Maintenance on a tenanted property. Who is responsible for what?

17 08 2011

 In view of some recent maintenance issues we have dealt with, we thought this may be of some help in understanding as to who the responsibility lies with.

 The Landlord.

 The Landlord is obligated to carry out repairs to the exterior and structure of the building. Landlords are responsible for maintaining utility appliances and equipment such as water, gas and electric along with bathroom facilities. By law, gas appliances should be serviced once a year by a Gas Safe Register engineer.

Electrical wiring, sockets and appliances provided by the Landlord, radiators, heating ducts, boilers, cisterns, water tanks, sinks, toilets, baths and pipes for heating like gas and water pipes are included in the landlords maintenance responsibilities in all residential lettings.

Structural issues with the building require the landlord’s attention which includes damage to the guttering, roof, exterior walls and exterior pipes and drains.

Windows and doors are only required to be fixed by the landlord as a result of age or structural problems, not damage caused by the tenant (eg. a smashed window). If the exterior of the property is damaged and affecting the interior as a result, then the landlord is required to fix the problem inside and outside the building.

 The Tenant

 The tenant is required to generally look after the property. They must ensure it is kept clean and tidy, undamaged and that general maintenance is carried out such as:

•basic cleaning of drains

•oiling locks and hinges

•changing light bulbs

•garden maintenance

•changing fuses

•bleeding radiators

•responsible use of heating system

 A common problem.

 Water Damage and Dampness

The landlord is responsible for dealing with repairs for any damp-related damage as a result of a damaged wall or roof, from leaking pipes or ill-fitting sealants. Dampness in property lettings can also arise from condensation from poor ventilation, insulation or heating. The landlord would need to remedy these problems and not the tenant.

 If however the tenants are not ventilating the property properly for example, drying clothes without ventilation or not using windows or an extractor fan to remove steam after showering, then the landlord is not normally responsible for redecorating if there’s dampness. Instead providing and encouraging the use of a dehumidifier or installing extractor fans in bathrooms and kitchens of the property rentals maximises the potential of reducing general dampness.




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