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WHAT ARE A LANDLORD’S OBLIGATIONS UNDER A TENANCY AGREEMENT?
REPAIRING CONVENANTS The obligation of a landlord relates to the state of the property he or she is renting out.
The landlord is obliged to keep in repair the structure and exterior of the property and the installations for the supply of utilities such as gas, electric, room and water heating and sanitation. This would include cisterns, radiators, boilers, heating ducts, water tanks, baths, sinks and all the pipes for gas and water as well as electrical sockets and wiring throughout the property.
The duty is imposed by section 11 of the Landlord and tenant Act 1985 and further details are available in our Law for Life guide on letting property.
STRUCTURAL PROBLEMS Basically the landlord is responsible for the exterior of the property and any structural repairs that may be needed, but this excludes garden walls, gates and outdoor paving, although it may be wise to effect such repairs to avoid any claims in tort such as personal injury. Structural problems for which the landlord is responsible may include damage to the:
1. The roof
2. The guttering
3. Drains and exterior pipes
4. Exterior walls
5. Windows and doors (only as a result of structural problems, not if they are damaged by the tenant).
INTERIOR PROBLEMS The landlord is not required to repair any interior problems such as internal plaster, internal doors or skirting boards, unless these are affected as a result of the exterior of the property not being in a good repair. In these circumstances the landlord would be required to ensure these aspects were restored to good working order, had they been affected by the poor exterior of the property.
The landlord would not be held responsible for any breakages caused by the tenant not abiding by the forms of the agreement and not using the property in a ‘tenant-like manner’. For example, a broken window would not be the landlordâs responsibility to repair.
The level at which the property must be maintained by the landlord is informed by the state of the property at the beginning of the tenancy. Certainly the landlord is not required to make improvements to the taste of the tenants.