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Exploding Boilers are always the landlords responsibility

Reporting repairs


If you have a repair that you need to report to the landlord, it is always best to put this in writing, even if you  have already reported it to him over the phone. For example:


Dear Mr Hassan,

10 Baker Street

Thank you for talking to us the other day about the problem with our washing machine. As you are aware, the door has become stuck and won’t open.

This letter is just for your records and also to confirm that we are happy for you give our telephone numbers to the engineers so that they can arrange a time to come to the property when we will be in.

Our telephone numbers are:Jilly 07897 456 785, Tariq 07895 678 4457 and Sanjay 07895 678 4465.

Yours sincerely,

Sanjay Rashid 

This may seem very formal (if you have the landlords e-mail you can make it seem slightly less formal) but getting into the habit of doing this at an early stage, should help you to avoid problems developing later on. When reporting repairs, make sure you give as much information as possible, to avoid any potential delays when your landlord or managing agent is trying to arrange for the repairs to be carried out.

Whatever tenancy agreement you have signed the landlord has a duty to carry out certain repairs. The Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 obliges a landlord to repair the structure and exterior of the premises. Housing advisors often refer to Section 11 of this Act, since this is the section which outlines the landlords duty to repair.

The Act also covers disrepair to the heating, water supply and toilet system. If a landlord does not carry out repairs within a reasonable period of time, you may have a claim against them for financial damages (it is unusual, however, to be released from the contract on the basis of disrepair).

You can also use your local authority to put pressure on the landlord to carry out the work.

The whole issue of repairs is quite complex and would need another guide to cover in full. For students who want to investigate this issue further, there are a range of resources that can help:

The Shelter website has detailed information on tenants' rights and responsibilities: (Choose: Get Housing Advice > Renting and Leasehold > Private tenancies).

Repairs – a guide for landlords and tenants, Communities and Local Government Publications, free download on 


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Who can carry our repairs/improvements to a property?

Repair work must be carried out by a competent person

The answer to this depends on what the repair or improvement work is:

  • Any work being carried out on gas appliances must be carried out by a Gas Safe registered engineer
  • From 1st January 2005 anyone carrying out fixed electrical installation work in a rented property must comply with Building Regulations.

These require that either:
1. The local authority has been informed of the work and has given permission for it to be carried out.

2. The work is carried out by an individual or company that has been authorised to self certify their own work. Your local authority building control department should be able to tell you who has and has not been authorised.
3.The proposed work is of a very minor nature.

If you are concerned about who is carrying out the work contact either your local authority or CORGI ( inthe case of gas related repairs) to confirm that they are permitted to do the work that they are doing.

Repair work must be carried out by a competent person.

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Last Updated: 07/08/2013 10:32:05