As a tenant, it can often be confusing when it comes to understanding which repairs in your rented property are your responsibility, and which are the responsibility of the landlord. While we’ve made an effort to clarify this in FAQs, blog posts and our Tenant Like Manner guide, there are always situations that you can miss. This week’s blog will focus on whether it is the landlord or tenant’s responsibility to sort the damage caused by leaking and flooding.
If a buy-to-let property suffers from flooding or leaking, it’s very likely that the tenants will turn to their landlord to request repairs. This is especially likely if a tenant lives in a flat and suffers leaking from a neighbour’s flat, particularly if that neighbour lives above them.
It is the landlord’s responsibility to repair any structural damage to the property caused by the excess water, whether this be walls, plasterwork or ceiling. However, the landlord’s responsibility to repair only stands if they are informed of the damage to begin with.
Once a landlord has been informed of the damage, it is their responsibility to undertake the repairs in a timely manner and to an acceptable manner. Landlords can use the pay-out from their insurance policy to pay for the repairs, and tenants may be required to allow insurance surveyors access to the property.
When a tenant’s possessions become damaged because of flooding or leaking, it is not necessarily the liability of the landlord, although some landlords may have specific insurance to cover their tenant’s possessions in these cases. When the damage comes from a leak caused by a third-party, for example if the leak originated in a flat above, then the tenant can pursue a claim of nuisance. It is recommended, however, that if a tenant has contents insurance that they should leave it to their insurance provider to pursue the third-party.
If a tenant does not have insurance, they can attempt to take court action to recover the cost of any damages.
If the landlord also owns the property from which the leak originated, they can be liable for any damage caused to a tenant’s possessions; this is because the other rented property is now considered to be in disrepair.
Wherever a leak or flooding originates from, it is crucial they inform their landlord, or their property management agent as soon as possible.
While it is unlikely that you will experience any flooding or leaking in your property during your tenancy, it’s always best to be aware of the correct procedure should you ever come across a leak that needs fixing.
If you’re confused about whether damage to the property is your responsibility or the responsibility of the landlord, you can find more information on our tenant pages, by calling us on 02920 668585, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or you can visit CPS Homes at one of our three Cardiff branches where one of our lettings agents will be happy to clarify, but the sooner we know about any damages the sooner we can contact the responsible party and solve the problem.