Just like the points above state that you must keep your property safe and make sure all electrical and gas services and equipment are maintained you will also have to carry out any repairs and keep the property well maintained so that everything is complies such as:
- the structure of your property
- basins, sinks, baths and other sanitary fittings
- heating and hot water systems
If you decide to rent your property through an agency they will take of all this for you through regular checks. However if there is a problem the agency will still notify you. If you ask the agency to fix the issue they will then bill you whatever it costs. If you refuse to carry out a repair on your property, tenants have the following options available to them:
- Start a claim through the small claims court for repairs under £5,000
- Carry out the repair themselves and deduct the cost from the rent.
- Ask the council to carry out an HHSRS inspection and they can take any subsequent enforcement action necessary.
If you are taking on major repairs because the property is deemed unfit to live in, you can ask the tenant to move out. Before this you need to agree in writing:
- How long the repairs will last for
- The tenant’s right to return
- Details of any alternative accommodation
You can’t repossess a property to do repairs. However if they are major you can apply to the courts for your tenants to vacate the premises or end the tenancy. If you provide alternative accommodation they will be more likely to accept. If you carry out repairs while the tenant is still living there they may be able to claim a reduction on their rent, known as a “rent abatement”. This will depend on what repairs you are doing and how much of the property is unusable. After you have made the repairs or improvement, if there are substantial improvements you have the right to increase the rent depending on the current tenancy agreement.