Tenant's Toolkit

Tenant Repairs and Maintenance

Check your tenancy agreement to find out how the rent is paid and who is responsible for maintenance and repairs. The landlord will be responsible for certain repairs no matter what the tenancy agreement says.

Responsibility for repairs

You should only carry out repairs if the tenancy agreement says you can. You also cannot be forced to do repairs that are your landlord’s responsibility.

You are usually responsible for minor repairs, such as:

  • fixing a bathroom cabinet
  • renewing sealant around the bath

Your landlord isn't responsible for fixing any appliances or furniture you own. They are your responsibility.

You probably have to pay for repairs if you cause damage to the property, even if it's accidental. You shouldn't have to pay for fair wear and tear to your home.

If you damage another tenant’s flat, for example if water leaks into another flat from an overflowing bath, you’re responsible for paying for the repairs. You’re also responsible for paying to put right any damage caused by your family and friends.

Responsibility for maintenance

You must use your home in a responsible way.

You should:

  • keep it clean
  • not damage the property and make sure your guests don't either
  • carry out minor maintenance such as replacing smoke alarm batteries
  • keep the property sufficiently heated and ventilated so as not to cause damp or mould (link to FAQs section "How can I voice mould and damp?")

If you don't fix damage you've caused, your landlord could deduct money from your tenancy deposit.

Broken windows

Many tenancy agreements will hold you responsible for broken glass regardless of what has caused it. Sometimes an exception can be made if a crime has been reported, but in all cases you should notify the landlord so that the window can be repaired as soon as possible. Broken glass is a danger to your safety and increases the chance of burglary, particularly in the case of ground floor windows.

Damaged doors, walls and other fixtures

Any damage to your home that is not ‘fair wear and tear’ is your responsibility to fix. Small dents and holes in the wall (like those created from hanging pictures or accidental knocks) can be repaired yourself but you should notify your landlord about any larger areas of damage to the walls and ceiling, or any damage to electrical goods, as these may become dangerous problems.

Clearing away rubbish and unwanted items at the end of a tenancy

When your tenancy comes to an end, your landlord will be keen to have a new tenant move into the property with a minimum of hassle. If you do leave anything behind and your landlord has to remove it for you, you are likely to be charged for the inconvenience caused, so it is a good idea to clear away any waste or packaging at least a week before your tenancy is due to end.