There are often disagreements when it comes to property maintenance. Landlords think the tenants should take care of it and tenants think the landlords should. It really depends on what type of maintenance needs to be done and how urgent it is.
The rule is that landlords have responsibility for repairs that are referred to commonly as fair wear and tear, and tenants have responsibility for repairs caused by them, their flatmates, family or visitors.
Tenants can also be responsible for to items such as tap washers, light bulbs and stove elements, depending on what is detailed in the Tenancy Agreement. Section 40 and 45 of Residential Tenancies Act (RTA) details Landlord and Tenant responsibilities.
Property Maintenance: Urgent repairs:
If a tenant or resident requests urgent repairs, it is your responsibility as the landlord or owner to respond immediately. The tenant should not have to take care of these things themselves.
Urgent repairs are:
- burst water service
- blocked or broken toilet system
- serious roof leak
- gas leak
- dangerous electrical fault
- flooding or serious flood damage
- serious storm or fire damage
- failure or breakdown of any essential service or appliance provided by a landlord or agent for hot water, water, cooking, heating, or laundering
- failure or breakdown of the gas, electricity or water supply
- any fault or damage in the premises that makes the premises unsafe or insecure
- an appliance, fitting or fixture that is not working properly and causes a substantial amount of water to be wasted
- a serious fault in a lift or staircase.
Property Maintenance: Non-urgent repairs:
For non-urgent repairs, the tenant must let the landlord know in writing, advising them what needs to be repaired and giving them 14 days to carry out the repairs.
A landlord’s reaction time to a maintenance issues will vary according to the type of problem, but a good time frame would be, immediate for urgent repairs, 48 hours for moderate repairs and 5-10 days for normal repairs.
Certain repairs may require an insurance claim and it is good practice to contact the insurance company immediately you suspect that a claim might be possible.
What is the most outlandish maintenance request you have received from a tenant?