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Landlord and tenant responsibilities for repairs

Your landlord is responsible for most repairs in your home.

As a tenant, you are responsible for looking after your home, reporting repairs or damp and letting the landlord or contractors in to inspect the property or fix problems.

Video: Who is responsible for repairs?

Video transcript

Your landlord is responsible for most of the repairs to your home.

This includes:

  • the main structure of your home

  • walls

  • windows

  • the roof

It also includes the supply of gas, water, electricity and sanitation, including:

  • pipes

  • wires

  • plug sockets

They're also responsible for space heating and heating water. So that’s the boiler that heats your water and your home.

As a tenant, it’s your responsibility to inform the landlord of any repairs that are needed.

It’s a good idea to inform the landlord as soon as possible and keep a record of what you’ve told them and when, just in case you need it later.

Your landlord should do the repairs as soon as they can. But a lot can depend on the nature of the repair, whether parts need to be ordered or contractors arranged.

Our Shelter adviser explains who is responsible for repairs in a rented home.

Landlord repair responsibilities

Private landlords, housing associations and councils must sort out repairs to:

  • electrical wiring

  • gas pipes and boilers

  • heating and hot water

  • ventilation and chimneys

  • sinks, baths and toilets

  • plumbing and drains

  • internal and external walls

  • stairs and bannisters

  • doors and windows

  • the roof

Your landlord is always responsible for these repairs even if your tenancy agreement does not say this. They are sometimes called 'section 11 repairs' because they come from section 11 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985.

If you live in a flat

The freeholder who owns the building may be responsible for:

  • common parts, like lifts and stairways

  • the structure and exterior of the whole property

You should tell your landlord or agent about problems so they can report them to the freeholder or management company.

Check your contract for extra repair rights 

Your tenancy agreement might give you extra repair rights. 

For example, it could say that the landlord is responsible for repairing faulty appliances such as a fridge or washing machine.

How long should repairs take?

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

Timescales depend on how serious the problem is.

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

Find out more about:

Landlord health and safety responsibilities

Your landlord should make sure that your home is safe and free from any hazards. It should be fit to live in throughout your tenancy.  

Damp and mould

Your landlord must look for the causes of damp and deal with it if it's caused by disrepair.

Find out more about:

Safety in your home

Find out about:

Rats, mice and other pests

Find out out who is responsible for pest control in a rented home.

Tenant responsibilities

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

This means:

  • looking after your home

  • keeping gardens or outside areas in a reasonable state

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

  • small jobs likes changing light bulbs or smoke alarm batteries

You do not have to leave your home in a better condition than when you moved in.

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

Letting your landlord inspect 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 must get at least 24 hours' written notice of an inspection. 

If the time is not convenient you can suggest a better time.

Reporting problems

Report any repairs to your landlord as soon as possible.

Find out how to:

Repairs you are responsible for

You're responsible for:

  • fixing appliances or furniture you own

  • damage caused by you, your family or your guests

You might have to pay for damage you cause, even if your landlord has to fix it. 

For example, your landlord might ask you to pay for things like blocked drains or toilets if you did not take reasonable care to keep them unblocked.

Letter templates for private renters

Use our letter templates to ask for repairs or inspections.

Last updated: 21 May 2024

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