Landlord or Tenant
If you rent your property through a private, social housing landlord or letting agent then they have certain mandatory responsibilities to ensure that the property is kept maintained and suitable for habitance.
As a tenant you also have responsibilities and a duty of care to ensure that the house is kept in good order and that your actions don’t cause damage or allow the house to fall into disrepair. All repairs should be reported to your landlord in such a time that they don’t leave the property venerable or if left could cause serious damage, the landlord will not be responsible for the repairs until any time after they are notified.
As a tenant you are responsible for:
- Looking after your home by using it in a tenant like way
- Reporting problems as soon as is reasonably practicable
- Providing access to have any repairs carried out
- Having a duty of care to your visitors
- 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.
- You are responsible for your own appliances and any items you’ve had installed
Your landlord is responsible for:
Generally, 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.
- Your landlord is responsible for all supplied electrical or gas goods
Your landlord mustn’t pass the cost of any repair work that is their responsibility on to you.
Pests and Vermin – Who’s responsible?
Rats, mice, ants, fleas slugs etc are all commonly reported to landlords as a problem but who is responsible for dealing with such problems?
Well working out who’s responsible for dealing with an infestation depends on several things, including:
- whether there’s anything about it in your tenancy agreement, or
- whether your home was infested before you moved in, or
- if the problem is being caused or made worse by disrepair, or
- if something that you’ve done or haven’t done has led to the problem.
It’s not always straightforward working out who’s responsible. An Environmental Health Officer might be able to identify the cause of an infestation, which in turn might help work out who’s responsible.
In many cases, your landlord is responsible for dealing with rising damp. This is because there’s a term implied into your tenancy agreement which says that it’s their responsibility to keep the exterior and structure of your home in repair.
If there’s a problem with an existing damp-proof course (DPC) in your home which is causing the dampness, then your landlord is likely to be responsible for repairing it. However, they need to know about the problem first.
If your home doesn’t have a DPC, your landlord may not be responsible for putting one in. This is because the work may be regarded as an improvement rather than a repair. Each case would have to be considered on its own facts.
if there’s no express term in your tenancy agreement your landlord may still be responsible under an implied term. There’s an important term implied into tenancy agreements which says that a landlord is responsible for keeping a number of things in repair.
This means that your landlord is likely to be responsible for dealing with condensation dampness where it’s caused by an underlying disrepair problem that they’re responsible for. For example:
- your heating isn’t working, or
- there isn’t enough ventilation, for example, your windows won’t open, or
- there’s an excess of water vapour in your home because of another type of damp problem, such as rising damp.
Also, where the effects of condensation dampness can be shown to have caused disrepair, for example, it has caused window frames to rot or has damaged plasterwork, the landlord is likely to be responsible. HOWEVER if the dampness or mould is caused by living conditions i.e lack of ventilation, inadequate use of supplied central heating, drying clothes on radiators, constant boiling of pots and pans, dirty living conditions or cluttered spaces then it would be the tenants responsibilities to implement change so that the condensation and subsequent mould could be maintained and managed suitably.
For further advice on problems then please see the following links: