A well-maintained home can make a world of difference to your physical and mental health. For the most part, your landlord is responsible for making repairs to your home. Your landlord should ensure your home is fit to live in and respond to any complaints you may have.
However, you are responsible for the damage you, your family and guests cause. Make sure to report repairs as soon as possible, so they don’t get worse over time.
Please note that you do not have the right to withhold rent because your landlord refuses to do repairs. Withholding rent could lead to eviction!
Here is what your landlord is responsible for, and what to do when they ignore your repair requests.
What is the landlord responsible for?
Your landlord is responsible for anything that is included in your tenancy agreement. This includes the structure of the property, sinks, baths, toilets, pipes, wiring, heating, hot water and the safety of gas and electric appliances.
If your property isn’t safe to live in, your landlord needs to address the problem. Your home may be far too hot or cold, infested with rats or cockroaches or too damp. It doesn’t matter if the issue began before you moved in or during the tenancy – your landlord has to make sure it’s fit for human habitation.
You, however, are responsible for minor repairs like changing light bulbs and fuses. Make sure to fix anything you have damaged during your tenancy to avoid future problems with your landlord.
Damp is a tricky one. It depends what sort of damp it is and what caused it. Research your damp problem thoroughly and ask your landlord on what to do.
Landlord ignoring your emails? Submit a claim
If your landlord is consistently refusing to repair the property, consider hiring a housing disrepair solicitor to help you.
Before you submit a claim against your landlord, gather as much evidence as possible. This can include photos of the damage, especially if the issue has gotten worse over time. Collect any letters, texts, emails or notes of conversations with your landlord and letting agent as well.
If they haven’t replied to these emails and texts, consider chasing them up to remind your landlord of their responsibilities to do repairs. Try to compromise on the level of repair and when the landlord can fix the issue.
Be flexible and provide a reasonable amount of time for the landlord to reply.
Furthermore, gather all the receipts of items you’ve had to replace, a copy of your tenancy agreement and any letters from your GP if the problem has made you ill.
If you go through a letting agent and they haven’t passed on your requests to the landlord, file a complaint.