When you own a house, and something goes wrong, you know you are the one who has to fix it. But when you rent a house, the question becomes a little more complex. The same if you own the house but don’t live in it. To help make things simple, here’s a look at the whole question of a boiler breakdown: tenant or landlord’s responsibility?
As a landlord, you have certain responsibilities regarding the utilities in the property. Under Section 11 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985, you are expected to carry out repairs in a ‘reasonable time’ and if this means the tenant has no hot water or heating, this should be within 24 hours. The boiler normally comes under the landlord’s responsibility and therefore he or she is the one that is required to fix it.
What are express terms
These are obligations that are set out in the tenancy agreement that both parties sign. This might mean that there is an obligation for the landlord to pay for boiler cover for the property but for the tenant to call the company when there is a breakdown.
Express terms cannot, however, pass on any of the legal responsibilities of the landlord. So an express term couldn’t say that the tenant is responsible if there is storm damage to the roof – this is always the landlord’s responsibility.
As a tenant, there are still responsibilities, even if you aren’t the one that needs to pay for the repairs. Top of the list is that you need to report that there is a problem as soon as you realise. This may be directly to the landlord or their representative if they use an agency to handle things. So if you notice that you aren’t getting hot water, the heating isn’t working, or the boiler is making strange noises, you need to notify the landlord as soon as possible.
Tenants are also required to use things properly and not to cause damage to the property. This means using the heating correctly, keeping a good basic temperature in winter to stop pipes freezing and using hot water systems correctly. If they don’t, then they may become liable for the cost of damages.
Fixing your tenant’s boiler
DHS offers a range of landlord services including providing a gas safety certificate, which is a legal requirement. As well as the checks to make sure the property is in good working order, we can also provide repairs and annual servicing.
For more information, get in touch by calling us on 0117 924 7200 or fill in our contact form and we’ll get back to you.