What is your landlord responsible for

🕑 6 minute read

Landlord responsibilities: What is a landlord responsible for?

As a tenant, it’s important to know what a landlord is legally responsible for and their obligations to you.

Your landlord is responsible for:

Repairs to the property.

A landlord must repair or replace any windows, doors, fixtures, fittings or any furniture or white goods that have been supplied as part of the tenancy agreement or that break due to wear and tear.

Security.

The property has to be made secure by the landlord. This means fixing locks on doors or windows and could mean installing burglar alarms and security lighting.

Safety.

Your landlord must make sure the property has clear exits in case of a fire, working smoke alarms and is free from damp, mould and pests. 

Damage caused by landlord’s negligence.

If you tell the landlord there is a problem with the roof straight away, and they don’t get it fixed in time, they may be responsible for any damage caused due to a leak, for example.

Minimum energy efficiency standard.

A rental property must reach an EPC rating of E. A better EPC rating can make household bills cheaper for the tenant.

Always report any issues to the landlord as soon as possible so they can carry out repairs or provide replacements. If you’ve reported a problem but been ignored, try filing a complaint against your landlord.

Repairs to the property

Landlords are responsible for the upkeep of the property, except for cleaning. It’s important to note that repairs for any of the following issues should never been taken from your deposit.

A landlord should take care of the:

  • Structure of the property.
    This also includes doors, walls, windows and the stairs and banisters.
  • Property exterior.
    Brickwork, external doors and windows and the roof are part of the exterior. An issue with the roof, for example, is the landlord’s responsibility.
  • Plumbing.
    Any issues with water, heating or toilets must be repaired and maintained by the landlord. If there’s a leak, a landlord has to arrange for this to be fixed immediately.
  • Heating and gas.
    Anything that uses gas in the property, including boilers and kitchen hobs, must be fully functional. Radiators and boilers should be checked regularly to ensure they are safe. A gas safety check should be arranged every year.
  • Food Preparation.
    The kitchen area should have working appliances that have all been checked by an electrician. Anything that is broken (like the oven or fridge, for example) need to be replaced or repaired. 

Security

The landlord has a responsibility to keep you and the property secure against intruders. They will need to fix anything that could compromise the security of your house.

If they do not and you are burgled, the landlord could be sued for damages.

Landlords should make sure:

  • Fences around the property are secure, not broken or damaged, with a lockable gate.
  • Windows open, close and can be locked. If a window gets broken or damaged, they should arrange to fix it as soon as possible.
  • Broken locks must be repaired or replaced immediately.
  • If your property comes with a burglar alarm it must be in full working order. It’ll need servicing each year, and you’ll need to know the codes for setting it.

Safety

The landlord has to make sure that the property is safe to live in. Your landlord should ensure that the property includes:

  • Fire alarms, which are tested regularly.
  • Carbon monoxide detectors.
  • Safe water supply.
  • Working toilets and sanitation.
  • Heating.

The property must also be kept free of mould, mildew, or damp that could cause harm or illness to you or make the property uninhabitable.

A landlord should also make sure that any pests are dealt with safely and quickly to avoid any distress or damage to the property.

 

“Statutory nuisance”

A landlord can be liable for “statutory nuisance” if an issue has caused interference with the enjoyment of your home, or it could cause injury or health issues.

If the landlord has not helped resolve these issues, you could seek legal action. For example, damp or mould in your home must be fixed by the landlord. Also potential hazards to yourself and the wide community, like asbestos, faulty electrical work or pests.

Damage caused by negligence

Ensuring that damage is fixed quickly and adequately is essential for everyone, especially you as the tenant.

If there’s an issue with your rental property, make your landlord aware of this in writing. If this issue is ignored and allowed to get worse, you could seek compensation from your landlord.

For example, if there’s a pluming issue that’s ignored by your landlord, which subsequently floods the property, you could claim for any ruined possessions.

This would be classed as a ‘private nuisance’. Where a landlord controls property and has neglected to maintain a part of the building.

FAQs

Is the landlord responsible for pest control?

Your landlord is responsible for repairs to stop pests from getting in and for removing infestations.

Is the landlord responsible for a clogged drain?

Yes, they are responsible for maintaining the drains, pipes and plumbing in the home. 

Is it the landlord’s responsibility to fix a broken washing machine?

Yes, if your landlord has supplied the washing machine that worked when you moved in, they have a responsibility to replace or repair it.

Is the landlord responsible for removing mould?

The landlord is responsible for getting the mould sorted and fixing any underlying issues causing the issue.

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