Private landlords have the responsibility to conduct most major repairs on your property. They have the responsibility to repair any structural damage, such as the roof, external walls, doors and windows. They must repair any issues with the bathroom and kitchen which effect drainage such as sinks, showers, baths and toilets. The landlord also has responsibility for repairing the heating, electric and plumbing should they need attention. Furthermore, if your property is internally damaged in any way when work is being carried out the landlord must repair this damage.
However, you landlord is not responsible for any damage you do to your own belongings in the property, and if you damage any of the items they have provided for the property they will be able to keep part of your deposit. The tenancy agreement will outline your responsibilities as a tenant, and if you have responsibility for maintenance of areas such as the garden, this is likely to be legally binding as this is not the landlord’s responsibility by law. Even if they attempt to enter a clause into your tenancy which says, for example – roof repairs are your responsibility – this would be able to be overridden in court. Your landlord cannot avoid their legal obligations.
Tenants must let their landlord know when they have an issue with the house as in general this will be all that’s needed to be able to arrange an appropriate time and course of action for fixing the issue with your landlord. In fact, if you fail to report problems to your landlord immediately and it makes them more severe than they otherwise would have been, your landlord may take money out of your deposit because of this. This would be legal if a condition of your tenancy agreement is that you report issues.
When Can My Landlord Repair My House?
Tenants have to allow reasonable access for work to be carried out on the property. You must allow the workers your landlord has provided or your landlord into the property to carry out repairs. They have to provide you notice before they enter the property. Again this is a vague term as it is ‘reasonable notice’ which is generally accepted as being 24 hours. If it is an emergency this notice period does not stand. They are only allowed to access the part of the house which requires the repairs to be done – if they look around the rest of your home without your permission this is not legal.
If your landlord does not provide contractors with keys you may have to be at home to let them into the property, and it is your responsibility to do this as it is only your landlord’s responsibility to arrange the repairs.
In terms of when they have to repair the house – there is no time limit as such. The only guideline they have to follow is that repairs are carried out within a ‘reasonable length of time.’ This can differ from job to job but serious issues such as gas problems or a leaking roof must be dealt with urgently.
f your landlord refuses to repair your property when it is their responsibility or does not complete repairs in a ‘reasonable length of time’ you may be entitled to housing disrepair compensation and you should contact a specialist solicitor today. If you need legal advice contact Roskell Davies today. To make a completely free initial enquiry call us on 0800 142 2901 or fill in an online enquiry.