carry out repairs when they know there’s a problem - so it’s vital to let your landlord know of any problems as soon as possible to ensure the property is safe to live in. If you fail to let your landlord know about a problem and further damage is caused as a result of the issue not being remedied in time, in some cases you may be liable for the resulting damage.
Information on this site is by way of general guidance only and may not apply in your particular circumstances. You should not act or refrain from acting upon information on this site without seeking independent legal advice.