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Who Is Responsible for Property Repairs: Landlord or Tenant?

It’s the common question which can be confusing for both tenants and landlords; who is responsible for property repairs in a rental property?

Property repairs which are the responsibility of the landlord

Damage or repairs that relate to reasonable wear and tear within a property is the responsibility of the landlord; examples could include the wearing of carpets and flooring or leaking taps. In these circumstances, it is the responsibility of the landlord to fix and pay for these repairs to be carried out.

Landlords are also responsible for a range of urgent and non-urgent repairs; both of which have set time limits for how quickly repairs are to be carried out.

Urgent repairs are required to be fixed promptly, and examples could include burst water pipes, a broken hot water system, a gas leak, a broken toilet, flooding or any fault that would make the property either unsafe or unsecured.

Non-urgent repairs could be a broken appliance that is included in the property but is not considered as urgent. In the case of non-urgent repairs, the landlord has 14 days from the date of notification to have the issue fixed.

Whilst landlords are responsible for any damage caused to the property itself in the event of a natural disaster, such as a tree falling on the roof during a storm, or a break in, it is the tenant who is responsible for their contents within the home.

Landlords have the responsibility to ensure that the property is always safe and well maintained; whether it is currently tenanted or not.

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Property repairs which are the responsibility of the tenant

If damage is caused to the property, whether the damage is accidental or intentional, by either the tenant or their guest, the repairs are the responsibility of the tenant.

Intentional damage examples would be things such as a hole being punched through a wall, or picture hooks being hammered into walls without the landlord’s permission. Accidental damage, on the other hand, could be a glass of wine spilled on the carpet.

It is the responsibility of the tenant to ensure that any damage caused to the property is reported to the property manager or landlord as soon as possible after the damage occurs.

For clarification in relation to the rights and responsibilities of both landlords and tenants, always refer to the residential tenancy agreement.

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