Partners and Suppliers Mark McAuley 29/01/2024

Understanding landlord responsibilities: Repairs and maintenance

It will come as no surprise that owning and renting out property comes with a vast set of legal obligations for landlords in the UK. Perhaps the most important obligations concern ensuring the property is well-maintained and safe for tenants. When the legal language is complicated it helps to cut straight to the basics. Let’s look at the key repairs and maintenance responsibilities that landlords must adhere to under UK law and while we’re at it, let’s look at the responsibilities of the tenants too. 

Landlord's Responsibilities: 

Structural Repairs: Landlords are responsible for maintaining the structure and exterior of the property, including the roof, walls, and windows. Any issues affecting the property's stability or weatherproofing fall under your obligation. 

Gas and Electrical Safety: Landlords are legally required to ensure that gas and electrical systems in the property are safe and regularly maintained. Annual gas safety checks by a registered Gas Safe engineer are mandatory, and electrical installations should be inspected at least every five years. 

Water and Heating Systems: The landlord is accountable for ensuring that water and heating systems are in good working order. This includes fixing plumbing issues, repairing heating systems, and providing hot water. 

Common Areas: For properties with shared areas also known as Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs), landlords must maintain these communal spaces and keep them free from obstruction. This could involve repairs to staircases, hallways, or entranceways. Landlords of these properties will also often have to adhere to fire safety regulations such as installing working fire alarms, ensuring fire safety information is displayed prominently and instructions on fire doors.  

Tenant's Responsibilities: 

Minor Repairs: Tenants are generally responsible for minor repairs and maintenance, such as changing light bulbs, replacing batteries in smoke detectors, and fixing low-level  damage caused by their own actions. 

Cleaning and Upkeep: Routine cleaning and maintenance, like keeping the property tidy, are the tenant's responsibility. This includes tasks like mowing the lawn and maintaining garden areas if applicable. 

Reporting Issues: Tenants are obligated to promptly report any damage or necessary repairs to the landlord. Timely communication ensures that issues can be addressed swiftly, preventing further damage. 


Of course, it’s never quite that simple. Your tenancy agreement might detail specific responsibilities. You should adhere to the document and encourage your tenant to do the same. At the start of a tenancy, it's essential for both landlords and tenants to thoroughly review and understand this document and its implications. 

Then there are unwanted emergency repairs: In the case of emergency repairs that affect the tenant's health or safety, landlords are expected to address the issue urgently, even if the responsibility falls on the tenant in regular circumstances. 

Being transparent and upfront about the repair and maintenance obligations can help foster a positive landlord-tenant relationship. 

Show you’re serious about your obligations by adding a dedicated landlord cover plan from Hometree. We can take the hassle out of emergency repairs and deal directly with your tenant to sort an issue promptly.  

Please click the link below and browse our fantastic care packages which are currently offering one month free for NRLA members! 

Mark McAuley

Mark McAuley Head of Commercial Operations & Partnerships

Mark has 10+ years of experience working in the boiler & home cover industry with previous roles in British Gas and Hive helping customers to use energy efficiently. Now at YourRepair Mark is continuing to focus on supporting UK homeowners to decarbonise their homes through new propositions and accessible routes to sustainable heating technology.

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