Minor Repairs - Who's responsible for them?

Hi all,

I want to know who is responsible for minor repairs on a rental property. My understanding under the Tenant and Landlord Act of 1985 is that landlords are responsible for:

  1. to keep in repair the structure and exterior of the dwelling, including drains, gutters and external pipes,

  2. to keep in repair and proper working order the installations in the dwelling for the supply of water, gas, electricity and for sanitation (including basins, sinks, baths and sanitary conveniences) but not other fixtures, fittings and appliances for making use of the supply of water, gas or electricity, and

3.to keep in repair and proper working order the installation in the dwelling for space heating and heating water.

Openrent’s terms and conditions don’t have a specific clause on minor repairs - meaning repairs outside of the stated above

Our boiler stopped working today and we didn’t know what the cause is, we notified the landlord and they contacted the boiler company. The boiler engineer came and said it was a electric fault and nothing to do with the boiler. Our landlord now wants us to pay for the engineer visit.

They are referring to the rental agreement to make us pay for this but the rental agreement from Open Rent is vague in terms of these “minor repairs”

Any advice?

landlord to pay not tenant


Landlord is responsible if there is an issue with electrics. You would only be responsible if you caused the issue.


It is landlords responsibility. If landlord is feeling that wrong person called to fix it he/she should have attended to identify the issue. I usually go myself to have first assessment, it is possible to misjudge the situation by tenant and this is normal we all have different levels of skills abilities. Once plumber told me that heating sensor on hot water tank is not working and needs replacing as it cannot be rotated for adjustment. I told him he needs to pull the little arrow as it locks current setting in position :person_facepalming:

I agree with C116 that the LL should really check for themselves. In this particular case if there is a genuine electric fault then the LL should pay for both the boiler engineer and an electrician. However if a tenant causes a problem by doing something daft then the tenant should pay. For example: If the boiler did not work because the tenant had switched off the electricity.


Hi heather
The boiler is down to landlord unless it was switched off by tenant. My line is a tenant needs to understand the operating instructions and be able to top up water pressure beyond that it’s down to lord.
Electrically to know how to reset breakers
Gas technician was a bit vague here

Ref jobs if an internal drain is blocked with say hair or stuff dropped down it’s the tenant to fix. For outside stuff its landlord though I do ask if a tenant can clear a gutter at the 8ft level , depends on tenant. Some happy to reimburse plumber direct for clearing internal drain
I like to get stuff fixed promptly saves u in the end

The landlord called out the boiler person to confirm and hopefully fix the fault, so the landlord pays for their assessment and for the electric to be fixed.

In my view malicious tenant damage and possibly accidental damage is down to the tenant to pay, but it is clear that any fixed installation, and that includes the electrics, is down to the landlord to fix, so do quote “to keep in repair and proper working order the installations in the dwelling for the supply of water, gas, electricity and for sanitation” to the landlord.

Well done for knowing or checking the legislation.

Thanks for your replies! the boiler situation is now a bit clearer. What about other minor repairs? such as a curtain pole breaking, or a leaking tap? Every repair done in this flat is up for interpretation as something the tenant (me) should pay and I don’t think that’s correct

Leaking tap is down to the landlord. How did the curtain pole break. If you broke it accidentally, then you would have to pay some compensation to the landlord.

I say leaky tap is Landlord’s responsibility as David122 stated. I consider this wear and tear. Curtain pole might be user issue, provided that it is installed correctly. I remember fitting a curtain pole to friends house and it lasted 5 mins as his son pulled the curtains down very hard! :slightly_smiling_face:.

What about fixtures and fittings? Who is responsible for the repairing of those?

It depends on if it is considered normal wear and tear. We need to talk about specifics. I don’t think we have one answer fits all. To be honest if you break something you will probably know better than anyone if it was mishandling or not.

1 Like

Usually the landlord is responsible for the fabric of the building - tenants for replacing of disposable items! Loo roll, light bulbs, fuses,
But it gets complicated at times . A dripping tap might be seen as Landlords responsibility as part of the fixed building or the perished washer might be seen a disposable item that needs replacing like a light bulb.
Your landlord may be responsible for ensuring your smoke alarm/CO 2 is in working order - but if it works on replaceable batteries like a duracell 9V or AA batteries you should replace those.- but if does not have replaceable batteries the landlord should replace the unit .

Damp and mould is often an issue for dispute. A tenant has a responsibility to wipe down dry surfaces in rooms a bathroom or kitchen and to open windows and use fans where provided - but a landlord should maintain ventilation blocks , extractor fans etc . Condensation induced damp and mould due to tenants not using provision for ventilation or leaving showers wet can be the the tenants responsibility. In this case there is often nothing for the landlord to fix.
But rising damp due to inadequate damp proofing or damp due to external or internal water ingress is very much the landlords responsibly!

How you handle these issuere depends very much on what sort of landlord you have.

I have had tenants who were very houseproud and fixed everything themselves without bothering me and it saved me money employing expensive contractors to do the work I liked that so I responded by freezing their rent and they never had a rent increase.

I have also had tenants who called me over everything. The washing machine wasn’t working - the plug needed a new fuse or the filter needed cleaning (basic householder maintenance) . They needed a light bulb changing… and even “I kid you not” the wind blowing past the satellite dish made a whistling noise sometimes ! I did my best to help . But guess what? They paid for it at rent review time.

SO if you have a good landlord DO let them know your needs - they’ll do their best to help - but may raise the rent if you demand more of their time and money. That’s fair enough if you can’t change a light bulb - but doing it yourself may save you money in the long term .

If you have a bad landlord that is a different thing all together and you need to fight your corner.

But do try to know the difference