Managing faults in rental properties
The rule is all faults should be repaired quickly, as a landlord you need to communicate with your tenants and agent to address issues as they arise.
If a part is needed and is on order, it is important that we explain about this to the tenant and schedule fitting it on the earliest possible date.
The motto in these cases is “do as you would be done by” and you should act especially urgently to deal with breakdowns in essential services: heating, hot water, and electricity.
The most frequent and upsetting situation for a tenant is when a continuous feed boiler breaks down, resulting in no heating or hot water. In such cases we have the option to re-house the tenants temporarily, although all offices have a supply of electric convection heaters that we can lend tenants. We can also make arrangements for using local facilities when feasible.
When the diagnosis is that a new boiler is needed – costing several thousand pounds – we have to obtain the owner’s consent for the expenditure. If this should happen to you as a landlord, do not delay your approval.
You have a statutory obligation to maintain essential services at all times. Failure to do this could result in the tenant successfully claiming damages. This is why we go to great lengths to deal with breakdowns as soon as they happen.
Legislation has changed regarding the section 21 notice where there is outstanding maintenance work. If you refuse to repair faults you will not be able to serve a section 21 notice.
This is one of the 50 most asked questions in our book: Landlord Intelligence.