Landlords are generally responsible for the maintenance and major repairs to a property. This includes repairs to the structure and exterior of the property, heating and hot water installations, basins, sinks, baths and other sanitary installations. The structure and exterior of a flat includes any common areas that the landlord doesn't own but has any rights over, such as a right of access. These areas include, for example, paths or passageways leading to the flat. Even if the landlord doesn't own these areas, they'll be responsible for any loss or damage that the tenant suffers as a result of disrepair of these areas.
A property must also be free from health and safety hazards, so care should be taken to ensure that:
A property must also have:
If the property you let out does not satisfy these criteria and is a health risk, a tenant may be able to take legal action against you.
In Scotland, all private rented housing must meet the 'repairing standard' as set out in the Housing (Scotland) Act 2006. The standard must be met prior to the commencement of any lease and at all times during the term of the lease. The 6 requirements of the repairing standard are:
You must ensure that all gas appliances and installations you supply are maintained in good order and that an annual safety check is carried out by someone who is registered. In Great Britain, this check must be carried out by someone who is registered with the Gas Safe Register.
You must keep a record of the safety checks, and must usually issue it to the occupier within 28 days of each annual check. Landlords should retain their gas safety records for 2 years. The occupier is responsible for maintaining gas appliances that they own, or is entitled to take with them at the end of the letting.
By law, you must ensure that the electrical system and any electrical appliances supplied with the let such as cookers, kettles, toasters, washing machines and immersion heaters are safe to use. If you are supplying new appliances, you should also provide any accompanying instruction booklets.
For more information, see our '' and ' ' sections.
Fire safety for any home is important, but if a property has multiple occupants it must be considered seriously since the risk of fire is greater.
As for any other home, it is a good idea to ensure that:
In Scotland, there must be at least one working smoke alarm on each floor of a property. Smoke alarms installed after 3 September 2007 must be mains wired, including replacement alarms. Higher standards apply to Homes in Multiple Occupation.
If you supply furniture or furnishings with the let, you must ensure that they meet the fire resistance requirements, sometimes known as the 'match test' in the Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988.
For more information, see our '' section.