Under Section 11 Landlord And Tenant Act 1985, landlords are obliged to keep the premises they let in a good state of repair during the tenancy.
As well as the legal requirement to ensure that a property is safe and fit for human habitation if you want to rent it out, landlords must also provide heat, electricity, light and sanitation.
For their part, tenants must take care of the property and not misuse it or do anything which might cause it to deteriorate.
Where either party fails to meet these requirements, disputes can arise and it may be necessary to speak to a solicitor to prevent the situation from escalating.
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Understanding Section 11 Of The Landlord And Tenant Act 1985
Under section 11 of the Landlord and Tenant Act, a landlord is required to ensure basic repairs are made to properties let under assured shorthold tenancies, periodic tenancies and other short-lease tenancy agreements. This includes all tenancies except those that commenced before October 1961 or where the tenancy is for a fixed term of seven years or more.
What Is The Landlord Required To Do Under Section 11 Of The Landlord And Tenant Act?
The Act requires the landlord to carry out necessary works to comply with the following:
- Keeping in good repair the exterior of the building, such as the roof, guttering, drains and pipework as well as internal walls, plasterwork and stairways.
- Keeping in good repair and working order water, gas and electrical installations as well as sanitary appliances such as toilets, sinks, baths and showers. This includes pipework, water tanks, wiring and heating and water systems.
If the tenant caused the damage to the property, then the landlord is not obligated to repair this and the tenant is required to have any necessary work done at their expense. Where the landlord arranges for works to be carried out, they may be able to take the cost from the tenant’s deposit, although care should be taken not to breach the tenant’s rights.
Where the damage was caused by fire, flood or other similarly unavoidable incident, the landlord is not obligated to carry out the repairs. In this case, the buildings insurer will usually be involved in paying for the necessary remedial works.
Fixtures And Fittings To Be Provided And Maintained By The Landlord
Landlords are also obligated to keep the property safe and in good condition. This includes the following:
- Ensuring toilets, the water supply and the drainage system are in good working order and that adequate sinks are provided
- Heating for both water and for the property
- Providing electricity and having electrical safety checks carried out at least once every five years by qualified professionals certifying that the electrical systems are safe to use
- Where gas is supplied to the property, the gas systems must be in good working order and inspected annually by certified gas safety engineers, with a gas safety certificate supplied to the tenant
- Smoke alarms should be provided and maintained with regular checks carried out
- Appliances such as fridges, freezers and washing machines should be kept in good working order where they are provided by the landlord
Obligations On The Part Of The Tenant
Tenants are required to look after the property and the fixtures and fittings. This includes doing any necessary small maintenance tasks such as cleaning as well as avoiding anything which could cause damage and using electrical and other appliances properly.
Where issues arise, such as blockages or breakages, tenants should deal with these, notifying the landlord if it is not an issue they can rectify themselves.
The property should be properly ventilated and kept clean. If the landlord has imposed rules, such as a ban on smoking, these must be observed.
If an issue arises and it is the landlord’s responsibility to deal with it, then the tenant must report this. If the tenant fails to advise the landlord and the landlord did not know about the problem, the landlord will not be liable for failing to deal with it.
Repairs And Maintenance By The Landlord
The landlord or the workmen they have employed will need to be granted access to the property where repairs or maintenance are needed. The landlord should give the tenant 24 hours’ notice of this where possible, unless it is an emergency, such as flooding or a gas leak.
The tenant is required to allow people into the property to inspect it and carry out repairs once notice has been given. Repairs should be carried out within a reasonable time. The landlord should again give notice of this and request access at a time that the tenant can agree. Where the tenant does not allow access despite repeated attempts to arrange this by the landlord, the landlord will have a defence if they are accused of failing to keep the property in good repair.
When Landlord And Tenant Disputes Arise
Disputes between landlords and tenants can become entrenched if they are not dealt with quickly. If you are involved in an ongoing disagreement, you are advised to seek legal advice from an expert landlord and tenant solicitor.
At Solicitors Near Me, our landlord and tenant solicitors are experienced in resolving disputes quickly and often without the need to commence formal litigation proceedings. Once a solicitor is involved, it can help the other party understand that the situation is not going to go away and they will often see that the issue needs to be dealt with.
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