Landlord repairs: are they your responsibility?
Taking care of your tenants as a landlord is not just good business sense, it’s also the law. If you’re a landlord in Glasgow (or Scotland as a whole), you should be adhering to the government’s repairing standard.
Renting out a property can be demanding. There are a lot of responsibilities but thankfully most of these are laid out in law so that you shouldn’t go wrong by accident. Many of them are common sense, but some you might not have thought about so read this and the information on mygov.scot as well!
Renting to private tenants means you need to make sure your property meets the standards in the sections below. Carry out inspections regularly but especially before a new tenant moves in.
Keep them dry
The property shouldn’t have leaks or draughty gaps. So make sure the roof is watertight, the seals around the windows are good, and there aren’t any large gaps under doors. Apart from it being more pleasant for your tenant, it will protect your property from damp and damage, and extend the amount of time you can rent it out and probably how long your tenants stays for.
Keep them warm
Your heating and hot water systems are vital for a cold country like Scotland. Make sure your boiler is regularly serviced and there aren’t any leaking radiator pipes. Gas appliances must be installed and maintained by a registerd Gas Safe Engineers.
Keep them safe
Make sure there are no trip and fall hazards. Fit safety railing on stairs – don’t forget communal stairs. All electrical appliances like washing machines, toasters and microwaves must be PAT tested every year, and check there’s no chance large furniture items like wardrobes could fall on people by securing them to walls.
Smoke detectors must be fitted in the living room, and each hall/landing, whereas kitchen require a heat alarm, these all have to be hard wired and interlinked. If you have a gas supply in the property you also need a carbon monoxide detector and this should be positioned near the boiler.
A final safety check you need to carry out is a risk assessment for Legionella, which is a bug that can live in cold water storage tanks and other parts of your cold water system. As long as your water systems are circulating properly, the risk should be low, but you have to check nonetheless.
Even if you take the most care, you might still have tenant accidents. See our article on landlord insurance!
Health and safety
You have an obligation to make sure anyone carrying out repairs or doing other work on your home is kept safe too. This shouldn’t prove much of a challenge, but you should ensure your workforce follows best practice and there is nothing in the tasks they perform that could cause them harm.
Dealing with the tenants while carrying out repairs
You have a right to access the property but you need to ensure you give notice. If it’s not an emergency repair, you should let tenants know what you need to do at least 24 hours in advance. This gives them a chance to feel comfortable with people coming into their home and tidy things up in the area in question.
Don’t ignore tenant’s requests – they can take you to a Housing and Property Chamber tribunal who can force you to make the repairs anyway. The best way to make sure tenants feel taken care of is if you keep lines of communication open. Tell them what’s happening and when, and they will feel more confident in you.
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