Category: Housing Disrepair Issues

Section 11 in the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985: Protection for Tenants

From our own experience, we want to help tenants who have issues with their landlord. Our Director had a rogue landlord, and we wanted to warn people who may come across one.

The Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 (LTA85) integrates the Landlord and Tenant Laws Housing Acts with the Landlord and Tenant Act 1962. It details amendments based on Law Commission recommendations. Its focus is on short-term leases for residential properties, particularly Assured Shorthold Tenancies (AST) and other tenancy agreements set for lower than seven years. It highlights both the landlord and tenant’s responsibilities.

One of the vital aspects of the LTA85 is Section 11. 

Section 11 lays out the obligations of the landlord, as well as the tenant, for repairs in currently-rented properties. It contains specific information about the landlord’s repair responsibilities and which ones are not, as well as which structural issues and other home-related problems tenants can claim for as housing disrepair compensation

Section 11 

Section 11 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 specifically requires landlords to properly maintain the structure and exterior of the properties they rent out. Some examples of property installations that are referenced in the act include installations for drainage, water, gas and electricity, heating systems, and sanitation or sanitary appliances such as baths, sinks, and basins. 

Landlords for short-lease tenancies such as Assured Shorthold Tenancies and periodic tenancies are expected to keep their rental properties in a good state of repair. These obligations are absolute and non-excludable, so no landlord is exempt from them. The only excused tenancies are those that are agreed for a fixed term of seven or more years, and those that commenced before October 24, 1961.

Major landlord obligations

Regardless of what the disrepair is, Section 11 mandates landlords to carry out all needed repairs as soon as possible. They are expected to perform two vital maintenance and repair obligations for private rentals: 

1. Electricity, gas, and water installations, toilet and baths, sinks, and basins must be well-maintained and in good working condition. 

This covers essential aspects of rental properties such as gas pipes, electrical wiring, boilers, water pipes and tanks, radiators, and other aspects of water and space heating installation.

2. The exteriors and structure of rental properties must be kept in proper condition and state of repair, including pipes, drains, and roof tiles—as well as plaster work, internal walls, bannisters, staircases, and other similar structures. 

If these obligations are not followed, landlords must ensure repairs are carried out according to a set time, and that property standards are applied.

Repair work quality and property standards vary according to the location, age, characteristics, and potential lifespan of the rental home. So, a newly built detached home in the outskirts of the city will have different standards with that of a two-year-old home in a 4-storey building. 

Section 11 also specifies that rental properties are to be in a good state of repair and proper working condition as soon as the tenancy agreement starts. 

Major tenant responsibilities

Like landlords, tenants also have obligations to adhere to. Any disrepair that is caused by the tenant is their responsibility, not their landlord’s. As such, anything that is damaged by the tenant must be repaired by the tenant.  

Other tenant responsibilities are as follows:

  • To keep items they have installed in a good state of repair and ensure they are well-maintained. For example, if a tenant installs a washing machine or a dryer, keeping the appliance in working condition and getting it repaired when damaged is their responsibility, not the landlord’s.
  • To use the home in a tenant-like manner, which means ensuring that anything they do will not damage installations or lead to the deterioration of the building’s facilities and features. Some examples would be keeping the entire home clean, using electrical and gas appliances and installations the right way, providing proper heating and ventilation for the property, refraining from any activity that can damage the home, following building/property rules on smoking and pets, and ensuring that the drains are not blocked.
  • To report any disrepair to the landlord immediately after it is discovered. The landlord is required to do the repairs only for damages that were reported by the tenant or were uncovered while carrying out a routine inspection of the property. If the landlord is not informed about the damages, repair responsibility falls on the tenant.
  • To allow entry to the landlord and the authorised repair agent for viewing and correcting the disrepair, provided that the tenant is informed in writing 24 hours before the scheduled visit.
  • Improvements and upgrades are not the landlord’s responsibilities, unless stated in the tenancy agreement. Landlords are only obligated to repair the home back to how it was when the tenancy started. 

Reporting disrepair

If you live in a rented home, knowing your landlord’s responsibilities and your obligations is important. So, the minute that you see disrepair in the home, you’ll know that you need to inform your landlord right away. You can also talk to a panel of disrepair solicitors such as the team at DisrepairClaim.co.uk. They know what to do to help ensure that your landlord follows Section 11 of the LTA85.

Are You Renting from a Rogue Landlord? Telltale Signs You Should Know About

From our own experience, we want to help tenants who have issues with their landlord. Our Director had a rogue landlord, and we wanted to warn people who may come across one.

A rogue landlord is someone who deliberately violates their obligations by renting out hazardous and low-quality housing to tenants, many of whom are oblivious to the telltale signs. Tenant applicants need to be cautious when looking for a new home to rent. Here are the things to watch out for before signing your tenancy agreement:

Uncommunicative; procrastinates

A landlord is required to provide their tenants with a safe and secure home and must promptly respond to their requests for repairs. The Rogue Landlord and Agent Checker is available to tenants in London. It is a tool that renters can refer to for checking the credentials of potential landlords and letting agents to make sure they are trustworthy. 

An unconcerned home manager is a huge sign you’ve signed up with a rogue landlord. Usually such individuals don’t care for their community of tenants and are just there for the funds they will siphon from their properties. Most will not even supply their contact information as they don’t want to be bothered with tenant concerns.

Using the checker will help protect tenants from rogue landlords.

On-the-spot rental

Rogue landlords often ask you to sign on-the-spot rental agreements.

If you are a tenant looking to rent, make sure what the landlord is offering is actually legitimate. Never sign a tenancy agreement if you are yet to see the property. A rogue landlord will typically rush you into making the decision so you will not have the chance to ask them for documents.

No contract

If they cannot show you a sample or copy of the tenancy agreement, then maybe they do not have one for a reason. If they do show you one, ask questions and check all the clauses. Do not sign the contract without asking questions or clarifying whether you can make any changes. t. Ask the landlord to email you the final draft, and let them know you’ll have to go over each page and clause before signing.

No repair inventory

If you see some disrepair in your potential home during the house tour, ask the landlord for a complete inventory. If they do not have one, ask them why. If they do have a list, ask when the repairs will commence. 

Allows overcrowding

Studio or one-bedroom flats have, understandably, a limited capacity. Rogue landlords typically squeeze in more people into one shabby flat to maximise rent payment. Some tenants would be made to stay in the garage; some would share one tiny bedroom with some others sleeping on the couch or on the floor.

Unlawful rent increases

A rogue landlord does not care about the welfare of the tenant and charges a rent increase from time to time even while the fixed-term contract has not ended yet. If you tell the authorities and/or threaten not to pay, they usually retaliate by evicting you, with no warning or explanations given. Again, this sort of eviction would be unlawful.

Does not protect Tenancy Deposit 

Your assured shorthold tenancy security deposit needs to be protected through government-authorised tenancy deposit protection schemes such as MyDeposits and Deposit Protection Service. Such a protection scheme ensures your landlord will not lose your security deposit and that, if no deductions are to be made, you will get the whole amount after your tenancy agreement expires.

Ignores disrepair requests

Rogue landlords prefer to leave their property unrepaired despite persistent requests from tenants. No matter how many times you submit a request and how frequently you ask for updates, they will not respond or act on your requests.

Harassment and trespassing

If you have reported to your landlord all the disrepair in your home but they do not respond right away, keep following up until they do. They are supposed to give you a response within 21 days, after which, you have the option to seek professional help or take the case to court. 

However, do know that if they do respond, they’re obligated to issue you a notice that they intend to do so 24 hours before entering your home. If they don’t give you a heads-up in advance, you have the right to deny them entry. Ensure you do not fall victim to any harassment or trespassing. 

If they force their entry, you can seek the assistance of a lawyer.

How to report the rogue landlord

Before attempting any legal action against your rogue landlord, you might want to discuss things with them to clarify things. Do not go alone though. Have someone with you to witness the exchange.  

Note down everything that you want to discuss with them then send them a transcript of your notes and your meeting through email. 

Start your notes by indicating the reason you are filing the complaint and what you want to happen, date and time the problem occurred/you’ve noticed the disrepair, and the details of your conversation and agreement with them. Also provide:

  • photos and videos of any disrepair as evidence; 
  • receipts, if you had to buy materials to implement a stopgap solution; and 
  • if you can, present a medical certificate if you somehow developed health problems because of the dilapidated state of your home.

PDFBox are happy to direct you to some experts should you need to any help with a rogue landlord. Should you need assistance to get your case started, contact the housing disrepair experts at disrepairclaim.co.uk to get you compensated for your landlord’s negligence.