Most people who rent their homes understand that their landlord has a responsibility for property repairs, but it becomes a little bit less clearer with maintenance and the small stuff and it can be confusing to know what you can ask your landlord to fix. Never fear, that’s what we’re here for! What constitutes a reasonable repair request if you’re a tenant?
It’s important that landlords are making sure their properties are fit for use, and their responsibilities include keeping the plumbing in ship shape order, making sure the property has working heating, getting faulty appliances fixed or replaced, repairing structural issues, and removing all possible hazards for the tenant to enjoy living in their property safely.
Section 11 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 states that landlords have to maintain the exterior and interior structure of a rental property, including drains, pipes, and gutters.
The supply of water, electricity and gas is also a landlord responsibility, and part of their role as landlord is to ensure safety inspections are carried out to ensure that any gas or electrical equipment is deemed safe and fit for the use of their tenant.
Not covered by this law are appliances deemed as non-essential such as the washing machine or TV. Whilst they must not present a danger to tenants, landlords can’t be forced to repair or replace them unless it’s specifically included in the tenancy agreement. Tenants can still request repairs, though.
Making a reasonable request
The rent you pay covers maintenance, and so it’s perfectly acceptable that you request your landlord carry out any needed maintenance to your home.
Ideally, you should try and assist the landlord with this, maybe by getting different quotes for them to compare or arranging a time for inspections.
Wear and tear
When damage is caused by wear and tear, the slow deterioration of things caused by fair use, landlords are liable to reimburse and cover costs.
Tenants are liable for any damage caused by carelessness, or with intent.
It’s a tenant’s responsibility to monitor the condition of a property and pay attention to any problems, reporting them to the landlord as soon as possible in order to avoid them turning into much bigger issues.
Tenants also must provide access to the property for repairs and maintenance, although landlords and agents aren’t allowed to visit unannounced or without prior approval.
When both tenants and landlords understand the rules and regulations that apply to them when it comes to repairs and maintenance, it makes for a much happier and enjoyable tenancy.