There are so many things to think when it comes to renting. It helps to be clued up on what to expect, and the main things you should know about. For example when it comes to repairs in rented accommodation, whose responsibility is it? You would assume your landlord is responsible for most things, but in reality they don't have to do everything.
There are small things like replacing light bulbs which is entirely your responsibility. What repairs can you expect to get help with and what do you do if your landlord won't help? Before renting a property, you should know your rental rights, and what is expected of you. So, read on to find out who handles what and how to handle issues which you may come across.
The Tenant's rental agreement
As a tenant, you are responsible for looking after your home in a ‘tenant-like’ way, this includes things such as:
- Doing minor repairs yourself, such as changing fuses and light bulbs
- Keeping your home reasonably clean
- Not causing any damage to the property and making sure your visitors don’t either
- Using any fixtures and fittings properly, for example, blocking a toilet
You are also responsible for telling your landlord about any minor or major damages which are in need of repair which you cannot fix yourself, although fixing things yourself should mainly be avoided in case the situation is made worse or if it is a safety hazard.
Your tenancy agreement may also set out some express terms on what your responsibilities are for repairs, for example, that you are responsible for decorating your home. Your landlord cannot include a term in your tenancy agreement that would pass on any of their repair responsibilities to you, for example, that you are responsible for repairs to the roof. This type of term would not have any force in law.
The Landlords agreement
Generally your landlord is responsible for things such as:
• the structure and exterior of your home, for example, the walls, roof, foundations, drains, guttering and external pipes, windows and external doors
• basins, sinks, baths, toilets and their pipework
• water and gas pipes, electrical wiring, water tanks, boilers, radiators, gas fires, fitted electric fires or fitted heaters.
However, one important thing to remember is your landlord mustn't pass the cost of any repair work that is their responsibility onto you.
Reporting repairs to your landlord
In most cases, your landlord isn't responsible for repair work until they know about it, so it's up to you to tell them about any repairs that are needed.
Reporting repairs is often a condition of your tenancy agreement, so you may have to report any problems even if they seem quite small or if you’re not too concerned about getting them fixed.
Visitors, damage and repairs
As a tenant, you are completely responsible for your visitors. If you or someone visiting your home accidentally or deliberately causes damage, you'll be responsible for repairing it. You should tell your landlord about the repair work needed. They may agree to do the work themselves and then recharge the cost to you, or they may agree to you fixing it yourself.
If you live in private rented accommodation and you don't repair the damage, your landlord will probably claim some money out of your tenancy deposit when you move out.
The Citizen’s Advice website provides some helpful info on what to expect from your landlord. Click here for more information.