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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.

Their responsibilities include repairs to:

  • electrical wiring

  • gas pipes and boilers

  • heating and hot water

  • chimneys and ventilation

  • sinks, baths, toilets, pipes and drains

  • the structure and exterior of your home, including walls, stairs and bannisters, roof, external doors and windows

These are sometimes called 'section 11 repairs' because they come from section 11 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985.

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

Your tenancy agreement sets out any extra responsibilities your landlord has.

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

If you live in a flat and your landlord owns the whole building, they could also be responsible for:

  • common parts, like lifts and stairways

  • the structure and exterior of the whole property

How long does your landlord have to do the repairs?

Your landlord must carry out repairs within a reasonable period of time.

Timescales depend on how serious the problem is.

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.

You can take action if your landlord will not do repairs they're responsible for

Landlord’s responsibility for health and safety

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

Unless you have a fixed term tenancy which began before 20 March 2019, your landlord must make sure your home is fit to live in throughout your 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 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

  • making sure your home is well ventilated to help avoid condensation

  • minor maintenance such as changing light bulbs or smoke alarm batteries

You only need to maintain your home to a reasonable level. You do not 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 is no 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 did not 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.

Sample emails to landlords about repairs

See our letter templates about getting repairs done.

Last updated: 5 March 2023

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