Property Maintenance and Repairs – What are Landlords responsible for?

Property News

As a renter, you may assume that your landlord is responsible for all repairs to the property you rent and for the most part this is true. The law requires that your landlord does whatever is necessary to maintain the upkeep of the property and generally to keep it safely habitable. This means that if a repair is necessary to the good running of the property, it’s probably down to your landlord to deal with it. There are, however, a couple of exceptions and you need to be aware of them.

Your landlord does not have to put right damage you cause

In a rental situation, most of the obligations relating to the house lie with your landlord, however as a tenant, you are also expected to act responsibly. For example, you are expected to keep the property in a reasonable state of cleanliness, respect features which are there for your safety (such as for ventilation or to allow you to escape from fire) and to ensure that anyone you allow into your home is adequately supervised.

This includes not only guests, but, for example, any tradespeople who are brought into the house at your request. In general, you would also be expected to carry out basic maintenance tasks, such as changing light bulbs or batteries. There are a few points which are particularly worth noting here.

  1. Your landlord is not expected to be psychic, you are responsible for making them aware of any repairs which need to be undertaken and being realistic about the level of severity.
  2. To a certain extent, damage is in the eye of the beholder, in other words, if your landlord forbids you from making changes to the property and you do so, you may still be held to have damaged the property.
  3. Determining responsibility can be tricky. For example, you may think that dealing with pest control is your landlord’s responsibility and, in principle, it is, but if your landlord can demonstrate that you have not been keeping the property sufficiently clean, basically attracting them, you may find yourself paying for the removal of the pests.

Your landlord does not necessarily have to pay for “value-add” items

Traditionally, one of the most common areas of disagreement between landlords and tenants has been the issue of TV aerials and here the law tends to be on the side of the landlord since it does not view having a TV to being essential to the integrity and safety of a home. If, however, the ability to ensure TV reception is specified as part of the lettings agreement, then the landlord may have a contractual responsibility to replace a defective aerial.

Having said that, you may well find that if you ask your landlord nicely, they will replace the defective aerial to keep a good tenant happy since it will almost certainly be less hassle to them than finding a new tenant, or at least may offer to put some money towards the installation of a new aerial. If not, then the good news is that even high-quality TV aerials are still very affordable purchases.

Author Bio

Orbital Aerials are a nationwide TV Aerials specialist with a wide range of digital television and aerial services across the country including repairs, servicing, equipment upgrades and TV aerial installations.

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