Landlord duties on maintenance and repairs

One of the most important responsibilities as a landlord is maintaining the condition of your rental property.

This is not only best practice; it’s also a legal requirement with further statutory obligations depending on what’s been set out in your tenancy agreement.

So what responsibilities and obligations are there and what costs are involved when making repairs?

Responsibilities :-

As a landlord, you are mostly responsible for the repairs in your property.

The following repairs include:-

•the structure and exterior of the building, including walls, stairs and bannisters, roof, external doors and windows
•sinks, baths, toilets and other sanitary fittings, including pipes and drains
•heating and hot water
•gas appliances, pipes, glues and ventilation
•electrical wiring.

Safety checks :-

You should have a maintenance schedule for each property you manage, detailing what need to be checked, carried out and when. Gas and electric safety checks are both very important.

Gas safety checks must be carried out annually by an engineer who is registered on the Gas Safe Register.

Electrical checks should be checked out by a ‘Part P’ registered electrician every 5 years.

Obligations :-

Your responsibilities should be outlined and written in a tenancy agreement between yourself and the tenant. This should also outline when and how often repairs are made to the property.

The property should also be free from any hazards that could affect the health and safety of yourself and your tenants – this includes any issues with damp and mould in the home.

Costs :-

The following repairs are likely to occur and can be claimed against your rental income:-
•water or gas leaks, burst pipes
•electrical faults
•broken windows, doors, gutters, roof tiles
•internal and external walls, roofs, floors
•repainting and redecorating
•treating damp
•hiring equipment to carry out repair work
•replacing existing fixtures and fittings.

Any bills involved in the repairs can be deducted from rental income, but this often complicated.

Property tax goes beyond the scope of this article, so we’d advise you get in touch with us to find out more on the latest tax changes on rental income.

Things to consider :-

Before you consider doing any repairs, its good practice to record in writing or email with your tenants on any changes you’re going to make.

Tenants should have at least 24-hour notice before you enter the property.

Landlords are fully responsible for repair costs, unless the damage to property was caused by the tenant. This should be evident from the check-in inventory report.