The landlord is required to ensure any property is in good order, safe and secure prior to being occupied and to maintain the good order throughout the tenancy.
Who is responsible for repairs?
Both landlords and tenants are responsible for keeping rented properties in good repair.
Landlords are normally responsible for repairs to:
- the structure of the property
- sanitary fittings in the property and any permanent fixings
- heating and hot water systems
- damage arising from attempting repairs
- other hazards that may be identified such as fire alarms, broken handrails etc.
Tenants have a duty to take reasonable care of the property and put right any damage caused by you or your family and friends.
Your landlord is not obliged to repair anything that belongs to you unless it has been damaged because they didn't carry out their repair obligations.
What should I do when repairs are needed?
If you think repairs are needed to the property you live in, you should contact your landlord or letting agency. They should be able to tell you when you can expect the repairs to be done. If they do not carry out the required repairs, you may be able to take court action or ask your local council for help.
Withholding your rent
If you withhold your rent your landlord may be able to take action against you, including seeking a court order to evict you. There may be occasion when you could offset rent against repairs the landlord has not undertaken but you should always seek legal advice as this could result in you losing your home.
What if repairs are not carried out?
If a landlord does not make repairs to remove hazards, the tenant can ask the local council to inspect the property under the Housing Health and Safety Rating System and to take any action that is necessary.
If the council identifies serious hazards, it must take enforcement action to ensure that the hazard is removed. For less serious hazards, the Council may take enforcement action if considered necessary.
In these cases the Council must contact the landlord to give notice that they will be carrying out the risk assessment. In most cases the Council will not take any further action until the landlord has been given an opportunity to address the problems.