What Are The Landlord’s Repair and Maintenance Responsibilities?
It’s not unusual for landlords and tenants to be unsure of what their repair and maintenance responsibilities are. When a tenant moves into their rental property, everything should be in normal working order. Over time issues may arise with one thing or another going wrong. In this blog we shed some clarity on who is accountable when it comes to necessary repairs at your rental property.
Firstly, the Landlord & Tenant Act 1985 sets out the legal responsibilities of both parties for the repairs and maintenance of a rental property. The landlord & tenant act allows for assured shorthold tenancy agreements. This improves the living standards for landlords and tenants with a tenancy agreement that runs for seven years or less. However it is important to note that as the law, a tenancy agreement cannot overstep the rules that are stated in the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985.
Section 10 of the act states that privately rented homes must be fit to live in. This means that privately rented homes also need to pass the HHSRS (Housing, Health and Safety Rating System) test that is covered under the Housing Act 2004. So there are a range of areas that landlords must address such as-
- dampness and mould
- gas safety
- rats or pests
- fire safety
- electrical safety
- heating and hot water
Landlords are responsible for what is covered in the tenancy agreement. This includes what is covered under section 11 of the Landlord and Tenant Act. For example the structure and exterior of the home, such as
- drains, gutterings and external pipes
- sinks, baths and toilets
- electrical wiring
These repair obligations cannot be changed once agreed, so landlords cannot charge tenants that are covered by these mandatory responsibilities or as part of the Landlord & Tenant act 1985.
Under many tenancy agreements, tenants are responsible for minor repairs such as
- changing smoke alarm batteries or light bulbs
- ensuring their electrical appliances are safe for use
- keeping the home and garden generally tidy
Problems regarding the property need to be communicated thoroughly and effectively between landlords and tenants in order to come to a solution efficiently. By law, landlords are only required to repair and maintain what is reported to them by their tenants or during a regular check. That is why it is vital for tenants to act quickly and report problems so that landlords can find a solution and stop small problems turning into bigger ones. Routine inspections are also a good way to identify any issues and ensure the property is always up to a suitable standard.
However if a tenant hasn’t looked after the property and caused damages on purpose, a landlord could make the tenant responsible for repairs needed. When a tenancy is nearly finished, it is the tenants responsibility to return the property in the same condition as when they first moved in, aside from gradual wear and tear. If you are unsure of who is responsible for maintenance and repairs, we’d always recommend referring back to your signed tenancy agreement.
Ramki’s One Stop Shop for Landlords
At Ramki, we have created Landlords Mate to cover all property maintenance at your rented property. Our professional team can take away the stress of dealing with ongoing issues at your rental property to save you paying high estate agent management fees.
You no longer have to be the middleman that has to find a handyman. Tenants can directly contact us to report repairs required and all we will need is your approval. You’ll have access to our online portal which allows landlords and tenants to book jobs, view invoices and certificates. As well as having a log of all the work that has been completed.
Through ongoing maintenance services like Landlords Mate, you will tackle general wear and tear and avoid the need for any major repairs. If a problem does occur, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that you have priority access to our expertise and a member of the team will be with you as quickly as possible.
So if you’re wanting to save money and have a team of trusted tradesmen ready to help you with your repairs and maintenance, contact us today.