Repairs in private rented housing
Repairs: rights and responsibilities
Reporting repairs and getting them done can cause problems between private tenants and their landlords.
A good starting point is to know who is responsible for what . . .
property must be dry, safe and structurally stable. It must have
adequate heating, drainage, lighting, ventilation, toilet and bathing
facilities. It should meet minimum health and safety standards.
landlord is responsible for repairs to the structure of the building:
the roof, windows, doors, drains, gutters, baths, sinks, toilets,
heating, hot water, damp and general building repairs. You must also
repair damage that was caused by someone with no connection to the
tenant - for example during a break-in or vandalism.
tenant must do minor jobs, like replacing fuses, or clearing a blocked
sink. They must also repair damage that they or their visitors have
When a repair needs doing,
the tenant must tell the landlord in writing as soon as possible - or
by phone if it's an emergency (such as a burst pipe).
landlord has a 'reasonable time' to do the repair. There are no hard
and fast rules about how long work should take; it depends on the
urgency of the job. A blocked toilet should be repaired much more
quickly than a sticking window for example.
If you are a tenant and the repair isn't done in a reasonable time, even after reminding the landlord, do not stop paying your rent.
has the right to come into your home to check what needs repair. But
they must give at least 24 hours notice, and must come at an agreed
time - as quickly as possible if it's an emergency job.