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Landlord Repair Responsibilities: Section 11


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As you may know, it is a legal obligation for landlords to carry out repairs in their rental property, found under Section 11 of Landlord and Tenant Act 1985. Section 11 is an implied term, meaning that it should be treated as though it's part of a contract between the landlord and the tenant. Essentially, Section 11 overrides the contract unless the it gives the tenant additional rights.


Section 11 applies to both private and social landlords, stating that landlords are required to make repairs to the structure and exterior as well as maintaining the upkeep of boilers and electrics. Whilst it applies to most tenancy agreements, there are a few exceptions, such as crown tenancies and fixed term tenancies lasting over 7 years. Despite this, there may still be further detailing within the tenancy agreement.


Below we go into depth of what is expected of you, in terms of repairs, according to Section 11.


Landlords Must Ensure Properties Are Fit For Living


The property must be fit for human habitation and it is the responsibility of the landlord to make sure these requirements are met. If the property poses danger to a tenant's health it is classified as unfit to live in. Whilst issues such as mould initially come under section 9A, as soon as the fault poses structural threat, it comes under Section 11. There are many other terms within Section 9 that overlap with Section 11 so it is important to ensure you have a good understanding of both. Once the issue becomes structural, it lies under Section 11.


Structure & Exterior of the Building


The structure of the building refers to the elements of the property that give it its "appearance, stability and shape". This does not include decorations and fittings such as blinds and mirrors.


The structure & exterior detailed under Section 11 include the following features:


  • Walls, ceilings & foundations

  • Staircases & bannisters

  • Internal & external plasterwork

  • Roofing & external walls including drains, guttering & external pipes


It is ultimately the responsibility of the landlord to ensure these elements are kept to a proper standard. Any issues are up to you, the landlord, to resolve in a timely manner.


Supply of Power, Heating and Water under Section 11


It is a requirement of the landlord to repair and upkeep installations for supply of water, electricity, gas, sanitation and heating.


The following are detailed under this :


  • Water & Gas Pipes

  • Basins, sinks, baths/showers & toilets

  • Heating installations such as radiators

  • Electrical wiring and sockets


It is important to note that a landlord is required, by law, to repair any installation they own and/or control that directly or indirectly serves the property. The term "keep in repair" means that it is necessary that the landlord maintains this standard of repair throughout the tenancy. However, this does not require the landlord to upkeep appliances that use the supply such as washing machines.


Is Upkeep of Communal Areas the Responsibility of a Landlord?


It might be the obligation of the Landlord to undertake maintenance to shared areas of the building. This is commonly the case when a landlord owns a building and rents out the flats individually. In this case, the landlord is needed to carry out repairs if the issues affects the property or parts of the building that the tenant is entitled to use. An example of this may be a communal staircase. However, Section 11 does not apply to those areas that are not attached to or part of the building.


What's Excluded from Section 11?


As a Landlord you are not required to do the following:

  • Carry out repairs due to the tenant using the property in an improper manner.

  • Rebuild/reinstate due to damage from floods, fires or storms

  • If the tenant is entitled to remove an item from the property, it is not your duty to upkeep said item.


Are you a landlord getting bogged down by maintenance and repairs of your property? Joining a Guaranteed Rent Scheme such as that at Elliot Leigh Guaranteed Rent can save you from the hassle of maintaining your property whilst still providing you with a fixed rental income. Enquire here.



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