What is Section 11 of the landlord and tenant act 1985?

25 August 2022

For landlords and tenants alike, the law can be quite confusing at times. So, it’s beneficial to know your rights and what you have to do in order to meet the law.

Here, we’ve written down what Section 11 is in the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985. If you’re a landlord or a tenant, the following information will help you to understand the law in clear terms.

Section 11 states that landlords are obligated to maintain the property’s exterior, structure and installations of their rental property.

These basic repairs in the dwelling house include supply of water, heating systems, drainage, sanitary appliances and gas and electricity.

Section 11 is applicable for all tenancy agreements unless:

  • the tenancy began before 24th October 1961 or
  • the tenancy is a fixed term of 7+ years

This section applies to both private and public landlords in their tenancy agreement, and must be adhered to in order to meet the law.

Landlords must give at least 24 hours’ written notice before rightfully inspecting the property for any repairs that may need doing.

What is the landlord responsible for?

The landlord is obliged to keep in repair and proper working order of the following:

  • any structurally-related repairs related to the dwelling’s appearance, shape and stability.
  • plaster-work for both the interior and exterior of the dwelling, staircases and banisters – this is included in the property’s structure.
  • rising damp – this is also included in the property’s structure and will be in breach of the tenancy if not repaired
  • exterior parts of the dwelling including drains, gutters and external pipe – again, this is part of structurally-related repairs
  • electrical work such as safe electrical installations including light fittings, circuit boards, plug sockets and wiring. Inspections should be carried out every five years
  • appliances which the landlord has provided such as washing machines, dishwashers and fridges
  • all gas components – these include fittings, installations, pipes and flues. A gas safety check should be carried out annually
  • water and sanitation – these include toilets, sewage and drainage, running water and bathroom appliances such as baths, sinks etc.
  • heating and hot water systems including boilers of any kind and other appliances such as underfloor heating. This should be checked every five years
  • fire and smoke alarms – these checks should be carried out by tenants on a regular basis

What happens if a repair needs doing?

The terms ‘keep in repair’ and ‘proper working order’ imply that everything above should be continuously kept in good working order, from the start of the tenancy, in order for the property to adhere to Section 11.

If this isn’t the case, then the landlord is obliged to undergo repairs to ensure that the dwelling is in proper working order. This should be done in a timely manner and should then be maintained to a liveable standard.

A timeframe isn’t specifically stated in Section 11 of the Landlord and Tenant Act. However, repairs should be undertaken in a reasonable timeframe.

If the damage is dangerous or causes significant issues, the landlord is obliged to carry out the repairs as soon as possible. For example, if the property’s boiler breaks down during winter, this would been seen as a matter of urgency.

As mentioned earlier, landlords must notify the tenant at least 24 hours prior to inspection of any works being carried out. This should be agreed with the tenant to ensure that it is convenient for both parties.

However, if the landlord is continuously denied access, causing the repairs to be significantly delayed, then they can access the property without the tenant’s permission. This can only be done if they can prove that they attempted to meet “all reasonable endeavours”* with the tenant before being denied access.

Section 11 also states that any repairs undertaken do not have to be left in a perfect state. The property’s age, character and prospective life are taken into account to decipher the standard of repair. This will ensure that the dwelling is left in a habitable state so it is fit for occupation.

What is the landlord not responsible for?

However, landlords are not responsible for the following:

  • any damage that has been done by the tenant themselves
  • any damage or destruction that has been caused by fire, tempest, flood or natural accident
  • anything that the tenant is allowed to remove from the property such as the washing machine, dishwasher or cooker

How can Swale Heating help?

Thankfully, we are here to help you maintain your property’s central heating system.

If you’re in need of a new boiler, or want to look at upgrading your property’s heating system with a renewable solution, then contact us today via our website. We also offer boiler cover and service plans for peace of mind if something goes wrong.

Alternatively, you can give us a call on 0800 731 3344 to speak with one of our expert Sales Team. Rely on us to keep you warm.

Information sources:

* Legislation UK Government