Who is responsible for repairs?
Private landlords are responsible for making sure that homes meet minimum legal standards. This includes ensuring the property and equipment such as gas appliances and electrical installations are regularly maintained.
Private rented property housing management standards
We've set out some basic housing management standards which we expect private landlords and agents, as responsible operators, to adhere to.
Once a tenancy begins, the landlord and tenant also have certain obligations in relation to the property's upkeep and repair.
Essential and minor repairs
Landlords must carry out essential repairs to the following when required:
- the roof
- windows and doors
- baths, sinks and toilets
- heating and hot water
- repairs to stop dampness
- general building repairs.
When repairs are required, tenants must provide landlords with reasonable access to the property to enable the repairs to be carried out.
The tenant is responsible for minor repairs including replacing fuses or clearing a blocked sink.
What happens if the property is damaged by someone or something?
Landlords must repair damage that was caused by someone with no connection to the property. For example, during a break-in or vandalism.
Tenants must repair any damage they have caused, which includes damage family and visitors have caused.
When a repair needs doing, you should tell the landlord as soon as possible. Landlords must be given a reasonable amount of time to carry out the repair.
How long should a repair take?
There are no hard and fast rules about how long work should take; it depends on the urgency of the job. A blocked toilet should be repaired much more quickly than a sticking window for example. If the repair isn't done in a reasonable time, even after reminding the landlord, do not stop paying your rent.
It's taking too long - what can the tenant do?
We can help get repairs carried out. We have legal powers under the Housing Act 2004 to ensure that landlords attend to repairs within a private rented property. On contacting us we will arrange to visit the property and to liaise with the landlord in respect of outstanding repairs.
Health and Safety Rating Systems
If an issue with a property's state of repair is reported to us, or when a property lies within a selective licensing area, a safety inspection can be carried out to identify and minimise risks.
The inspection process uses the Housing Health & Safety Rating System.
The landlord must have all gas appliances checked at least every 12 months by Gas Safe registered engineers to avoid the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. This includes central heating systems, heaters, fires, cookers and gas pipework and flues. Landlords must issue tenants with a record of this.
Download HSE Gas Safety Information leaflet for more information.
The landlord should ensure that the electrical installation in a property is in a safe and satisfactory condition. It is an offence for a landlord to supply unsafe electrical equipment.
Although there is no legal responsibility on the landlord to test the electrical installation and electrical equipment, it is good practice for a competent electrician to check appliances provided by them once a year and to have the electrical installation inspected every five years.
Fire safety and furniture
All furniture (except furniture made before 1950) included in the accommodation must meet current fire resistance requirements and carry permanent labels confirming this. This applies to anything which is upholstered or has a filling - like sofas, armchairs, mattresses, pillows, padded headboards and cushions.