What are my rights under the Landlord and Tenant Act?

As a tenant it is important to understand your rights and your landlord’s obligations. When a rental property falls into disrepair it is a stressful and worrying time for the tenant.

At KLS Law we have extensive experience dealing with housing disrepair claims on behalf of tenants.

The law

Landlords have an obligation to maintain the exterior and structure of the rental properties. Your landlord’s repair obligations should be set out in your tenancy agreement. Nevertheless, if you do not have a tenancy agreement, Section 11 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 sets out your landlord’s repair obligations.

Your landlord is responsible for keeping in repair: -

  • The structure and exterior of your home such as drains, guttering, walls, roof, windows, pipes and doors.
  • Toilets, sinks and baths.
  • Boilers, radiators, fitted heaters, water and gas pipes

As you will note the act simply states what the landlord should repair. For example, the act states that the landlord is obligated to repair the walls which covers several scenarios such as structural cracks, damp and mould.

Can my landlord opt out of their repair obligations?

Your landlord’s repair obligations cannot be removed even if the tenancy agreement attempts to do this.

The tenancy agreement can make the repair obligations more onerous but no less than the repair obligations set out in the act.

Can my landlord charge me for the repairs?

It is your landlord’s responsibility to cover the cost of the repairs.

Even if the repairs aren’t carried out to a reasonable standard, it is your landlord’s responsibility to pay for further repairs.

What should I do if there is disrepair in my property?

It is important to report any items of disrepair to your landlord. As soon as you are aware of an item of disrepair you should report it promptly. Details of how should report it should be in your tenancy agreement. It is useful to keep a record of your reports and follow up your queries in writing.

At KLS, we have a team who specialise in handling housing disrepair claims against Housing Association and Private Landlords and would be happy to assist you. KLS can handle many claims for housing disrepair on a No Win No fee basis.