Who is responsible for fixing a broken toilet in a rented property?
By |Published On: 10th August 2023|

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Who is responsible for fixing a broken toilet in a rented property?

By |Published On: 10th August 2023|
Can a landlord leave a tenant without a working toilet?

If the toilet in your rental property is broken and it’s the tenants’ fault, they may be liable to pay, but it can still be the landlord’s responsibility to get it fixed.

Can a landlord leave a tenant without a working toilet?

The responsibilities of a landlord are laid down in The Landlord and Tenant Act 1985. Section 11 of the Act sets out who is responsible for repairing a property whilst it is being rented. It states that a landlord is responsible for “the installations in the dwelling for the supply of water, gas, electricity and for sanitation (including basins, sinks, baths and sanitary conveniences).”

A broken toilet puts a necessary facility in the property out of action, so it should be fixed as soon as possible, especially if it’s the only one in the building. It can also lead to water backing up and overflowing out of the bowl, usually as a result of repeated flushing to try to shift the problem. Then there is a risk of a flood of sewage water all over the bathroom floor.

If the bathroom is on the first floor or higher, it may only get worse as foul water can seep through to the ceiling below. This may lead to the ceiling needing to be repaired or even replaced, and you may have to make a claim on your insurance policy. Alternative accommodation may also be needed for your tenants if the property becomes uninhabitable.

When you have a broken toilet, who pays for fixing it?

It all depends how the problem arose. If the toilet is just old, with collapsing pipes or worse, then the landlord will be responsible for the cost of fixing or replacing it, as the owner of the property. If it’s broken due to tenants’ misuse, then landlords can charge them for the cost of fixing the problem.

Who arranges for a plumber to fix a toilet?

Tenants may get on with organising a fix if they caused it, but some may not be clear on their responsibilities and turn to you.

At this point, rather than delaying the issue being fixed, you most likely will want to get it sorted as soon as you hear about it, in order to minimise the damage caused.

Who pays for broken toilet bowls and sinks in rented properties?

Fixtures and fittings such as toilet bowls and sinks can take time and money to replace. Claiming under your insurance policy may be the quickest and easiest way to get the issue resolved. If you’re certain that the tenant caused the breakage by carelessness or misuse, you can charge them for repairs.

End of tenancy check-out

Any money needed for repairs to the property due to loss or damage caused by the tenants can be claimed from the tenancy deposit. Deductions can include:

  • Holes in walls or doors
  • Stained or burned carpets
  • Broken furniture or household items
  • Condensation damage caused by tenants

Find suitable protection for your property

There are various risks associated with letting a residential home. Keep your investment safe, whether it’s a single property or a portfolio. Our comprehensive Landlord Insurance can help protect you from financial risks, including accidental and malicious damage by tenants and loss of rent if the property becomes uninhabitable due to an insured event.

The sole purpose of this article is to provide guidance on the issues covered. This article is not intended to give legal advice, and, accordingly, it should not be relied upon. It should not be regarded as a comprehensive statement of the law and/or market practice in this area. We make no claims as to the completeness or accuracy of the information contained herein or in the links which were live at the date of publication. You should not act upon (or should refrain from acting upon) information in this publication without first seeking specific legal and/or specialist advice. Arthur J. Gallagher Insurance Brokers Limited trading as Just Landlords accepts no liability for any inaccuracy, omission or mistake in this publication, nor will we be responsible for any loss which may be suffered as a result of any person relying on the information contained herein.


About the Author: Em Morley (she/they)

Em is the Content Marketing Manager for Just Landlords, with over five years of experience writing for insurance and property websites. Together with the knowledge and expertise of the Just Landlords underwriting team, Em aims to provide those in the property industry with helpful resources. When she’s not at her computer researching and writing property and insurance guides, you’ll find her exploring the British countryside, searching for geocaches.

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