020 3372 5125 Email us today
Enquire today

Landlords generally have an obligation to keep the property that is rented in reasonable and decent condition for tenants. Landlords and tenants both have a set of responsibilities and obligations that must be fulfilled. The Landlord and Tenant act 1985, which came into force on 30th October 1985, sets out the rights and obligations of landlords and tenants and section 11 of the Act specifically outlines whose obligation it is to repair a property when the property is rented out to tenants.

What are the repairing obligations of a Landlord?

The Act mostly covers short leases consisting of seven years or less which is commonly referred to as Assured Shorthold Tenancies. It is worth mentioning that the Landlord and Tenant act 1985 stipulates that a landlord has the following obligation:

  1. to keep in repair the structure and exterior of the dwelling-house including drains, gutters and external pipes,
  2. to keep in repair and proper working order the installations in the dwelling-house for the supply of water, gas and electricity and for sanitation (including basins, sinks, baths and sanitary conveniences but not other fixtures, fittings and applications for making use of the supply of water, has or electricity, and
  3. to keep in repair and proper working order the installations in the dwelling-house for space heating and heating water – Section 11 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985.

If the above clause is unclear and further guidance is required, contact us and our team of specialists who deal with landlord and tenant disputes will be able to undertake a detailed and professional consultation with you to resolve your dispute quickly and efficiently.

Although the Act has set out the obligations of a landlord, it similarly sets out the exceptions to the repair duties that a landlord has. Section 11 of the Act therefore, further states a landlord does not need to:

  1. carry out works or repairs for which the lessee (the tenant) is liable by virtue of his duty to use the premises in a tenant-like manner, or would be so liable but for an express covenant on his part,
  2. rebuild or reinstate the premises in the case of destruction or damage by fire, or by tempest, flood or other inevitable accident, or
  3. keep in repair or maintain anything which the lessee (the tenant) is entitled to remove from the dwelling-house – Section 11 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985.

It is clear from the above that the landlord is responsible for most of the repairs required in a property that is being rented out. As briefly mentioned above, this involves repairs to the structure and exterior of the property including, but not limited, to the roof, windows and walls. The landlord also has an obligation to ensure that the central heating system is operating as it should and that there is sufficient ventilation in the property. Should any defects occur in the drains, guttering, gas pipes, electrical wiring then, the landlord is also responsible for undertaking these repairs.  It is also worth checking the clauses in the signed tenancy agreement as this may confirm how often repairs should be undertaken by the landlord.

It is important to note that repairs that impact heat, safety and dampness, must be dealt with by the landlord either by responding to the tenant or undertaking the repairs within 14 days from the date that the repair was reported.

Landlords have a huge amount of responsibility toward their property and must ensure that the property is in decent condition which is achieved by undertaking any repairs to a good standard. However, tenants also have certain responsibilities and obligations toward the property they reside in. Tenants are expected to ensure that they keep the property clean as well as ensuring that they do not cause any damage to the property. Tenants are generally expected to undertake minor repairs such as replacing a fuse or the batteries in smoke alarms as well as changing light bulbs in the property. Further to this, tenants must repair their own appliances and furniture as this is the responsibility of the tenant if the appliances and furniture are not owned by the landlord.

Contact us today if you require further guidance as a tenant and our team of experts will be glad to assist you in your matter.

Renovations and re-decorating a property are also the landlord’s responsibility unless the renovation and/or re-decorating is required due to damage caused by the tenant, in which case, the tenant would be required to undertake the re-decorating. If the tenant does not repair the damage caused, the landlord has a right to keep a portion of the deposit in order to cover the costs of the repair.

How do I report repairs?

Tenants are able to report any repairs through written or verbal communication by utilising all methods of contact including reporting repairs in writing, by text or e-mail and even by way of a formal letter addressed to the landlord or the letting agent. If the landlord is a council or housing association, tenants may also be able to report repairs online. However, it is generally better to report repairs in writing to ensure that a tenant has proof that the repair was reported in circumstances where the landlord is refusing to undertake the requested repairs. Additionally, landlords are not obligated to undertake repairs that they have not been notified about and as such, reporting repairs will assist in ensuring that the repairs are undertaken.

For council/housing association tenants, it is expected that repairs are undertaken within a reasonable time frame. If the repair is an emergency repair, for example a burst pipe, the council has an obligation to ensure the repair is undertaken within 24 hours. For other less serious repairs, the council/housing association has between 7 and 28 days to ensure that the repair is completed to a good standard.

In circumstances where a landlord refuses to undertake the required repairs, the tenant can submit a claim in the small claims court for repairs that cost less that £5,000. This can be a lengthy and costly process and as such, some tenants may prefer to undertake the repairs but deduct the cost of the repairs from the rent payable to the landlord.

Further to the above, if it transpires that a landlord is evicting a tenant due to the tenant complaining or reporting a repair against which no action was taken to resolve the complaint or undertake the repair, then the landlord will not be able to issue a Section 21 notice which allows a landlord to evict tenants who reside at their property under an assured shorthold tenancy.

Contact us if you require further guidance as a tenant or landlord and are concerned about the condition of the property. Our team of specialist solicitors who have acquired extensive knowledge and experience with landlord and tenant disputes can resolve your matter with you professionally, honestly and efficiently.

Please call us on 020 3372 5125 or get an online consultation




    Contact our experts in Civil Litigation
    Head of Civil Litigation
    For legal advice
    call us today
    020 3372 5125
    Or complete our online enquiry form to make an appointment




      What Our Clients
      Say About Us
      Testimonials
      Dealing with Rakhi was more like having In house counsel than hiring a law firm
      So Rakhi Singal of RVS has just handled my divorce, it was a very complex case and I came to Rakhi at the very last minute on a friend’s recommendation. My case was a mess and I stood to lose everything.

      Dealing with Rakhi was more like having In-House counsel than hiring a law firm, she does not approach her clients as a cash machine like many law firms do, she works with you to manage and minimise your costs and de-escalate conflict rather than throw wood on the fire.

      She took a huge personal interest in my case, she was always available on the phone, very quick to respond to emails and is very honest and trustworthy.

      My ex had huge spending power and used a team of high profile solicitors against me, Rakhi literally saved me from complete ruin and helped me get a very fair deal with me spending 6 times less than my ex on legal fees.

      Thank you, my new family and I will be forever grateful!!!!
      What Our Clients
      Say About Us
      Testimonials
      Rakhi’s passion for her profession supersedes the norm
      On dealing with a very stressful and emotional situation involving my young child. I was personally directed to Rakhi Singal. From the very outset of my situation, Rakhi identified the immediate difficulties I faced and offered me a sympathetic and rational approach to my situation, ensuring that she had a full understanding of my issues and concerns. Rakhi’s approach to my case was monumental and customary to my needs and that of my child, which was a fundamental point for me.

      The communication and support I received in and outside of court was nothing short of extraordinary. Rakhi’s passion for her profession supersedes the norm and is clearly demonstrated through her results.
      What Our Clients
      Say About Us
      Testimonials
      Really impressed with Rakhi’s dedication to our case
      Could not be more pleased with the results!

      I approached RVS solicitors as they were highly recommended and now I completely understand why. Soon as I contacted Rakhi I knew I wanted to use her, she was so professional and easy to get along with. I was faced with clients who were refusing the pay invoices, Rakhi immediately reassured me that she was able to help me and recoup these costs. She dealt with the whole process very professionally.

      Really impressed with Rakhi’s dedication to our case and her knowledge and experience on dealing with the case. She communicated with us throughout the process, providing me with regular updates. Thank you so much, I cannot vouch for her work enough and RAW Invites are happy for you to continue to act for all their matters in the future.
      What Our Clients
      Say About Us
      Testimonials
      Very detailed advice, friendly and approachable
      Excellent service for my wife's spousal visa from Lusine: very detailed advice, friendly and approachable. Also flexible in contact by email and provided an excellent cover letter.
      What Our Clients
      Say About Us
      Testimonials
      She is professional, intelligent, hard worker and cheerful!
      I highly recommend Dr. Lusine Navasardyan, as she is professional, intelligent, hard worker and cheerful, she helped us from the beginning of our case until the very end, when she prepared a strong bundle with over 385 pages, which helped us get a successful victory in our Asylum case . I strongly recommend her as I really appreciate all the professional work that she has done . Many thanks to her.
      What Our Clients
      Say About Us
      Testimonials
      She has been very professional and a reliable person
      Dr. Lusine has been working on my case. She has been very professional and a reliable person. She was always attending to my queries and she has always been very friendly throughout my case.
      What Our Clients
      Say About Us
      Testimonials
      She is very professional while creating a friendly and comforting relationship with her clients
      I am very happy with the level and quality of service I got from Dr. Lusine Navasardyan. She is very professional while creating a friendly and comforting relationship with her clients. The service from Lusine was professional,efficient and well organised. Lusine worked extremely hard at resolving my all issues while getting the best result.
      Latest News