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Landlords’ Responsibilities for Repair and Maintenance

2.1 Landlords’ Responsibilities for Repair and Maintenance

In addition to any repair responsibilities explicitly set out in the tenancy
agreement, common law and statute will imply terms to the agreement
between landlord and tenant. These terms form part of the contract, even
though they have not been specifically agreed between the two parties.
[See section 2.2 for more detail on implied terms.]

Specific obligations to repair are set out in detail in the sections below. As
a general rule the building itself and the immediate surroundings should
be able to withstand normal weather conditions, and normal use by tenants
and their visitors.

The property should be in a reasonable state of repair both internally
and externally and fit for human habitation at the start of the tenancy.
There should be no dampness, either in the form of rising or penetrating
damp, from the outside. Condensation may be as a result of the tenant’s
behaviour but it may also have implications for landlord if the ventilation is
inadequate or some structural problem is causing it. An investigation of the
cause will be needed to be able to decide responsibility.

Statutory and common law requires that there should be no unacceptable
level of risk to the health or safety of the occupiers or their visitors.

Remember that if the tenant or visitors have an accident or suffer injury
due to the poor condition of the property (for example a fall caused by a
broken handrail or respiratory diseases caused by damp conditions), the
landlord may be liable to them for damages for personal injury.