Living in a rented home may have its disadvantages, but purchasing a home can also be challenging. You can encounter problems such as learning your area has a dearth of affordable properties, paying hefty monthly mortgage payments, and dealing with moving costs. These are some of the reasons why tenants of privately rented homes would rather push for the improvement of their living conditions over buying homes, even though sometimes landlords ignore repair requests.
While it’s true that the tenants are the ones using the houses, it is still the landlord’s responsibility to maintain the upkeep of their property to ensure the residents’ health and safety. In Section 11 of the Landlord and Tenant Act of 1985, it is stated that the landlord has to “keep in repair the structure and exterior of the dwelling-house”, among other obligations. However, sometimes tenants are forced to do the repairs themselves if the landlord does not respond to them.
Additionally, it is one of the tenants’ rights to be provided with a habitable home, one that’s free from health and safety hazards. Unfortunately, exercising this right can sometimes lead to disputes between the landlord and tenant, especially when the former lodges a housing disrepair claim due to the latter’s inaction.
If you are renting a home, it is your responsibility to keep it clean. You should regularly check your gas tanks and electrical appliances to avoid fire hazards. Changing your smoke alarm batteries and busted light bulbs is a task that needs immediate action; therefore it is something that you should do yourself. If your rented home comes with a garden, regularly cut the grass, water the plants, and pull out weeds to minimize the risk of getting infested.
It is not advisable to make repairs that will alter the state of your home without the approval of your landlord. Request for their help and leave the repairs to them. Doing rehabilitation work yourself is risky; if you cause structural damage to the house, the proprietor will hold you accountable.
After having accepted you as a tenant, your landlord should provide you with copies of the certificates for gas safety and energy performance. This will assure you that the home you are moving into does not have gas leaks or faulty wiring.
Your tenancy agreement should indicate which repairs and alterations you are allowed to make. It should also indicate that your landlords are responsible for some repairs and shall not charge you for the cost.
The repairs your landlords are responsible for fall under the overall maintenance of the rented home. Causes include damp and mould, faulty wiring and/or heating, and infestations.
Damp and mould can be avoided by fixing a leaking roof, cracks in the walls, broken doors and windows, and a malfunctioning central heating system. Having mould in your house can cause health issues as mould carries allergens that can aggravate asthma.
Electrical installations must be done properly, while gas and fire safety checks should be done by your landlords regularly. Mixing faulty wiring and gas leaks are common causes of fires; they put your rented home at risk. Moreover, the fumes emitted by gas leaks cause headaches, dizziness, breathing problems, and a host of other health problems.
Infestations can happen when you have cracks and holes in the exterior of your home. Pests and vermin can squeeze their way into these gaps. Taking care of these is your landlords’ responsibility.
You can also avoid inviting insects if your home is well-lighted and properly ventilated. If an insect infestation does happen, your landlord should be able to call in a pest control service to address the issue. In fact, your home should be visited by these exterminators regularly as infestations happen all year long.
If your landlord refuses to fix the disrepair
Give your landlord reasonable time to respond to your email or SMS about the repairs that need to be done. Some landlords will not be easy to convince because they typically do not want to bear the cost of the repairs. Send a follow-up email. If they respond, then you should be able to coordinate with them for the schedule of repairs. Be sure to provide the maintenance team with access to your home, specifically to the area where the disrepair is.
If your landlord does not respond at all, you can lodge your complaint to the council or file a housing disrepair claim. Disrepairclaim.co.uk are housing disrepair experts that can help you see your case through from start to finish . Get in touch with them the minute you have proof that your landlord is not taking your disrepair complaints seriously.