Is your landlord not fulfilling their duty?

April 2018

Courtyard Solicitor's Partner; Jonathan Lynn, is a specialist in landlord and tenant law, and housing disrepair, so if you feel that this is an area you need help with please read on...


Rights and Responsibilities

The rights set out below apply to almost all  tenancies whether the landlord is a local authority, housing association or a private landlord.

The rights and responsibilities  are contained in the law and apply to all tenancies.   The tenant’s rights can be extended in the terms of the tenancy agreement but landlords can not evade their responsibilities whatever is in the tenancy agreement.

Landlord's Repairing Duties

The landlord is responsible for repairs to:
the structure and exterior of the building, including the walls, stairs  and the roof
external doors and windows
sinks, baths, toilets, pipes and drains
heating and hot water
chimneys and ventilation
electrical wiring
The landlord also must put right any damage to internal decorations caused by problems of the type set out above or while repairs were carried out.

The landlord has a duty to repair or replace faulty items or appliances they provided, such as a fridge or washing machine. The landlord isn't responsible for fixing any appliances or furniture that belong to the tenant.

The landlord doesn't have to fix repair problems until they know about them.

Gas, Electrical and Fire Safety

The landlord is responsible for keeping gas and electrical appliances they provide in safe working order.  They must arrange an annual gas safety inspection to be carried out by a registered Gas Safe engineer.

Most private landlords are responsible for installing smoke alarms on each floor of a rented residence and installing carbon monoxide detectors in rooms with a coal fire or wood burning stove.

Landlords must also make sure any furniture they provide meets fire safety regulations. .

Landlord's responsibility for health and safety

Landlord’s have a duty to make sure that a rented property is free from any threats  that could affect the health and safety of anyone in the occupying household.

Health hazards can include damp and and mould (even if this is not caused by a defect to the structure or exterior).

Repairs to Communal Areas

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

Tenant's Responsibilities

Tenants must use their home in a responsible way.

This includes:

keeping it clean
not damaging the property,
making sure that guests don't damage it
carrying out minor maintenance
using the heating properly
keeping it ventilated
Tenants will usually have to pay for repairs if they cause damage to the property, even if it's accidental. This isn't the same as fair wear and tear.

If  damage caused by the tenant is not fixed  then the landlord could take money from the deposit to pay for repairs.

Tenants are normally also responsible for minor repairs.

Taking Action

We can advise you on the merits of  a claim for disrepair, including visiting your home to see the extent and nature of the disrepair.  In cases where there is a good case to be brought (ie where there is disrepair that the landlord knows about and which has not been fixed) then we may be able to bring a case for you under a no win no fee agreement.

Call us free of charge on 0800 302 9322 and without any obligation to discuss whether we can help. We are based in Wimbledon but are mot than happy to act for tenants all over London and the South East.