A landlord is required under law to maintain the exterior and interior of a property and to carry out any necessary repairs in a timely fashion ensuring the property meets certain basic minimum standards. Although there are no specific timeframes, below is a general timeframe given for each issue.
Timeframes for Repairs and Maintenance:
Emergency: Should be carried out immediately as there is a danger to human life. Examples of emergency repairs are: faulty electricity supply or wiring, flooding in the property due to faulty plumbing, tiles falling off the roof.
Suggested timeframe: Emergency repairs should be dealt with immediately.
Urgent: These are repairs that need to be carried out quickly to allow the tenant to enjoy their tenancy and to avoid damage to the house. Examples of urgent repairs are: broken fridge, cooker or shower; heating system not working (particularly in winter), build-up of mould.
Suggested timeframe: Urgent repairs should be dealt with between 3-5 days.
Routine: These are medium priority repairs, which do not have significant effect on the day to day enjoyment of the tenancy by the tenant. Examples of routine repairs are: condensation due to insufficient ventilation, furniture needs to be repaired or replaced.
Suggested timeframe: Routine repairs should be dealt with within 14 days.
Decoration and Improvements: If you intend to repaint, decorate or repair your rented property you must get the permission of your landlord in writing. Your landlord cannot unreasonably withhold permission but can expect to have the property returned to them in a similar condition as when it was let to you. Landlords are expected to redecorate properties periodically as part of their general duty to adequately maintain a property.
Vermin and pests (bed bugs etc): The responsibility for dealing with vermin or other pests and infestations can either be the tenant’s or the landlord’s responsibility, depending upon whose actions or inactions caused the problem. You may be responsible for dealing with pests such as bed bugs if you introduced them to the property but your landlord may be liable for vermin infestations if they fail to provide adequate storage facilities for waste and ensure that your property is in good structural condition so that external walls do not contain holes or cracks that would allow vermin to enter the property.