Even though landlords are responsible for the majority of repairs in the home, tenants across the UK are shelling out their hard-earned cash to make their landlords’ properties habitable.
Tenants are constantly getting in touch with 247 Home Rescue to ask us about repairing leaking boilers or fixing broken fuse boxes, despite the fact that these are dangerous and expensive repairs their landlords are obliged to perform.
Landlords are ignoring obligations
One of the alleged advantages of renting is that it protects tenants from the expense involved in property repairs, but our experience suggests this is not always the case.
And recent research from AA Home Membership has indicated that this issue is widespread, with 34% of renters saying that they have spent their own money fixing something in their property rather than ask their landlords to repair it for them.
Most common household emergencies
The research also revealed the most common household mishaps in rented properties in the UK, finding that, of the tenants that needed a repair:
- 19% had a blocked drain
- 19% had a broken shower
- 17% had faulty wiring or faulty electrics
- 17% had home security issues caused by broken locks and keys
- 15% had damaged carpeting
- 15% had a leaking pipe
- 13% had damaged or broken white goods
- 9% had damaged furniture
- 7% had a broken radiator
- 7% had a boiler breakdown
However, although a lot of tenants paid for these repairs themselves – spending an average of £63.20 in the process – a large proportion didn’t seem to hold a grudge against their landlord.
Overall, half of renters who repaired part of their landlord’s property said they did so because it was “quicker and easier” than asking the landlord, while 25% admitted that they caused the fault themselves and felt duty-bound to repair it themselves.
Nonetheless, 13% said their landlord refused to pay for the fault, 9% said their landlord was on holiday, and 6% said they couldn’t get in touch with their landlord.
Landlord’s repairs were found to be wanting on several occasions, too, with 4% saying their landlord tried to repair the problem but their repair “wasn’t very good” and 6% saying their landlord’s repairs made the problem worse.
A further 10% said they are responsible for repairs themselves. Many of these may be misinformed – even if tenancy agreements state that tenants are responsible for emergency repairs, tenants are only responsible for minor maintenance, and landlords are obliged to keep tenants’ homes in a good state of repair.
What repairs are landlords responsible for?
Landlords are always responsible for fixing:
- Electrical wiring
- Gas appliances, including flues, ventilation and pipes
- Hot water and central heating
- Toilets, baths, sinks and other sanitary fittings
- Plumbing and drainage
- The exterior and structure of their property, including external doors, roofs, walls and windows
Head of AA Home Membership Helen Brooker said disputes over repairs are “quite common” in landlord and tenant relationships.
She said “clear guidelines” over who should complete and pay for repairs, and “reasonable expectations” about how repairs will be resolved, could resolve some of these disputes.
Ms Brooker noted that some repairs, such as those involving electrical and gas problems, should only be completed by qualified professionals, suggesting that landlords could leave tenants with the contact details of a trusted tradesperson so the tenant can contact the professional when repairs are needed if they cannot get in touch with their landlord.
Landlord boiler, appliance and home emergency cover
Our service plans aren’t just for homeowners; we are pleased to provide appliance, boiler and home emergency cover to landlords and shoulder the responsibility for their tenants’ repairs! Renting property was never so effortless.
If you’re having trouble with any aspect of your boiler, home appliances or if you’re suffering from a home emergency such as an electrical breakdown, plumbing problem or security issue then be sure to get in touch with us.
Call us on 0345 3192 247 and one of our friendly technical team will go through some simple diagnostics to see if your problem can be resolved over the phone. If not, we’ll send an engineer to be with you as soon as possible to ensure you’re back up and running in no time.