December 11

What Are a Landlord’s Responsibilities for Repairs?

Maintaining a Buy-to-Let Property Effectively

As the owner of a buy-to-let property, you have many landlord responsibilities. Privately rented homes should be kept free from hazards and be a safe place for your tenants to live. Therefore, most repairs and maintenance issues will fall on your shoulders. You are responsible for fixing any issues that could make your property dangerous for your tenants to reside in and in accordance with the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018.

What Parts of a Buy-To-Let Property Are a Landlord’s Responsibility to Repair?

Most maintenance and repairs will fall on your shoulders. Your responsibilities as a landlord are to repair any of the following:

  • Damage to your property’s structure and exterior
  • Broken sanitary fittings such as baths, sinks, pipes and drains
  • Heating and hot water appliances
  • Gas appliances, including pipes, and ventilation
  • All electrical wiring
  • Any additional damage caused by attempting repairs

Tenants also have some responsibilities to maintaining the property, but these are generally for smaller issues such as:

  • Keeping the property clean
  • Safety checks on the appliances in the property such as gas and electrical appliances and carbon monoxide detectors
  • Keeping outdoor areas tidy and in reasonable order
  • Minor maintenance such as changing lightbulbs or batteries in smoke alarms
  • Paying for repairs if they damage another property – for example, through leaking water from an overflowing sink or bath

How Long Do You Have to Get Repairs Done?

You can only make repairs if you know that there is an issue with the property. It is your tenant’s responsibility to inform you of any maintenance issues, which they should do as soon as possible.
The type of maintenance issue that arises, and the tenant need, will determine the immediacy with which it needs fixing. Properties should always be safe to live in, so if an issue arises that makes the property unsafe, such as an electrical fault that is causing a fire hazard, this should be dealt with as soon as possible.
In 2015, legislation was introduced to set a timeframe for repairs to UK rental properties. However, this only applies in certain circumstances. For example, if you have a problem that is posing a risk to your tenant’s health, then it must be fixed within two weeks of being reported.
If you do not make repairs within a suitable time, your tenant can report you to your local authority, who may then take action to ensure you make the necessary repairs.

Make Reporting Maintenance Issues Easy for Your Tenants

Keeping your property well-maintained means there will rarely be a need for any costly maintenance repairs.
A Citizens Advice survey found that almost one in four tenants have issues getting repairs completed by their landlords. To keep your property in good condition, you should make it easy for your tenants to report any maintenance issues. Our repair reporting system achieves this. By reporting issues as soon as they appear, you can get them fixed quickly and prevent them from getting worse, which could end up resulting in a costly bill.
Understanding your responsibilities and making the reporting process easy will keep your tenants happy and mean you can avoid possible fines form your local authority.
Some simple steps you can take to improve your reporting process include:

  • Providing tenants with the phone number for your preferred handyman, plumber and electrician. You can stick these numbers to the fridge and ask tenants to call them in emergencies, such as a burst pipe.
  • Keeping open communication with your tenants. Give them a number they can reach you on and let them know the best times to get hold of you. Assure them that they can report any issues to you and make yourself approachable.
  • Keeping communication in one place. For example, you may use WhatsApp or email to communicate with your tenants. You should log and record all communications regarding a maintenance issue in one location. This will make it easy for you to keep records and ensure that both you and your tenants stay on the same page.


You have a legal responsibility as a landlord to keep your property safe for your tenants. This includes making necessary repairs to the structure and appliances of your property. Legislation around landlord responsibilities can be confusing, but it’s important that you understand what aspects of your property are for you to repair.
Not making necessary repairs can lead to tenants reporting you to your local authority, who may force you to carry out the work, issue fines, and, in the worst-case scenario, ban you from being a landlord.
Our advice is, don’t take the risk. Take the effortless property management route instead. To find out how to contact Ezytrac today at +44 0 1522 503 717.
Live with passion
Brett Alegre-Wood


landlord responsibilities

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