Private Tenants and Landlords
Your landlord's duties
Your landlord has a responsibility to make sure the property or accommodation you are renting is maintained to a certain standard.
Unless the tenancy has a fixed term of more than seven years, the landlord is responsible for repairs to:
- The structure and exterior of the property
- Baths, sinks, basins and other sanitary installations
- Heating and hot water installations
Responsibility for other repairs depend on what agreement (if any) you have arranged with your landlord. The landlord is not responsible for repairing damage a tenant has caused. The rent the landlord charges can include a sum to cover the cost of repairs - but the landlord cannot pass this cost on to the tenant in the form of a separate service charge.
Safety of gas and electrical appliances
Landlords are required by the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 to ensure that all gas appliances are maintained in good order and that an annual safety check is carried out by a gas engineer who is registered with the Gas Safe.
The landlord must keep a record of the safety checks and issue it to the tenant within 28 days of each annual check. The landlord is not responsible for maintaining any gas appliances the tenant is entitled to take with them at the end of the letting.
Fire safety of furniture and furnishings
Landlords must ensure that any furniture and furnishings they supply meet the fire resistance requirements in the Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988 - unless they are letting to you on a temporary basis whilst, for example, working away from home.
The regulations set levels of fire resistance for domestic upholstered furniture. All new and second hand furniture provided in accommodation that is let for the first time, or replacement furniture in existing let accommodation, must meet the fire resistance requirements unless it was made before 1950.
Most furniture will have a manufacturer's label on it saying if it meets the requirements.
The landlord, or his or her agent, has a legal right to enter the property at reasonable times of the day to carry out the repairs for which they are responsible and to inspect the condition and state of repair of the property.
The landlord, or their agent, must give a tenant 24 hours' notice in writing of an inspection. Terms for access and procedures for getting repairs done are often included in the tenancy agreement to avoid any confusion at a later date.
The Council can help tenants who rent from a private landlord by requesting the owner to carry out appropriate repairs and improvements. Repairs include leaking roofs, dangerous wiring, dampness and improvements to kitchen and bathroom facilities.
Tenants involved in a dispute with their landlord can seek help and advice from the Housing Options Team. Enquiries from tenants and landlords of privately rented homes can be dealt with.
Landlords should also ensure that the electrical system and any electrical appliances that they supply (such as cookers, kettles, toasters, washing machines and immersion heaters) which he supplies are safe to use.