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Landlord responsibilities: what repairs are landlords responsible for?

By Manjit Kataora

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We are frequently asked what landlord obligations for repairs are during a tenancy. This is an important topic for you to know the law on, so we asked an expert. In this article, Manjit Kataora Director - Legal and Compliance at Foxtons shares what you need to know about your responsibilities to repair your let property, as a London landlord.

In any tenancy, the number one priority is tenant safety. Granting an assured shorthold tenancy triggers a number of obligations for landlords, each of which help to ensure that tenants not only enter a safe property but remain safe during their stay.

Health and safety for tenants

The most common type of tenancy is the assured shorthold (AST). With ASTs becoming increasingly lengthier due to market conditions, complying with and responding to safety issues is more important than ever. For properties that have gas, landlords must provide the tenant with a gas safety certificate, and to ensure a valid certificate remains in place for the duration of the tenancy. Failing to provide a copy of the certificate can prevent a landlord recovering possession if they later need to.

The Electrical Safety Standards impose duties on landlords to carry out detailed checks on the electrical installations fitted to their properties in the form of EICR reports. A copy of the report must be given to the tenant within 28 days of it being carried out. Significant fines of up to £30,000 lay in wait for landlords who fail to comply, and local authorities can serve remedial notices requiring work to be done to bring non-compliant properties up to scratch.

EICR for rental flat

Smoke and carbon monoxide alarms need fitting, and must be checked to prove they’re in working order (See government regulations here).

Where the tenant raises an issue concerning repairs during a tenancy, landlords must comply with their repairing obligations. The duty here is to carry out repairs within a reasonable timeframe. The duty extends to the structure and exterior of the property, as well as heating installations. Where the property is a leasehold then, practically speaking, these issue may come within the block management arrangements, but even so should be followed up by the landlord to ensure that repairs are made.

Managing repairs can be a challenge. A good managing agent can take the weight off, and Foxtons Property Management, with its Maintenace Tracker technology, allows tenants to report issues and landlords to give the go-ahead to repairs online, enabling both sides to remain up to date and informed.

Managing a rental flat

Read more about maintaining your let property:

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Landlord Essentials is a series of articles where our experts delve into the big questions for London landlords. If you have a question on letting your property in London, ask a Foxtons expert. If you want help making your property a success, get in touch with Foxtons lettings team.

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