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Repairs and maintenance

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Over the course of your occupation it is likely that repairs or maintenance will be necessary. Your landlord or lettings agent should have made it clear to you at the outset what the procedures are in such instances.

Who to call
If it is a managed property, you should in the first instance contact your property manager. They will normally have authority from the landlord to carry out repairs on their behalf, up to a set specified value. Some landlords and lettings agents will insist that the landlord is contacted regarding every repair. This can cause problems - it is not always easy to contact someone if they are not in the country, for instance.

Most lettings agents and landlords will have preferred contractors that they use to carry out the bulk of any necessary work on a property. You should try to stay in contact with the person responsible for arranging the work (the landlord or property manager) to ensure that delays are not caused by the tradesmen being unable to gain access to the property. You are quite within your rights to request that you be present when a contractor has access to your property. However, be aware that if you make such a request and then fail to be present at that time, then you can end up being charged for the time wasted by the contractor.

Utilities providers
Some utilities providers and local authority agencies that may need access to your property will not collect keys to enter your property. In other words someone has to be present to let them in. It will normally be your responsibility to make a convenient appointment and allow them access.

Emergency repairs
Some emergency repairs will need to be carried out immediately regardless of the time or day. Many landlords and lettings agents will have insurance to cover this type of repair, though you should ask them about this type of circumstance when you move in. This sort of repair work is usually limited to things like:

  • Blocked drains
  • Leaking roofs
  • Broken gutters
  • Broken windows or doors
  • Burst pipes
  • Electrical or gas failures
  • Lost keys
  • Forced entry damage caused by burglars
  • Leaking radiators
  • Other urgent eventualities - i.e. anything which by delaying the time taken to carry out the repair can cause lasting damage to the property, or affect the security or habitability of the property.

There will normally be a maximum cost that the lettings agent is able or willing to cover with this type of repair.

Delays to work
Some repair work will require quotations to be obtained, which means that the work will not be carried out immediately.

Many lettings agents will not authorise repair work unless the landlord has sufficient money in their client account to complete the work. Normally these funds will be forthcoming, but it is another reason why there can be a delay in the repair work being carried out.

Condensation often occurs as a result of water vapour being trapped inside a room due to poor ventilation. This can cause dampness, smell and even mould. It is normally up to you to ensure that this type of occurrence is avoided, by keeping the property well aired. Some kind landlords may lend you a dehumidifier, if you are very lucky, but most of the time this type of things is avoidable and is therefore your responsibility.

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