If you own the property you live in, it’s pretty obvious that when a lightbulb burns out, it’s time to unscrew the old one out and pop a new one in. Alternatively you could sit in darkness. For bigger jobs, such as if a pipe bursts or the boiler isn’t heating water, it may be best to call in an expert, unless you’re particularly capable at DIY.

But if you rent a property, fixing these problems may not be down to you. In fact, by being proactive about fixing repairs yourself you may even risk breaching your tenancy agreement.

In short, the responsibility is with your landlord for anything that is fixed to the property or existed in the property prior to moving in, or has been purchased by the landlord after you’ve moved in. This includes:

  • The structure of the building, such as walls, doors or windows
  • Bathroom appliances such as baths, showers or sinks
  • Heating units
  • All gas appliances and fittings such as ovens, stoves or pipes
  • Electrical wiring

Whilst the landlord is responsible for managing these types of repairs, don’t forget that it is your responsibility to report these problems to your landlord.

When it comes to covering costs, if a repair is needed for standard wear and tear, or has been damaged by others repairs made by the landlord, or was incorrectly fitted or in poor condition when tenancy was agreed, then the repair should come out of the landlords pocket. However, the responsibility damages lies with the tenant should they be caused by the tenant or guests, no matter if they were done in misconduct or by mistake.

To avoid disagreements, it is especially important to record a full inventory of the contents of the property and any damages on arrival when renting a property.