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Working out who is responsible for repairs

Updated: 31 Oct 2014
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Landlord and tenant repairing responsibilities should be agreed and set out in the tenancy agreement and the statement of tenancy terms. However the landlord is always responsible for gas and electrical appliances and furniture safety. If the statement is not clear on responsibility for repairs, the law will impose the following landlord and tenant repairing responsibilities:

Landlord repairing responsibilities

  • The structure and exterior of the property, including exterior paintwork, drains, gutters and external pipes
  • The interior of the property other than matters covered under tenant responsibilities
  • Any installations for the supply and use of water, gas, electricity and sanitation (including baths, sinks, wash-hand basins and toilets)
  • Any appliances provided by the landlord under the tenancy for making use of the supply of water, gas and electricity
  • Any installations for space heating and water heating
  • Any fixtures, fittings and furnishings provided by the landlord under the terms of the tenancy
  • Keeping in good repair any common areas or areas required for access
  • Keeping any area required for access adequately lit and safe to use

Tenant repairing responsibilities

  • Generally taking proper care of the property as a good tenant
  • Making good any damage to the property caused by the behaviour or negligence of the tenant, members of his/her household or any other person lawfully visiting or living in the property
  • Keeping the interior of the property in reasonable decorative order
  • Not carrying out alterations to the property without the landlord’s permission
Note: Responsibility for other repairs depends on what the landlord and tenant agree themselves.
If there is a dispute over repairing responsibilities you should get advice from Housing Rights Service or Citizens Advice Bureau.