2.1 Landlords’ Responsibilities For Repair And Maintenance
In addition to any repair responsibilities explicitly set out in the tenancy agreement, common law and statute will imply terms to the agreement between landlord and tenant. These terms form part of the contract, even though they have not been specifically agreed between the two parties.
Specific obligations to repair are set out in detail in the sections below. As a general rule the building itself and the immediate surroundings should be able to withstand normal weather conditions, and normal use by tenants and their visitors.
The property should be in a reasonable state of repair both internally and externally and fit for human habitation at the start of the tenancy. There should be no dampness, either in the form of rising or penetrating damp, from the outside. Condensation may be as a result of the tenant’s behaviour but it may also have implications for the landlord if the ventilation is inadequate or some structural problem is causing it. An investigation of the cause will be needed to be able to decide responsibility.
Statutory and common law requires that there should be no unacceptable level of risk to the health or safety of the occupiers or their visitors.
Remember that if the tenant or visitors have an accident or suffer injury due to the poor condition of the property (for example a fall caused by a broken handrail or respiratory diseases caused by damp conditions), the landlord may be liable to them for damages for personal injury.