Advice for private tenants

Who is responsible for repairs to the property I rent?

Your tenancy agreement will normally set out the repair responsibilities of the landlord and the tenant. Unless the tenancy has a fixed term of more than seven years, the landlord is responsible under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 for repairs to:

  • The structure and outside of the property
  • Sinks, washbasins, baths and toilets
  • Heating and hot water installations.

The landlord is not usually responsible for repairing damage caused by the tenant, or damage to their belongings (unless the damage was caused by the landlord’s failure to carry out necessary repairs).

What about repairs to other parts of the property?

This depends on the terms of the tenancy agreement. If the agreement doesn’t say who is responsible for particular repairs, get advice from a solicitor.

How do I get my landlord to carry out repairs?

Your tenancy agreement will say whether you need to tell your landlord about the repairs in writing or by telephone.

What if the landlord won’t carry out the repairs?

Contact us online or call us on 01730 234304.

We can carry out a housing health and safety rating system (HHSRS) inspection of the property and advise you of your rights. If necessary, we will contact the landlord to ensure any work is carried out.

Can I stop paying my rent until repairs are carried out?

This is very risky as the landlord can take you to court for arrears and you may lose your right to live in the property. You can sometimes carry out the repairs and take the cost out of the rent, but you should check your tenancy agreement carefully to see exactly what your landlord is responsible for, and get some advice before you do this. Read more about withholding rent because of disrepair on the Citizens Advice website.

Is my landlord responsible for the gas fire?

If the gas fire was already in the property when you moved in, or if the landlord installed it afterwards, it’s his/her responsibility to make sure that an annual gas safety check is carried out by a Gas Safe registered installer. All other gas appliances in the property belonging to the landlord must also be checked. You are responsible for maintaining any gas appliances that belong to you.

The gas safety check record will contain details of any fault found. No appliance should be used until the fault is fixed. The landlord must give a copy of the gas safety check record to each tenant within 28 days of the check, or to any new tenant before they move in.

What can I do about damp and mould?

This may be caused by condensation, the main factors that cause this are;

  • Too much moisture being produced
  • Not enough ventilation
  • Cold surfaces
  • Temperature

You need to look at all of these factors to cure a condensation problem.