In this article we’re focusing on a vital aspect of the tenant-landlord relationship that often gets overlooked: reporting repairs.
Understanding when and how to report a repair is essential not only to maintain your comfortable living standards but also to ensure the property’s long-term value. Let’s delve into the details of what to report, why it matters, and how to go about it.
Recognising What to Report
First things first, what sort of issues should be reported to your landlord or estate agent? Essentially, any damage or malfunctions that affect the property’s condition, safety or functionality should be brought to your landlord’s attention. This includes but is not limited to:
- Electrical issues such as faulty wiring, flickering lights, or malfunctioning sockets.
- Plumbing problems like leaks, blocked drains or inadequate water pressure.
- Heating and hot water issues.
- Damaged fixtures or fittings.
- Structural problems, like damp, mould or cracks in the walls.
- Broken appliances that came with the property.
Please note that wear and tear over time is normal. However, anything beyond that which could affect the functionality or value of the property should be reported.
The Importance of Reporting Small Repairs
It may seem easier to ignore that tiny leak or to live with the odd flickering light. Still, reporting minor repairs is in your best interest for a number of reasons:
1. Prevention is Better Than Cure
Minor issues left unattended can develop into major problems down the line. A small leak might lead to damp and mould, and a flickering light could indicate a serious electrical issue. Reporting these issues promptly allows for quicker, easier fixes and can prevent bigger problems from developing.
2. Protecting Your Deposit
Maintaining the property in good condition is one of your responsibilities as a tenant. Any damage or deterioration could be deducted from your deposit at the end of your tenancy. By reporting repairs as they arise, you’re protecting your deposit.
3. Maintaining a Safe Environment
Faulty electrics, damaged fixtures, and mould growth can all create health and safety risks. By reporting repairs, you’re ensuring the property remains safe and habitable.
How to Report Repairs
The process of reporting repairs can vary from landlord to landlord and estate agency to estate agency, but some general steps should always be followed:
- Assess the problem: Before reaching out, understand what the issue is and its severity. This will help your landlord or estate agent prioritise the repair.
- Document the issue: Take pictures and write a brief description of the problem. This helps to provide a clear understanding of the issue and serves as evidence should there be any disputes later.
- Contact your landlord or estate agent: This should ideally be in writing (email is perfect), detailing the issue and including any pictures or supporting documentation.
- Follow up: If you don’t hear back within a reasonable time, don’t hesitate to follow up.
Remember, you have a right to live in a safe and well-maintained property. As a tenant, reporting repairs is not just about keeping the property in good shape; it’s about ensuring your home is comfortable, functional and safe.