Law guide: Landlords

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Overview of landlord obligations

Overview of landlord obligations

Contents

Overview

Landlords have certain statutory obligations to keep the property in repair. In addition to these repairing obligations, they have obligations under health and safety laws.

Landlords must take health and safety seriously; a property offered for letting must be free from health and safety hazards. Your tenants may be able to take legal action against you if the property doesn't meet certain health and safety standards and, as a result, poses a health or safety risk to them.

A landlord's health and safety responsibilities include a requirement to meet:

  • Housing standards required for the property to be considered fit for human habitation
  • Gas, electrical and fire safety standards. For the requirement to provide an annual gas safety check and gas safety certificate, see Gas Safety certificate.

These repair and health and safety obligations for the landlord are imposed by law and the tenancy agreement can't reduce them.

Repair obligations

The landlord (or managing agent) is generally responsible for carrying out maintenance and major repairs to the property. This includes repairs to the structure and exterior of the property, heating and hot water installations, basins, sinks, baths and other sanitary installations.

The structure and exterior of a flat includes any common areas (such as paths or passageways leading to the property) that the landlord of the flat has rights over (such as a right of access). The landlord is responsible for any loss or damage the tenant suffers as a result of any disrepair to any common areas (even if the landlord doesn't own these areas or hasn't been told of any disrepair to them).

There are additional requirements in in each jurisdiction. See Housing standards

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