Landlord Appliance Responsibilities
When it comes to your responsibilities as a landlord, appliances can be quite tricky. There are some areas for which you are definitively responsible because of safety and standards of living. For greater detail on the legalities involved, check Section 11 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 or refer to the private renting section on gov.uk.
Gas & Electric Obligation
Gas safety is of vital important when leasing a property; you should have all gas appliances, flues and pipes tested as standard each year. If the issue is an electrical one, this is also your responsibility, as it is regarded to be a health hazard if your wiring is faulty – have circuitry tested annually.
There are three main appliances which are expected in any tenancy: a fridge-freezer, an oven with a hob and a washing machine. While these three standard appliances are to be kept in good condition to uphold living standards, the law does not require you to maintain any appliances – it’s more a case of providing a habitable place to live and maintaining good relations with tenants. It is your responsibility as landlord to provide appliances which are safe and in good working order. It is not your responsibility to repair any items which a tenant brings with them to your property. The term ‘good working order’ means that, should any of the appliances you provide fail or breakdown of their own accord, you will probably be expected to organise the repairs (although you are not legally obligated to do so). If the appliance cannot be repaired, and it was listed in the tenancy agreement, you will need to replace it.
Your tenancy agreement should dictate what you are and are not taking responsibility for repairing, so make sure you go through this with any prospective tenants before leasing. This is where you can clear up which appliances you will organise repairs for and which you won’t – cooker, washer and fridge-freezer are usually the chosen appliances as it will keep you and your tenant on good terms. If a tenant causes damage to an appliance which requires repair, it will be their responsibility to have it repaired – not yours.
What Are White Goods?
You might see the term “white goods” thrown around when researching appliances. This refers to domestic appliances such as washing machines and refrigerators which are traditionally white.
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