When you pay rent to your landlord you need to be aware of the rights you have if there is a problem.
As a tenant, you have the right to live in a home that is kept in a reasonable state of repair. The Landlord is legally responsible to maintain it under section 11 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985.
Your landlord is responsible for repairing:
- the structure and exterior of your home, for example, the walls, roof, foundations, drains, guttering and external pipes, windows and external doors.
- basins, sinks, baths, toilets and their pipework.
- water and gas pipes, electrical wiring, water tanks, boilers, radiators, gas fires, fitted electric fires or fitted heaters.
You as a tenant also have responsibilities:
- doing minor repairs yourself, such as changing fuses and light bulbs.
- keeping your home reasonably clean.
- not causing any damage to the property and making sure your visitors don’t cause any damage.
- using any fixtures and fittings properly, for example, not blocking a toilet by flushing something unsuitable down it.
- informing the landlord of any repairs.
- providing access to have any repair work done.
- having a duty of care to your visitors.
If repairs need doing you should inform the landlord as soon as possible in writing and give them a reasonable deadline to carry out repairs. You should carry on paying rent while waiting. There are options available if the repairs are not carried out such as informing the housing department and/or environmental health departments at your local council. You can also arrange for repairs to be carried out and deduct the cost from the rent; however please seek legal advice before doing so as there is a procedure which must be followed.
Another option includes taking legal action for a court to order your landlord to carry out the repair work needed. The court can also be asked to consider ordering the landlord to pay compensation for inconvenience and any damage to personal property or health.