Landlords’ Repairing Obligations

(principally under section 11, Landlord and Tenant Act 1985)


This Factsheet describes the landlord’s main responsibilities for repairs; principally those which are implied into all short leases for residential property by section 11 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985.

A short lease or tenancy means a tenancy agreed for less than seven years. Short leases also include periodic tenancies where the tenant has not got a fixed term agreement and occupies the property e.g. from week to week or month to month.

Key Provisions:

The Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 (LTA) states that where the landlord has granted a lease of less than seven years, or a periodic tenancy, the landlord will normally be responsible:

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

b) 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 sanitaryconveniences) but not other fixtures, fittings and appliances for making use of the supply ofwater, gas or electricity, and

c) to keep in repair and proper working order the installation in the dwelling for spaceheating and heating water. (Section 11, LTA 1985)

These provisions apply to leases entered into on or after 30 October 1985.

Keep in Repair:

‘Keep in repair’ means that the landlord must keep up the standard of repair from the start of the tenancy. The landlord must also ensure that the premises are put into repair even if they were not in good repair at the start of the tenancy. ‘Repair’ does not include any duty to effect improvements. If there is a defect in construction this will not be actionable under s11 as the property will not be in disrepair. A claim by a tenant to a landlord as a result of an attack of black mould in a property was rejected by the courts as the damage was as a result of condensation and did not directly result through any disrepair.

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