Landlord and tenant responsibilities for repairs

Your landlord is responsible for most repairs in your home. This applies to private, council and housing association landlords.

Landlord's repair responsibilities

Your landlord is responsible for repairs, including to:

  • the structure and exterior of the building, including the walls, stairs and bannisters, roof, external doors and windows
  • sinks, baths, toilets and other sanitary fittings, including pipes and drains
  • heating and hot water
  • chimneys and ventilation
  • electrical wiring

Your landlord also must put right any damage to internal decorations caused by repair problems or while repairs were carried out.

Your landlord is responsible for repairing or replacing faulty items or appliances they provided, such as a fridge or washing machine. Your landlord isn't responsible for fixing any appliances or furniture you own.

Your landlord doesn't have to fix repair problems until they know about them. Report any problems to your landlord as soon as you can.

Gas, electrical and fire safety 

Your landlord is responsible for keeping gas and electrical appliances they provide in safe working order.

Your landlord must arrange an annual gas safety inspection to be carried out by a registered Gas Safe engineer. 

Most private landlords are responsible for installing smoke alarms on each floor of your home and installing carbon monoxide detectors in rooms with a coal fire or wood burning stove.

Your landlord must also make sure any furniture they provide meets fire safety regulations.

It's your responsibility to check that any appliances you own are in good safe working order.

Landlord's responsibility for health and safety

Your landlord should make sure that your home is free from any hazards that could affect the health and safety of anyone in your household. 

Health hazards can include problems with damp and mould and overcrowding.

Repairs to communal areas

Your landlord is responsible for repairing the common parts of a building, such as entrance halls, communal stairways and shared kitchens.

Tenant's responsibility for repairs and maintenance

You must use your home in a responsible way.

This includes:

  • keeping it clean
  • not damaging the property and making sure that your guests don't either
  • carrying out minor maintenance such as replacing smoke alarm batteries
  • using the heating properly and not blocking flues or ventilation

You probably have to pay for repairs if you cause damage to the property, even if it's accidental. This isn't the same as causing fair wear and tear to your home which you shouldn't have to pay for.

If you don't fix damage you've caused, the landlord could deduct money from your tenancy deposit to pay for it.

You usually are also responsible for minor repairs, such as:

  • fixing a bathroom cabinet
  • repairing an internal door
  • renewing sealant around the bath

What your tenancy agreement says

Most tenants have a written tenancy agreement. This usually includes details about responsibilities for repairs. 

Check your tenancy agreement. It may say when or how often certain types of repairs will be done. It may say that you have some responsibilities, for example keeping the garden tidy or sharing the cleaning of communal stairways and halls.

Whatever the tenancy agreement says, your landlord must do repairs that the law says they are responsible for.

Report repairs to the council or a housing association

Find out what to do if a social landlord won't do repairs.

How to report repairs to a private landlord

Find out what to do if your private landlord tells you they won't do repairs.

Eviction if you ask for repairs

Most landlords want you to report repairs to them and are happy to do repairs. But some private landlords prefer to evict a tenant rather than do the repairs they're responsible for.

Find out more about eviction if you ask for repairs.


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