What is a landlords legal responsibility for repairs?

What is a landlords legal responsibility for repairs?

What is a landlords legal responsibility for repairs?

What is a landlords legal responsibility for repairs?

What is a landlords legal responsibility for repairs? As a tenant residing in social housing in England and Wales, it’s crucial to be well-informed about your rights regarding property repairs. Understanding your landlord’s legal obligations concerning maintenance and repairs is essential for ensuring a safe and habitable living environment. Let’s delve into what these responsibilities entail.

Landlord’s Duty:

Landlords in England and Wales have a legal duty under the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018 to ensure that the property they rent out is fit for human habitation. This means the property must be safe, structurally sound, and free from hazards that could impact your health and wellbeing.

Repair Responsibilities:

Landlords are generally responsible for repairing and maintaining the structure and exterior of the property, including:

  1. Roof, Walls, and Windows: It is the landlord’s responsibility to repair and maintain the roof, walls, and windows, ensuring they are weatherproof and secure.
  2. Heating and Hot Water: The landlord is obligated to provide functioning heating and hot water systems. Any faults should be addressed promptly.
  3. Gas, Electricity, and Plumbing: Landlords must ensure that gas and electrical installations are safe and well-maintained. Plumbing issues should also be rectified by the landlord.
  4. Common Areas (if applicable): If you live in a property with shared common areas, the landlord is responsible for their upkeep and safety.

Tenant’s Obligations:

While landlords have a legal responsibility for repairs, tenants also have obligations. Tenants should report any repairs needed as soon as they become aware of them. Promptly informing the landlord or property management of issues is crucial to maintaining a habitable environment.

Reporting Repairs:

Tenants should report repair issues in writing to the landlord or property management company. Keep a copy of the report for your records and ensure that you allow reasonable time for the repairs to be carried out.

Legal Recourse:

If your landlord fails to address necessary repairs within a reasonable timeframe after being notified, you have the right to take legal action. You can contact your local council’s environmental health department or seek advice from a housing charity or legal professional specializing in housing matters.


Understanding the landlord’s legal responsibilities for repairs in social housing is vital for tenants’ rights. Landlords are legally bound to ensure that properties meet specific standards and are safe for habitation. Tenants must communicate repair needs promptly, and if necessary, seek appropriate assistance to ensure their living conditions meet legal requirements.

Important links

Housing Disrepair Advice: https://housingdisrepairadvice.org/contact

Housing Ombudsman: https://www.housing-ombudsman.org.uk/