Landlord AdviceWhat Certificates Do You Need To Rent Out Your Property
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Repair issues in a rental property can become a reason for endless disputes between tenants and landlords. Most of the time, we tend to jump into conclusions and blame the other side to protect our interests; however, are we always right? Whose responsibility is it to carry out the regular maintenance? Or, if a leak occurs, is it due to the tenants’ misuse or landlord’s negligence? And at the end of the day, who pays for property repairs and maintenance?
To clear up who is financially responsible for damage, our team has prepared this dedicated post.
So, if you:
Then this article is just for you. Keep on reading!
Landlord repairs responsibilities are entirely a legal matter. In fact, landlords owe tenants certain duties of care, like maintaining the property to prevent injuries or accidents. If the damage hasn’t been caused by the tenant’s negligence or misuse, the landlord is obliged to handle the major repairs in the rental property. Among them are:
When the tenancy agreement comes into power, the tenants are entitled to receive the property in a condition suitable for human habitation. However, if a landlord must provide a safe and functional property, renters should also understand their responsibilities regarding the facilities and equipment in that property. They include:
Unlike accidental damage, normal wear and tear occurs in a property over time as a result of day-to-day living. Tenants are not responsible for everyday wear and tear, therefore it is a landlord’s duty to replace the fittings and individual items that are no longer usable.
Damage can happen due to the tenant’s misuse or abuse of the assets in the rented property. The damage should be reported to the landlord as soon as possible. If the landlord agrees, tenants might be able to arrange a replacement or repair of the broken items themselves. However, a landlord can deny a repair, and as a result, deduct the repair costs from the security deposit, or, if tenants leave the property without paying for the damage, take legal actions against them.
To identify if the property has been damaged or depreciated over time, everything should be documented. A good piece of advice for landlords is to have a well-conducted property inventory report – it will help you monitor the conditions of the property, fixtures and fittings, furniture and goods before and after the tenancy agreement. Such reports are signed by both sides, meaning that if any damage disputes arise, the official document is there to resolve them.
If tenants ever experience any damage from neighbours, like leaks or damage to the structures of the property caused by the neighbour’s construction works, then it is the landlord’s responsibility to deal with the situation. The landlord can ask the neighbours to pay for the damage or take them to court if they refuse.
If the damage is caused to the tenants’ belongings, the landlord has no obligations towards that. In this case, tenants should approach the neighbours for compensation themselves.
Because pest and insect infestation can cause harm to tenants’ health, a landlord should provide the premises in habitable and pest-free conditions. If any pest problems occur, they should be handled as soon as possible. The best course of action is to schedule an appointment with a pest control service, that way it will be easier to identify the reason that caused the pests to appear – tenants’ lack of cleanliness or landlord’s carelessness.
If the tenants have noticed a pest problem in the first weeks of the tenancy, then most likely the landlord has financial responsibility for the treatment. On the other hand, if the tenants haven’t been taking proper care of the property – the bill falls on the tenant’s shoulders.
Even if broken goods can bring discomfort, tenants should give a reasonable amount of time to landlords to carry out repairs. “Reasonable” is a legal term and does not mean a set amount of time. Depending on the complexity of a problem and the effort put in by a landlord to fix it, a repair might take from a day to four weeks. It all comes down to how badly the problem is affecting the tenants’ everyday life.
If the repairs were not taken care of after the tenants’ request, legal actions could be taken against the landlord. The local authorities can order repairs to be done by the landlord or do the repairs themselves and charge the landlord.
“A good landlord will never allow this situation to happen. If a boiler or other central heating appliance fails, he wants to act quickly and cost-effectively to avoid legal issues and get the comfort his tenants deserve” according to 24|7 Home Rescue, a UK-based company offering landlord boiler cover services. “A smart way to keep everyone safe is with a landlord boiler and central heating insurance, which covers the cost of calling out a Gas Safety-registered engineer plus the cost of repairs, replacement parts, and the annual boiler service”.
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