As a landlord, you may be wondering who pays for rental repairs in your property. Breakages and repairs in rental properties are one of those things that happen from time to time. Most of the time, these are as a result of wear and tear on the property, but can also be as a result of the tenant. So, who is responsible for covering the cost of breakages and repairs within a rental property?
When is the tenant responsible for repairs?
A tenant is required to cover any costs related to repairs where they (or their guests or family members) are responsible for the damage. In addition, the responsibility for making such arrangements for any repairs also falls to the tenant, regardless of if the repair is to an item such as fixtures and fittings which typically is the landlords’ responsibilities.
An example of where the tenant would be liable for the cost of repairs would be in the event of a lock being damaged attempting to access the property due to a lost key.
In some cases, a landlord may choose to cover the costs even when the tenant is liable since the item may soon have needed to be replaced anyway due to it being old or in poor condition.
When is the landlord responsible for repairs?
Landlords are typically responsible for the cost of all maintenance and repairs to the property except where damage has been caused by the tenant. This includes any fixtures, fittings and furnishings provided as part of the tenancy agreement such as white goods and furniture.
Where a white good is provided within the tenancy of a part-furnished property, the landlord is responsible to ensure they are in good working order and carry out any repairs necessary. It is, however possible to transfer the liability for repairs onto the tenant by including a clause in your tenancy agreement.
What if there is a dispute?
Occasionally, a tenant disputes their responsibility for damage to a property, and therefore, do not agree to cover the cost of repair. This is where a tenancy deposit scheme can be leveraged. By submitting a claim via your schemes resolution service, you are able to provide evidence, in the form of a detailed inventory at the start of the tenancy to show the damage caused during the cause of the agreement. The TDS will then determine who pays for rental repairs.
The secret to avoiding these sorts of disputes is to ensure you are doing comprehensive reference and affordability checks ahead of signing with a new tenant.