Keeping your tenants happy: Repair response times and compliance

24 Apr 2024

As a landlord, ensuring your tenants' comfort and safety is paramount. This includes addressing repair requests promptly and efficiently. Here's a breakdown of your repair obligations and how to handle them within a reasonable timeframe (Handy tip: As a managing agent, we ensure our landlords keep up to date with their legal responsibilities and advise on what needs to be done to keep them compliant.)
Your repair responsibilities:
In the UK, landlords are legally responsible for maintaining the structure and essential services of their rental properties. This typically includes:
  • Structure and exterior: Walls, roof, windows, doors, gutters, drains.
  • Essential services: Heating, hot water, electrical wiring, gas appliances (including safety checks).
  • Sanitary fittings: Sinks, baths, toilets, pipes.
That's a lot to be responsible for, and that only escalates the more properties you have in your portfolio. We've got the systems and the teams in place to keep on top of it all, so you don't need to give it a second thought. Our Fixflo integration in our website allows your tenants to report almost any issue easily through a pictorial navigation system (available in over 40 languages).
Responding in "reasonable time":
While the law doesn't specify exact timelines, it emphasises "reasonable time" for repairs. Here's a guide to managing expectations:
  • Urgent repairs: Major issues that pose a health or safety risk, like a broken boiler in winter, demand immediate action (ideally within 24 hours).
  • Non-urgent repairs: Leaky taps, loose floorboards, or faulty light switches require a response within a reasonable timeframe (a few days to a week), depending on contractor availability.
Rest assured, with all properties under our management, we always relay the reported issue to you as quickly as possible once it has been reported - thanks in part to the tools available to us through Fixflo. Unless specified otherwise, through confirmation or your works authorisation limit, we are limited in our capacity to address the issue without approval from you.
Communicate clearly, and respond quickly:
  • Prompt response: Acknowledge repair requests promptly, even if you cannot completely address them immediately. Giving us an acknowledgement at the least enables us to give the tenant confidence that their issue is being taken seriously.
  • Clear communication: Explain the next steps. We will outline the next best steps moving forward, whether it's scheduling an inspection or arranging a repair person.
  • Set realistic expectations: If delays are anticipated due to scheduling, we will inform the tenant and provide a revised timeframe. If you are instructing your own engineers to address the issue, please keep us informed with timelines and progress updates.

Working with tenants:
  • Encourage open communication: A well-informed tenant can provide details that expedite the repair process.
  • Maintain records: We document all communication regarding repairs, including dates and actions taken. This is crucial for legal purposes and is all kept neatly within our maintenance system.
A prompt and professional response to repair requests fosters trust and positive tenant relationships. By prioritising these repairs and maintaining open communication, we minimise the risk of complaints and potential involvement from local authorities.
When managing your properties on your own, you need to juggle all of these elements yourself. Our opinion? You don't need the hassle. Our team of experts manages and maintains over 1200 properties efficiently and effectively for our management clients. It doesn't have to be your headache. Get in touch with Jack, our Works Manager, to find out more!

Posted By

Jack Shelley

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