What Repairs Is My Landlord Liable For? A Legal Overview
Article provided by DisrepairClaim.co.uk:
Unfortunately, disrepair is all too common in rented homes in the UK and the problem appears to be getting worse. Disrepair is also often left unattended for a long time due to tenants being completely unaware of their legal rights.
Lots of tenants have limited knowledge of which repairs their landlord is responsible for. This means that many tenants have a difficult and stressful time communicating their disrepair issues to their landlords.
If you are renting, whether private or otherwise, your first goal should be to understand which maintenance and repair issues fall under the care of your landlord. This information is typically included in the tenancy agreement or contract handed to you before your tenancy begins. Knowing what your landlord is liable for will protect you from potential issues that arise out of your disrepair problems.
Your Landlord's Repair Responsibilities
Whether you are renting privately, from a housing association, or from a council, most major repairs in your home are the landlord's responsibilities. Section 11 of the Landlord and Tenant Act of 1985 states that your landlord is liable for various repairs that might crop in your home.
Your landlord must ensure that your home is fit for human habitation. A rented home that is unfit for human habitation may have the following disrepair issues:
- Damp and mould
- Poor ventilation
- Unsafe water supply
- Rodent infestation
- Gutter/plumbing issues
- Broken boiler
- Faulty electrics
- Broken doorways and windowsills
- Structural cracks
- Missing or loose tiles
- Asbestos being present
Damage that results from the presence of pests and rodents like mice and rats are also the responsibility of your landlord.
The Landlord and Tenant Act prohibits landlords from charging their tenants for the repairs that are their responsibility. Additionally, even repairs that are not specifically indicated in your tenancy agreement can be the landlord's responsibility
Your landlord should also schedule regular property check-ups so they will know if there are potential future issues or areas that need to be repaired. They are required to inform you 24 hours before they require access to the property, and cannot simply turn up and expected to be let in.
What Is My Landlord Not Liable For?
There are a few things that are the tenant's responsibility rather than the landlord's. The law indicates that a tenant must use their home in a -tenant-like- way. Generally speaking, this means:
- Carrying out minor repairs, like changing fuses and light bulbs
- Keeping your home clean
- Not causing damage to the property
- Using utilities correctly, such as not blocking the toilet by flushing something unsuitable down it
Your landlord is also not responsible for any cosmetic changes you may wish to carry out, like changing the wallpaper or carpet.
Informing Your Landlord About The Disrepair
Your landlord is required to only act on disrepair in home that they know about. If you do not inform your landlord right away about the disrepair issues in your rented home, you cannot force them to carry out the repairs.
Ensure that as soon as you spot any disrepair in your home, you communicate with your landlord and provide them with the details of the problem as soon as possible.
It is also the landlord's responsibility to provide you with convenient options to get in touch with them, like giving you a phone number or email address at the start of your tenancy.
Your landlord should then be given enough time to acknowledge the repairs that need carrying out your home. Initially, they must be given a -reasonable amount of time- to respond to the repair requests. This period is a bit of a grey area, but generally speaking, if you haven't had a response within 28 days you should seek further legal help.
Who Can File A Housing Disrepair Claim?
If your landlord isn't replying to your requests, you can potentially file a housing disrepair claim. There are certain criteria that must be met in order to file a housing disrepair claim. Eligibility will be dependent on a few things, including:
- Whether you live in a rented flat or home
- Whether you rent privately or socially
- What the disrepair issue
- Whether you have reported the issue to your landlord
- What steps, if any, your landlord has taken to resolve the issue
If your landlord is refusing to fix an issue in the rented home that is their responsibility, you can claim compensation. This compensation will vary from case to case, but generally a successful claim can receive compensation for:
- Damage to belongings - Ruined clothing or electrical items from damp, mould, and/or leaks
- Personal injury - Pneumonia, asthma, and gastrointestinal problems can all be caused by disrepair. Many people also suffer from mental health problems due to housing disrepair
- General inconvenience compensation
If you feel ignored by your landlord despite raising concerns about disrepair, you can file a housing disrepair claim. This can often be the push the landlord needs to get the problems sorted swiftly and can ensure that you have suitable living conditions.
Many tenants are unaware of their legal rights, and no one deserves to live in a damp, cold home. Finding a friendly team of housing disrepair solicitors can help with any of the legal requirements and processes for your potential claim.
You will likely be asked to provide evidence of the disrepair and your efforts to inform your landlord. This can be in the form of photos of any disrepair problems, emails, texts or letters to your landlord, and any potential medical reports if it has affected your health.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
DisrepairClaim.co.uk specialise in helping people obtain the compensation they're entitled to when a landlord fails to carry out repairs. They work with expert surveyors from across the country to inspect your home. This ensures repairs are carried out properly and that you receive the maximum amount of compensation possible. They operate on a no win, no fee basis and can provide a no obligation review of your case. Contact:
9 Portland Street
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