As a tenant you have the right to have your accommodation kept in a reasonable state of repair.
You also have an obligation to look after the accommodation.
There are certain repairs which will almost always be your landlord’s responsibility, These are:
1) The structure and exterior of the premises (such as walls, floors and window frames) and,
2) The drains, gutters and external pipes.
3) If the property is a house, the essential means to access to it, such as steps from the street, are also included in ‘structure and exterior’. garden paths and steps are also included;
4) Water and gas pipes and electrical wiring (including, for example, taps and sockets);
5) Basins, sinks, baths and toilets;
6) Fixed heaters (for example, gas fires) and water heaters.
It is important to report maintenance issues to your Landlord or Agent as and when they occur to avoid the problem getting worse.
If the problem is severe, such as a boiler breaking down, then the Landlord has a responsibility to fix this as a matter of urgency, normally within 48 hours.
Urgent maintenance may include boiler breakdowns and leaks.
The majority of repairs and breakages in a rental property are down to the landlord to fix. However, there are some items that a tenant is expected to repair. The main principle is that tenants are responsible for malicious or negligent damage.
In other words, if a tenant breaks it, it is their responsibility to fix it!
Most agreements specify that tenants should maintain the property in a tenant-like manner which means not causing damage and dealing with minor defects. Changing a light bulb, or a fuse, changing batteries, or un-blocking a sink fall into this category.
The most common complaint from students is that there is mould growing in their property and they believe that they think it is “damp”.
Damp is caused by water ingress from roof leaks, blocked gutters, rising damp and cracks in external walls.
Very often, mould is not caused by damp at all and is instead down to condensation. Condensation is caused by poor ventilation in a property and moisture building on walls and around windows.
It is therefore a TENANT CAUSED PROBLEM by not opening windows or curtains, drying clothes on radiators and airers, leaving the door open when showering and cooking. Condensation looks like black spots on the walls and is an easy problem to solve by simply opening the windows on a regular basis.
A Landlord is not responsible for paying for repairs to condensation affected areas and this is a common deduction from a tenant’s deposit.
For tips on how to prevent and combat mould, see this article here: