On 20 March 2019, a new law, Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018 came into force to ensure that the rented houses and flats are fit for human habitation. This means that the houses and flats should be safe, healthy, and free from things that could cause serious harm to the tenants.
This law makes the landlords responsible for most repairs and maintenance of the rental home throughout the tenancy. Landlords are responsible for carrying out repairs once they have been informed by their tenants.
Landlords should therefore repair any damages that they are responsible for as soon as possible. If the problem is in a common area of the building, then as a landlord it is strongly advised to bring it to the freeholder’s attention as soon as possible.
In some instances, the landlord may not be required to repair when
- It involves negligence from the tenants or their guests
- The problem is caused by natural phenomena like fires, storms, and floods
- The landlord has not able to get consent such as permissions from freeholders, etc.
What are the kinds of repairs that the landlord is responsible?
- All electrical wiring and appliances
- All gas works and gas appliances
- All HVAC system
- Any chimneys
- All external pipework and drains guttering
- The structure and exterior of the building including walls, stairs, banisters, roods, external doors, and windows.
As a landlord, you are responsible for all the structural problems.
What are the additional obligations of the landlord?
Health and Safety Responsibilities
The landlord must ensure that the property is safe and free from hazards. For all tenancies signed from the time the law came into force, the landlord must make sure that the home is fit to live in. This means that it would not adversely affect the health or cause injury to the tenants and that there are no issues to prevent them from having full use of the property. And if the tenant believes that you have not fulfilled your responsibilities, the tenant can take you to court.
Issues that can make the property unfit for habitation include:
As a landlord, you are responsible for fixing or repairing the damaged part of the property to prevent rats, mice, cockroaches, or other pests from infesting the property such as holes in walls, broken air vents etc. It important to take measures when the infestation makes the house unfit for habitation.
Carrying out structural repairs is important to prevent damp in the property. These could include repairing the causes of penetrating damp, such as a leak in the internal pipes, faulty gutter, broken external pipes, or cracks in the walls and window frames.
As a landlord, you need to ensure that the supply of gas and all gas appliances in the property are in a safe condition. There should be an annual check for by a Gas Safe-registered engineer. This includes gas pipework, gas cookers, gas boilers, gas fires, and gas water heaters.
You must ensure that the wiring, plug sockets, sockets, and any electrical appliances that you have provided are safe to use.
As a landlord, you are responsible to fix repairs to prevent fire. As well as checking electrical wiring and appliances, you must make sure that the upholstery components and composites of the furniture that you provide meet specified ignition resistance levels and are suitably labeled set by the Trading Standard Department. Landlords can be fined and jailed if they don’t follow fire safety regulations.
It is also important that the smoke alarms in the premises are working There should be working smoke alarms on each floor and carbon monoxide detectors in any room heated by solid fuel.
What are the Responsibilities of Your Tenants?
Your tenants are exclusively responsible for repairs to things that they own. If they have deliberately caused damage to the property or their guest, then they are responsible for fixing the damage. If the tenants damage something, as a landlord you may offer to fix it and charge them for it upon mutual agreement.
We offer a range of letting services to landlords in Tooting, including tailored options that ensure you always receive the best support. If you would like to arrange an appointment to help you negotiate the local buy-to-let market, please contact Bluestone Properties today by calling us on 0208 355 3405 or emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org