When you’re in rented accommodation it can be hard to make a place truly your own, and when it comes to any kind of improvements, you have to rely on your landlord to make any changes or alterations.
Although there might be things about your home that you’d like to change but are unable to because you’re renting, there are some things that you can ask your landlord to do – particularly when it comes to repairs.
There are some issues, such as rotting window frames, that a landlord would be obliged to repair. However, Which? recently pointed out that this doesn’t mean they have to upgrade the windows themselves at the same time.
Of course, some landlords may take the opportunity to replace old window frames and single-glazed panes with double glazing in Worsley – and in many respects they’d be sensible to do so – but because this would be counted as an improvement rather than a repair, a landlord isn’t obliged to make the switch. They simply have to fix the window frames.
As a renter, too, there are some things that are considered minor wear and tear, which you would be responsible for repairing. But when should you contact your landlord if something is wrong?
According to the consumer rights organisation, it’s vital to contact the owner of your property if there is any disrepair or damp. This will usually indicate an issue with the building that needs to be addressed and it’s their job to do so, not yours.
If your landlord fails to fix the disrepair, you may have a case to claim compensation. To do so you need to prove that the landlord knew about the problems though, which is why it’s advisable to keep all your correspondence in writing.
Older renters are one of the groups worst affected by low-quality rental properties, a new report from Independent Age recently suggested. The charity’s research found that twice as many private renters over the age of 65 reported issues with cold or damp compared to homeowners or social renters of the same age.
Landlords and tenants should also be aware of the new legislation set to be introduced to regulate the energy efficiency of private rented properties, which sets out minimum energy efficiency standards that need to be achieved before a house or flat can be let.
The Residential Landlords’ Association notes that the new rules, whereby all private rented accommodation that is being let for the first time, or where a tenancy is renewing, needs an energy performance certificate rating of at least E, will come into force on 1 April 2018.
For properties that are already rented, the new rules won’t come into force until April 2020, giving landlords a bit more time to make any necessary adjustments.
While this may mean that, as a tenant, you’ll see improvements made to the property you live in, you won’t have any input over which improvements your landlord chooses to make. They are only required to bring the property up to an E standard, and it’s at their discretion whether they make any further alterations.