As a landlord, you have an obligation to ensure that the properties that you take care of are in pristine condition and are habitable for any tenant that you may acquire. Not only is it a legal requirement to ensure that the tenants of your properties are living in a safe and secure environment, it is also in the landlord’s financial interests to make sure that the properties in question are kept in a good condition.
What Are the Landlord’s Responsibilities?
When it comes to the responsibilities of the landlord, the most important thing is that it’s the landlord’s duty to carry out repairs within the house.
If you have a written tenancy agreement and it shows landlord’s obligations to perform repairs when necessary, this is referred to as an express term. However, if you don’t have a written tenancy agreement, then whatever you and your landlord agree orally will hold, but this can sometimes be difficult to prove.
However, one of the most important factors of a written, or oral, express term is that a landlord cannot include this term within the tenancy agreement if it means that their legal obligations would be reduced. This means passing on their responsibilities to the tenants. By law, this must be the landlord’s responsibility.
There is also an implied term, which can be applied to a tenancy agreement even if it hasn’t been stated. It was introduced into all tenancy agreements via the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 section 11, which states that the landlord is responsible for keeping in repair:
- the structure and exterior of the house, for example, the walls, roof, foundations, drains, windows, doors, etc.
- sinks, baths, toilets, and their pipework
- water and gas pipes, electrical wires, boilers, radiators, fitted heaters, and other important equipment
As well as this, the landlord isn’t allowed to pass on the cost of any repair work a tenant – it is their responsibility entirely.
Consequences of Lack of Maintenance
If a property does not receive continuing maintenance, and if house repairs are not dealt with quickly and effectively, there are various consequences. The first of which is that it will most likely cost more and take longer when maintenance or repairs are left late on. As well as this, the value of a property in disrepair is drastically lowered, which results in a decrease in both its investment and rental income potential.
Many landlord insurance providers expect homeowners to maintain their property to the standard of the relevant UK legislation. Therefore, if a landlord fails to do this, their claims could eventually, or immediately, be denied.
Possibly the most important consequence that could occur if a landlord leaves house repairs or doesn’t deal with them safely is the health and safety risks it causes for the tenants, which could lead to accidents or illness.
An example of this would be if a pipe had burst in the bathroom. The landlord decides to fix it but they didn’t do it correctly and then the pipe bursts again without anyone knowing. If this continues, this could cause untold damage to the house and the tenants, which the landlord would be completely liable for.
Because of these factors, there are three main reasons as to why landlords need to maintain their properties: to maintain the health and safety of them and their tenants, protect their house if something drastic occurs, and to maintain investment and rental income.
It is incredibly important for landlords to maintain their properties, as it will ensure that the tenants are living in a safe and secure environment, as well as making sure that they are happy with the house that you are providing them.
At RB Surveyor Services, we are leading surveyors around the country, and we are able to provide residential surveyors for anything from building surveys to planned maintenance and contract administration for tenants and landlords. If you would like to know more information, then please don’t hesitate to contact us today on 01244 457 937 and we will be more than happy to help with any enquiries you may have.