To what extent must my Landlord undertake repairs to a property?
The extent to which your landlord must undertake repairs to your property will be stated either expressly in your tenancy agreement or implied by statutory law, which is the law laid down by legislation agreed by the house of commons and house of lords.
If you are a tenant, you will most likely find that your tenancy agreement will most likely contain wording that will confirm the extent to which repairs must be made. Often a landlord may seek to incorporate terms less onerous and demanding than those implied by statutory law, in order to lessen their repair obligations. In those circumstances, the duties implied by statutory law will prevail and therefore the standard of repair outlined by statutory law must be complied with, whatever your tenancy agreement states.
What does the law say?
Interestingly, this does not also work in reverse. If a tenancy agreement places more onerous terms on your landlord than those implied by statutory law, the landlord must oblige with the terms stated in the tenancy agreement, such as what happened in the case of Johnson v Sheffield City Council 1994. In this case, the tenancy agreement stated that the dwelling should be kept “fit to live in”. This placed a more onerous obligation on the landlord than what is expected by statutory law.
In summary therefore this calls for a detailed review of your tenancy agreement in line with statutory law, to determine if your landlord is meeting the repair obligations imposed on them either by your tenancy agreement or statutory law.
It is recommended that a legal advisor with knowledge in housing disrepair law undertakes the review for you as if your landlord has not repaired defects in your property in line with their duties under the tenancy agreement or statutory law, you may be able to make a claim against them for housing disrepair.
Such a claim requires for you to have given notice to your landlord over a sustained period of time, and for your landlord to have failed to meet the report obligations.
How can Specters help?
If the facts of your enquiry meet the requirements for a housing disrepair claim, we may be able to act for you on a ‘No Win, No Fee’ agreement.
Please give us a call today on 020 7251 9900 to discuss your options.