Last Updated: January 2017
You have a right to get repairs done.
You have a right to ask your local council to inspect your home and order your landlord to put things right.
You have a right to ask the court to order your landlord to do repairs.
You have a right to get repairs done. Your landlord has a duty to keep the structure and outside of your house in good condition, including drains, gutters and pipes. He/she has a duty to keep all the installations in your home for the supply of water, gas and electricity in good working order. He must also maintain basins, sinks, baths and toilets as well as appliances for heating and hot water. The landlord should also keep your home free of serious hazards. This includes things that might cause you to fall, such as stairs that are too steep or uneven surfaces. Other hazards include damp, infestations or homes that are hard (or too expensive) to keep warm. A failure to provide adequate locks to doors might be a hazard if there is a risk of intruders. You must first tell your landlord or their agent about any disrepair or hazards and give them a reasonable time to put things right. It’s best to put this in writing, such as an email or text message that you can keep a record of. If the landlord does not sort out the problem, you have a right to ask your local council to inspect your home and order your landlord to put things right. In addition, you have a right to ask the court to order your landlord to do repairs.
Other rights in regards to property maintenance
You have the right to:
- To have all the gas appliances checked. Your landlord must provide you with a Gas Safe Record every year certifying that the gas appliances are safe
- To know how energy efficient your home is. Accommodation should give details of the energy rating with an estimate of the fuel costs when it is advertised and landlords or their agents must give tenants and prospective tenants an Energy Performance Certificate to ask for the terms of your tenancy in writing.
Smart Meters for Private Renters
If you’re a tenant in a privately rented house, you might have been offered a smart meter by your electricity or gas supplier or your landlord might be talking about having one fitted. Every home in the country will be offered a smart meter to replace their existing gas and electricity meters, between now and 2020.
What is a Smart Meter?
A smart meter is a modern electricity or gas meter that sends automatic readings to the energy supplier – removing the need for estimated bills or for meter readers to visit the home regularly.
Who decides whether to get a smart meter installed in rented properties?
Gas and electricity meters belong to the energy supplier. It is the bill-payer’s decision whether or not to replace the existing gas and electricity meters with smart meters. The bill payer can contact the energy supplier to ask for the smart meters to be fitted, or the supplier may contact the bill payer. Therefore, if you are the energy bill payers, it is your decision whether or not to have smart meters installed. However, you may be in breach of tenancy agreements if this happens without your landlord’s consent – it is important in all rented situations therefore that both tenants and landlords are happy to have the meter installed. The energy company will need access to your property to install the meter.
Can my landlord use the smart meter to monitor my energy use?
Not unless the landlord pays the energy bills, in which case they will be sent bills linked to how much energy you have used, as is the case now. As part of the installation process, the bill payer will be given an in-home display device to help them monitor energy use in detail. This is wirelessly linked to – and locked to – the meters in that property. It only has a range to cover the house and its immediate vicinity. Accordingly, it is only useful for tenants to track their own energy use (it’s range is not sufficient for it to be used by landlords to monitor energy use remotely).