When you agree to rent a property, you agree to take on the responsibility of maintaining that property. Before you move in your landlord should ensure that your new rental is well repaired and suitable for you to live in.
Whilst you are living on the premises, you are responsible for maintaining it to a reasonable state. Naturally, everyday issues do arise, but you need to make sure you take action to keep the property clean and tidy. For example: Cleaning up spills as scuffs soon as they happen, attending to mould (especially in older homes) and maintaining your outdoor garden so that pests arnt attracted.
During the tenancy most landlords are responsible for maintaining the rented premises to a reasonable state of repair. At all times tenants must take reasonable action to prevent any potential maintenance issues arising by keeping the premises clean and hygienic, for example: attending to spills immediately to prevent floor rot and to not invite pests or vermin, and often keeping the garden clean and tidy so pests aren’t attracted.
In most cases the landlord is responsible for all repairs to the building structure, including doors, windows, ceilings, roof, etc, however everything is clearly stated in your contract of lease (Tenancy Agreement).
Is it an ‘Emergency’?
Emergency repairs normally include the following:
- Gas Leaks
- Blocked Drains / Toilets
- Leaking roofs
- Burst Water Pipes
- Breakdown Of Essential Appliances (for hot water / cooking / heating)
- Dangerous Electrical Faults
- Serious Damage Causes By Natural Disasters ( storms, floods, hail)
If your situation is not listed above then is more than likely considered a routine repair. The Tenancy Agreement should include information about what to do in an emergency listed above and the details for your contact in an emergency situation. A good landlord/agent will have a an emergency contact list already prepared for you at the start of lease.
Do I Have To Pay?
If you are required at the time to pay for the emergency repairs, it’s often normal practice for the landlord or agent to pay you back. or pay the bill within seven days. Be sure to read your Tenancy Agreement when you move in to make sure what is and isn’t clearly stated, and get clarification where needed. You must normally provide a copy of the invoice or receipt.
What If Its Not An Emergency?
This is considered to be a ‘routine repair’.
Any request for a repair should be in writing, so that both parties can reference if needed. These requests are usually given a time period in which they will be completed.
If nothing develops, you as the tenant can then seek advice from the tribunal. The tribunal will make a decision based on your circumstances.
No matter what the circumstances, you are still legally bound to pay your rent. Failure to do so is a breach of your agreement.
But Most Importantly…
READ YOUR CONTRACT.
Although these may be the most common practices, not all contracts are the same. Make sure you read your agreement thoroughly and speak to your agent if you have any questions.