Renters spend an average of £443 on repairs that should legally be paid for by their landlords, according to insurance search engine Confused.com.
One in five (19%) tenants admit they’re unsure about precisely who is responsible for repairing a rental property.
Its research found that 22% tenants had paid for the cost of repairs themselves, rising to 33% for those who had paid to fix plumbing issues and 23% who forked out to have electrical issues resolved.
The study suggests that the most common problems experienced by tenants were often the most expensive to put right.
Damp and cold
The search engine found that 42% have suffered with damp, while 30% have had to cope with living in the cold when the heating broke down. More than a quarter reported having to go without the shower or toilet due to plumbing issues.
Jessica Willock (pictured), home expert at Confused.com, says: “It can be confusing to know where the responsibilities lie when landlords and tenants enter a contract, but getting clued up on who looks after what can save money, time and make for a smoother relationship in the long run.”
Landlords are legally 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 and any damage they cause during repairs.
Adds Willock: “Importantly, you cannot be forced to carry out repairs that are your landlord’s legal responsibility, no matter what your tenancy agreement states.”