Legal Disputes

Renting and repairs: What are my obligations as a landlord?

It is generally the landlord’s responsibility to provide heating and hot water to a property.

16 Dec 2021

Team name
Holly Minney

Holly Minney

When the heating or boiler fails through no fault of the tenants, the landlord must repair or replace the boiler or other equipment.

This article looks at the landlord’s obligations to provide heating and hot water and the steps tenants may take if their landlord fails in their obligations.

Does a landlord have to fix the heating?

Under the law, a landlord must provide their tenants with water, gas, electricity and adequate sanitation facilities (toilets). Tenants are also entitled to equipment for heating each occupied room, or central heating and a boiler for hot water.

There are minimum heating standards for each room, which is at least 18°C in bedrooms, and 21°C in living rooms where the outside temperature is -1°C. It is not acceptable to leave tenants without heating for more than a few days without the landlord taking steps to resolve the problem.

Under the Landlord and Tenant Act (1985), a landlord is responsible for any heating repairs, and replacements set out in the act. This cannot be set aside by any other document – including a tenancy agreement.

What can a tenant do if the heating in a rented property is broken?

In the first instance, the tenant should contact their landlord to let them know about the problem via your usual method of communication with them.  If the landlord has not replied to the tenant after a few days or taken any action to resolve the repair problem, the tenant should chase them up.

Where a landlord fails to act or respond they risk the tenant reporting them to the local council. The environmental health team may then arrange an inspection of the property and have the power to order your landlord to carry out repairs.

M&P Commentary

Holly Minney, Head of the Dispute Resolution team, said:

“It important as a landlord to know the obligations you have to your tenants, including knowing that you are responsible for certain repairs in your property.”

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