As a landlord, you have a duty of care to your tenants, so if they call you and say the boiler has broken down and they have no heating or hot water, it is your responsibility to deal with the problem.
Unfortunately, a lot of landlords fail to respond to the plea for help, even if the problem is urgent. To illustrate this, a recent survey conducted by Homeserve revealed that 34% of tenants had reported a home emergency in the previous twelve months. Of those questioned, only 31% said their landlord dealt with the problem in the same day. A further 23% claimed that their landlord took more than a week to do anything at all.
Landlord Obligations Some repairs are classed as ‘urgent’. These include:
• Gas or electrical faults • Water leaks • Broken boiler leading to no hot water and/or heating, especially during winter.
All of the above need to be dealt with within 24 hours. Obviously in some cases, the repair may require new parts that are unavailable, but in the case of heating for example, landlords should provide some kind of backup, i.e. space heaters.
Cookers should be attended to within 48 hours and other major appliances such as dishwashers within 72 hours.
Communication is the Key It is very important that you talk to your tenants and let them know what’s happening. If you have organised a repair, tell them so they can be available if necessary. Don’t ignore a tenant’s request for a repair to be carried out.