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.

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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.”

Read more about who is responsible for repairs.

1 COMMENT

  1. “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.”

    Whilst a landlord is responsible for making the repairs the tenant is responsible for paying for any damage they’ve done. Here are some very recent and ongoing issues I’ve got with some of my tenants.

    I’ve got a tenant insisting I replace a cast iron bath but won’t send me a photo of the damage that’s ‘cutting the kids’ bums’. I’ve offered to have it repainted but she insists on a new bath at £725 for a replacement cast iron bath excluding fitting. The tenant won’t send me a photo of the bath so until she does I’m not going to do anything about it. The tenant has been in arrears since the start of the tenancy and I’ve just started a money claim to be followed a S21 and S8.

    Another tenant has decided to replace the plastic light pendants and switches with metal which has caused an earthing problem and the tenant has also decided to put very iffy electrics in the shed. This has been highlighted by the electrical report.

    And a third tenant has removed all the radiators and they are now in the front garden. I’ve yet to investigate this. I’m hoping they’ve replaced them rather than done some unimaginable damage.

    And a fourth tenant texted me to say there was something wrong with the cooker . He’s not using it because it was making a horrible burning smell. I went round. The smell was caused by food that had been spilt on the bottom of the cooker. Oh! Good grief!

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