What is a tenant responsible for fixing in a rented property?

17 May 2017

adviceYou live in a rented flat and the bulb blows, can you call the landlord / agent to come and sort it? The handle on the door is coming loose, it’s just a screw that needs to be tightened, should you call the landlord/agent? The sink is blocked, should you call the agent/landlord?


The answer to all of the above is no, as a tenant you are expected to behave in a ”tenant like manner” basically that means that you should do all the little things you would take care of in your own property. If you wouldn’t call a tradesman out on your own and expect an invoice then as a tenant you shouldn’t do it either. This law dates back to a case (Warren v Keen) in 1953 when a judge stated

“…The tenant must take proper care of the place.  He must, if he is going away for the winter, turn off the water and empty the boiler. He must clean the chimneys, when necessary and also the windows.  He must mend the electric light when it fuses.  He must unstop the sink when it is blocked by his waste.  In short, he must do those little jobs about the place, which a reasonable tenant would do”

This case is pretty important as it set a precedent as to what was lawfully expected of a tenant. Of course, the landlord is responsible for keeping the property in a good condition and following the laws relating to keeping in wind and watertight and all the other bits set out, but if it’s a little job you would do in your own house, get out the screwdriver!! You would be surprised how many tenants we have asked us to replace light bulbs, batteries in a carbon monoxide detector, replace the hoover bag.

Comments welcomed!

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