What Are a Landlord’s Maintenance Responsibilities?
As a landlord, it’s vital that you understand your responsibilities when it comes to maintenance and repair of your rental property.
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Ensuring your tenants have a good standard of living is really important, and knowing what you need to do to make this happen is also necessary.
Make sure you’re up to date on what your responsibilities are by reading this guide and getting in the know!
What are a landlord’s responsibilities before a tenant moves in?
When a tenant signs your tenancy agreement, they are signing up for a house that is clean and liveable. This means that you must provide some basic utilities, for example, electricity, gas and water. The property must also have usable facilities, like a toilet, bathroom and sink. In addition to this, the home you are renting out must be well-built and safe for people to live in.
What are a landlord’s maintenance responsibilities after a tenant moves in?
Once the tenant has moved in, it is up to you to maintain the property. Any essential repairs must be made before the tenant has moved in, but it is fine to delay non-essential repairs until after the move-in date. If you know of any hazards in your property that you do not alert tenants about and fix quickly, you are breaking the law to let them move in.
It is important to note that while you are required to maintain the property, you are not required to upgrade any part of the home unless you would like to.
Maintenance throughout the property
One of the main parts of maintaining a rental property is keeping on top of the basic utilities. Safe and functional electricity must be provided, with wiring, switches, sockets, light fittings and circuit boards all checked regularly.
If a malfunction is discovered, it is vital that this is fixed quickly as electrical hazards can be very dangerous. It is generally advised that landlords carry out electrical checks every five years to ensure that everything is safe and working as it should be.
Any electrical appliances that are provided by a landlord must be in full working order. These can include fridges, washing machines, tumble dryers, TV systems, electric cookers, toasters and kettles. If an appliance is not provided by the landlord then it is the responsibility of the tenant to maintain it.
Another priority as a landlord is gas safety. It’s vitally important that gas appliances, fittings, pipe and flues are all kept in good condition. Landlords must also have a yearly gas safety check and be presented with a gas safety certificate. This must be done before the tenant moves in.
Water facilities and systems
Water facilities also need to be maintained. Running water must also be provided via sinks, baths and showers. Any sewer problems and leaks must be fixed quickly. Less urgent repairs, such as a blocked drain, can be done by the tenant.
Especially in the winter, heating and hot water systems must be kept an eye on. Any gas heaters must have an annual check and electrical heaters must be looked at every five years. It is sometimes also required to bleed radiators to make sure that the rooms are being heated sufficiently.
Fire and smoke alarms
Finally, fire and smoke alarms are also something that you need to be aware of. You must ensure that fire, smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are installed and regularly checked by tenants. If the alarm is not working or starts to malfunction, it is your responsibility to fix it.
Roof and guttering
There are several things that a landlord must do to ensure that the property is well maintained on the outside too. Looking after the roof and guttering is one of those things. Make sure to check for leaks, or any damp that is seeping through the tiles. If there are any structural issues, you must address them quickly as they can lead to the structure of the home beginning to rot. Loose tiles and blocked gutters should also be mended to prevent water damage.
It’s also important to make sure that pipes are not expelling waste water onto the house.
Walls need to be inspected for any cracks and damage. If there is any damage to the outside or the inside of the walls, it is the landlords responsibility to fix it.
Windows and doors
Finally, windows and doors must be maintained. Hinges, locks, mould on the sealants and damage to the actual structure all needs to be addressed by the landlord.
So, as you can see, there is a lot of maintenance responsibility when it comes to being a landlord. Of course, tenants can perform smaller jobs, but it is up to you to ensure that the property remains safe, clean and liveable for the duration of any tenancy.