As a tenant, it is not always clear who to go to, if you have a problem with the home you are renting. Good practice for any landlord would be to undertake regular property maintenance, in order to do maintenance checks, but things may go wrong in the meantime.
For those who have found themselves in such a situation, we’ve put together some tips on who tenants should go to with a problem:
Pests in a property can range from rats and mice, to fleas and ants, to wasps and hornets – they come in all shapes and sizes.
If you have moved into your home to find that there is an infestation, then you should contact your landlord, as it is up to them to make sure that the house is inhabitable before a new tenancy begins. According to Citizens Advice, your landlord has a duty to ensure that your home is fit to be lived in on the day that they let it to you.
If the pests appeared during your time in the property due to maintenance needs (for example, there was a hole in a wall or floor, leading to a rodent issue) then your landlord would be responsible for sorting the problem. Your tenancy agreement will most likely state that it is the landlord’s duty to keep the structure and exterior of your home in repair.
However, if you have ended up with an infestation due to your own actions, such as not clearing up food waste or rubbish properly, then you will have to sort it out yourself. Visit the website for your local authority, to see if they provide any pest control services. Some will be free, depending on the pest.
If you experience a problem, such as a broken down boiler or a leaky tap, it is your landlord’s responsibility to fix it, as long as it was not caused by yourself, your family or a visitor.
According to the Shelter website, landlords must make repairs to:
- electrical wiring
- gas pipes and boilers
- heating and hot water
- chimneys and ventilation
- sinks, baths, toilets, pipes and drains
- common areas including entrance halls and stairways
- the structure and exterior of the building, including walls, stairs and bannisters, roof, external doors and windows
If an appliance you own breaks down, then it is your responsibility to fix or replace it.
If any appliances included in the property by the landlord are damaged, then they might organise fixing or replacing them, but it is likely that you, as the tenant, will be charged for this.
Make sure to read your tenancy agreement carefully, as it may state certain responsibilities belong to the tenant. However, you are not responsible for normal wear and tear in the house.
If there are any disputes between a tenant and a landlord over maintenance issues, consider going to your local authority or Citizens Advice for further assistance.