Landlord and tenant responsibilities for repairs

Find out who is responsible for repairs and maintenance in your rented home.

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, council and housing association landlords.

Your landlord's responsibilities include:

  • the structure and exterior of the building, including the walls, stairs and bannisters, roof, external doors and windows
  • sinks, baths, toilets, pipes and drains
  • heating and hot water
  • fixing chimneys and ventilation if they fall into disrepair (although you'll have to keep them clear of blockages)
  • gas appliances
  • electrical wiring

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

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

Check what your tenancy agreement says

Most tenants have a written tenancy agreement. This usually includes details about who is responsible for repairs. 

Your tenancy agreement could say if your landlord is responsible for repairing or replacing faulty items or appliances they provided such as a fridge or washing machine.

Your landlord must do the repairs the law says they are responsible for, even if your agreement says something different.

Your tenancy agreement 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.

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:

Gas safety

Your landlord is responsible for making sure gas appliances are safe and inspected annually by a Gas Safe engineer.

Electrical appliances

Your landlord must make sure electrical appliances and wiring in your home are safe.

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

Fire safety

Most private landlords are responsible for installing:

  • smoke alarms on each floor of your home
  • carbon monoxide detectors in rooms with a coal fire or wood burning stove

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

Tenant's responsibility for repairs and maintenance

You must use your home in a responsible way.

You should:

  • keep it clean
  • not damage the property and make sure your guests don't either
  • carry out minor maintenance such as replacing smoke alarm batteries
  • keep chimneys and ventilation free of blockages

You usually are also responsible for minor repairs, such as changing a light bulb or replacing a fuse.

Your landlord isn't responsible for fixing any appliances or furniture you own. They are your responsibility.

You probably have to pay for repairs if you cause damage to the property, even if it's accidental. You shouldn't have to pay for normal wear and tear to your home.

If you don't fix damage you've caused, your landlord could deduct money from your tenancy deposit.

Report repairs to your landlord

You should report any repairs to your landlord as soon as possible.

Your landlord doesn't have to fix repair problems in your home until they know about them.

Find out how to report a repair to a:

Last updated 02 Mar 2018 | © Shelter

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