Who is responsible for repairs?

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

Landlord's responsibilities for repairs

Your landlord is responsible for repairs 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
  • gas appliances provided by the landlord
  • chimneys and ventilation
  • electrical wiring

Your landlord is also responsible for putting right any damage to internal decorations caused by disrepair or while repairs were carried out.

Your landlord may be responsible for repairing or replacing faulty items or appliances in your home if they were provided to you at the start of your tenancy, for example a fridge or washing machine. Your landlord is usually not responsible for your own appliances or furniture.

Report the disrepair to your landlord as soon as you can. Your landlord doesn't usually have to fix a problem until they know about it.

Tenant's responsibilities for repairs

As a tenant, you must use your home in a responsible way.

This includes:

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

It may say in your tenancy agreement that you have some extra repair and maintenance responsibilities, for example keeping the garden tidy or sharing in the cleaning of communal stairways and halls. Check what your tenancy agreement says.

Whatever your tenancy agreement says, your landlord is always responsible for gas safety and major repairs.

If you cause any damage to the property or the furniture, even if it's accidental, you probably have to pay for repairs. This is not the same as causing fair wear and tear to your home, which you should not have to pay for.

Common problems

Common disrepair problems include:

What your tenancy agreement says about repair

Most tenants have a written tenancy agreement. This usually includes details about responsibilities for repairs. Housing associations and councils may also have a tenants' handbook, which forms part of the tenancy agreement. Your tenancy agreement may say when or how often certain repairs must be done.

Whatever the tenancy agreement says, your landlord cannot get out of those repairing duties that the law says a landlord is responsible for.

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