Landlords & Tenants FAQ About Appliance Repairs in Rented Properties
Q. Are landlords required to fix appliances?
A. Assuming that the landlord supplied the appliance in the first place and that the fault is due to normal wear and tear then yes, they are. Landlords are responsible for most repairs, though not for any furniture or appliances owned by tenants or broken through misuse. This applies to private, council, and housing association rentals.
If there's a problem, tenants should let landlords or their agents know as soon as possible. The law states that repairs should be carried out within a reasonable time.
Q. Is the landlord responsible for appliance repair?
A. Generally speaking, yes. Regardless of whether you rent a council, housing association, or privately owned property, if the appliance was supplied as part of the fittings and fixtures, it's the landlord's responsibility to keep it in good and safe working order. Tenants are responsible for appliances or furniture they personally own, or things broken through carelessness, misuse, or negligence. If there's a problem with any appliance you should notify your landlord as soon as possible, and make arrangements for the service engineer to have access when they come.
Q. How long can a landlord leave you without an oven?
A. The law doesn't state an exact timeframe. It simply says that repairs should be carried out 'within a reasonable time'. Your landlord can only be responsible for fixing a problem once you've told them about it, so let them know about faults as soon as you notice them. Even a minor fault that doesn't seem to need urgent attention should be notified immediately.
As to what counts as a reasonable time, failure of a single ring on your stove top is obviously less urgent than failure of the whole oven. It's reasonable to expect the landlord to arrange for an engineer to visit promptly. If parts need to be ordered it's also reasonable to wait a few days for them to arrive.
Q. Who is responsible for the appliances in a rental property?
A. Landlords are responsible for most repairs in a rental property, including any appliances provided by the landlord for making use of the supply of water, gas, and electricity. Landlords are not responsible for repairs to appliances owned by their tenants.
Tenants are expected to take responsibility for breakages as a result of misuse or negligence, to notify landlords of problems as soon as possible, and to arrange or allow access for the repairman.
The rights and responsibilities of both landlords and tenants are set out in detail in the the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985, and apply equally to privately rented properties and to those managed by local councils or housing associations.
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