Landlords must keep the property they rent safe and free from health hazards.
Electrical safety and electrical goods
Landlords must make sure:
- The electrical system is safe, e.g. sockets and light fittings.
- All appliances they supply are safe, e.g. cookers and kettles.
- Make sure gas equipment they supply is safely installed and maintained by a Gas Safe registered engineer.
- Have a registered engineer do an annual gas safety check on each appliance and flue.
- Give the tenant a copy of the gas safety check record before they move in, or within 28 days of the check.
- Follow safety regulations.
- Provide a smoke alarm on each storey and a carbon monoxide alarm in any room with a solid fuel burning appliance (for example a coal fire or wood burning stove).
- Check there is access to escape routes at all times.
- Make sure the furniture and furnishings they supply are fire safe.
- Provide fire alarms and extinguishers if the property is a large house in multiple occupation (HMO).
Landlords of private rented housing and property owners must maintain their premises in a good state of repair. Landlords are responsible for repairs to:
- The property’s structure and exterior.
- Basins, sinks, baths and other sanitary fittings including pipes and drains.
- Heating and hot water.
- Gas appliances, pipes, flues and ventilation.
- Electrical wiring.
- Any damage they cause by attempting repairs.
- Landlords are usually responsible for repairing common areas, e.g. staircases in blocks of flats. Check tenancy agreements if you’re unsure.
- Tenants can’t be forced to do repairs that are the landlord’s responsibility.
- Tenants should only carry out repairs if the tenancy agreement states they can.
- If tenants damage another tenant’s flat, e.g. if water leaks into another flat from an overflowing bath, the tenant is responsible for paying for the repairs. Tenants are also responsible for paying to put right any damage caused by their family and friends.
- Tenants must give their landlord access to the property to inspect it or carry out repairs. Landlords have to give at least 24 hours’ notice and visit at a reasonable time of day, unless it’s an emergency and they need immediate access.
If a property needs repairs
- Tenants should contact their landlord if they think repairs are needed. This should be done straight away for faults that could damage health, e.g. faulty electrical wiring.
- Landlords should tell tenants when repairs can be expected to be done. Tenants should carry on paying rent while awaiting repairs.
If repairs aren’t done
Tenants can contact the environmental health department at Tewkesbury Borough Council for help. They must take action if they think the problems could harm the tenant or cause a nuisance to others.
If your house isn’t fit to live in
If tenants think their home is unsafe, they should contact the environmental health team at Tewkesbury Borough Council. A Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) assessment will be done and action must be taken if they think the home has serious health and safety hazards.
In some new tenancies there is additional protection from eviction when properties are in disrepair. You can find details of this at: Retaliatory Eviction and the Deregulation Act 2015.