A tenants guide to reasonable repair requests

Most tenants are normally aware that their landlord is responsible for carrying out repairs to their property.

So, what can a tenant ask their landlord to fix? Our expert team here at Livermores The Estate Agents has some helpful advice to ensure that tenants understand their rights and responsibilities.

What is a landlord responsible for?

A landlord has a responsibility to ensure the property is suitable to live in. That means they need to tackle issues like:

  • Plumbing maintenance
  • Keeping the heating working
  • Repairing any faulty appliances (if owned)
  • Removing potential hazards
  • Ensuring the property’s structure remains sound

Nevertheless, rental property repairs can cause tension between tenants and landlords. Therefore, it’s essential for tenants to know what constitutes a reasonable repair request and when to make one.

What is a reasonable repair request?

When paying rent to a landlord, that amount also covers maintenance to the property. Therefore, it’s a tenants’ right to request that the landlord carry out necessary maintenance and repairs on the property. That doesn’t mean that a tenant has the right to request the installation of an expensive new appliance or a major change that isn’t essential, but it does mean that it’s reasonable to ask for repairs to be carried if required.

In fact, it’s important to report the need for repairs to be carried out as quickly as possible, since issues may deteriorate and cost more to fix if they’re neglected in the long term. It’s crucial to recognise, though that a tenant has to allow a landlord sufficient time to carry out the necessary repairs, and allow access to the landlord or contractor to carry out the work.

The difference between careless damage and repair.

If something goes wrong in a rental property, it’s vital to be aware of who has responsibility for rectifying the problem. Tenants aren’t generally liable for any damage due to wear and tear, but they are responsible for any damage caused carelessly or intentionally.

For example, if a window is broken, it is the tenant’s responsibility to repair, however if a window is allowing water in from the frame, it is the landlords responsibility.

What are the responsibilities of a tenant?

Although maintenance and repairs are generally the landlord’s responsibility, tenants still have some obligations. For example, a tenant must monitor the property to make sure that everything remains in working condition and let the landlord know about any potential problems that may arise. For example, if the electrics randomly go off and on regularly, it’s highly likely that there’s a damaged connection that will only get worse with time and could cause a safety hazard.

Issues like this should be reported immediately so the landlord can arrange a repair as soon as possible. A tenant must also be prepared to allow the landlord and anyone who needs to carry out repairs access so that maintenance can be carried out. Whilst tenants have the right to refuse a landlord entry to the property without notice, if a tenant prevents them from carrying out essential repairs, a tenant may then become liable for paying for any damage occurring as a result.

If you’re looking for a property to rent in the Dartford and Crayford areas, give the Livermores The Estate Agents team a call today on 01322228090 or 01322 550777. As specialists in the Dartford and Crayford rental market, we’re your top choice to help you find the ideal place to live.

If you are a landlord and want to rent out a property in the Dartford and Crayford areas, make us your first port of call. As experts in the local property market, you can rely on us to handle your letting professionally and efficiently. Call us now on 01322228090 or 01322 550777 or send an email at lettings@livermores.co.uk.