Landlord and tenant responsibilities for repairs

Who's responsible for repairs in your rented home?

Landlord's repair responsibilities

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

They must carry out repairs within a reasonable period of time. How long your landlord has to do the work depends on how serious the problem is. 

Your landlord only has to deal with repairs in your home once they know about the problem. 

Their responsibilities include repairs to:

  • electrical wiring
  • gas pipes and boilers
  • heating and hot water
  • chimneys and ventilation
  • sinks, baths, toilets, pipes and drains
  • common areas including entrance halls and stairways
  • the structure and exterior of the building, including walls, stairs and bannisters, roof, external doors and windows

Your landlord should also redecorate if needed once the problem is fixed.

Your landlord is always responsible for these repairs even if your tenancy agreement says something different.

Check your contract for extra responsibilities 

Your tenancy agreement might give your landlord additional responsibilities for repairs. 

For example, there could be a term stating that the landlord is responsible for repairing faulty appliances such as a fridge or washing machine.

If your landlord won't do repairs they're responsible for you can take further action

Landlord’s responsibility for health and safety

Your landlord should make sure that your home is safe and free from any hazards.

If you sign or renew a tenancy from 20 March 2019, your landlord must make sure your home is fit to live in throughout the tenancy.  

Damp and mould

Your landlord must deal with damp and mould problems that are caused by disrepair or make the property unfit to live in.

Rats, mice and other pests

Your landlord must carry out any repairs needed to stop pests getting in to your home.

Gas safety

Your landlord must arrange gas safety checks every year.

Electrical installations and appliances

Your landlord must make sure that wiring, plug sockets and any electrical appliances they provide are safe.

Fire safety

Your landlord must install smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms where needed.

Tenant's responsibilities

You have certain responsibilities regarding repairs and conditions in your home. 

Looking after your home

You must use your home in a ‘tenant like manner’.

This means:

  • keeping your home reasonably clean
  • safety checks on electrical appliances you own
  • keeping gardens or outside areas in a reasonable state
  • minor maintenance such as changing light bulbs or smoke alarm batteries

You only need to maintain your home to a reasonable level. You don't have to leave it in a better condition than when you moved in.

Reporting problems

Report any repairs to your landlord as soon as possible.

Find out how to report a problem to a:

Access to your home

You must allow access to your home at reasonable times if the landlord or someone acting for them wants to inspect the condition of the property.  

You're entitled to at least 24 hours' written notice of an inspection. 

If the time isn't convenient you can suggest a better time.

Repairs you are responsible for

You're responsible for:

  • fixing appliances or furniture you own
  • damage caused by you, your family or your guests
  • any minor repairs set out in your tenancy agreement  

You might have to pay for a repair problem you caused, even if your landlord would normally be responsible. 

Your landlord could ask you to pay repair costs for things like blocked drains, pipes or toilets if you didn't take reasonable care to keep them free of blockages.

Your landlord might fix things that you've damaged but they can charge for this.

You're not responsible for normal wear and tear in your home.


Last updated 05 Aug 2019 | © Shelter

If you need to talk to someone, we’ll do our best to help

Get help

Was this advice helpful?

Email a link to this article

Thank you - your message has been sent.

Sorry! - your message has not been sent this time.

Was this advice helpful?

Thank you - your feedback has been submitted to the team.

Sorry! - your message has not been sent this time.