Financial Risks of Ignoring Maintenance Issues

The Financial Risks of Ignoring Maintenance Issues as a Landlord

Owning a rental property can be a profitable venture, but it also comes with specific legal responsibilities. Under section 11 of the Housing Act 1985, landlords have a binding legal obligation to maintain their properties. This duty isn’t limited to just the property’s visible parts; it encompasses both its exterior and interior.

What Does Maintenance Mean Under the Act? 

The term ‘maintenance’ may sound broad, but in essence, it signifies ensuring the property remains in a habitable condition. This not only implies fixing broken installations or structures but also encompasses tackling other potentially harmful conditions, such as mould. Such conditions might not be immediately noticeable as repair issues, but they do affect a tenant’s health and safety, thereby making the property unfit for habitation.

Furthermore, the act also mandates that all installations in the property, be it related to water, gas, electricity or sanitation, must be in good working order. This is crucial as malfunctioning installations can pose severe threats to tenants, ranging from inconvenience to potential hazards.

Free Landlord Resources

Free Instant Valuation

See how much your property could get in rent.

Fee Saving Calculator

See how much you could save on property fees.

Yield calculator

Calculate your rental yield with our simple tool

Compliance checklist

Make sure your buy-to-let property remains legal.

Compliance Guide

Download your complete landlord compliance guide 

The Cost of Non-compliance 

Failure to uphold these responsibilities can be a costly oversight. Take, for instance, a recent case in Coventry where a landlord was slapped with a fine exceeding £30k. The hefty penalty was a result of the landlord being found guilty on three separate counts of failing to address maintenance issues, including unsafe electrical installations and mouldy furniture provided for the tenants. Such instances serve as a stark reminder that non-compliance can have significant financial implications.

The financial penalties aren’t the only thing landlords need to be wary of. Local councils can issue warnings, termed as ‘improvement notices’, mandating landlords to upgrade or rectify aspects of their properties. Failure to comply with such notices escalates matters further, with potentially even more severe consequences, including prohibition orders on the property and criminal prosecution.

Empowerment of Tenants 

Today, tenants are more informed and empowered than ever before. If they feel their residence isn’t being adequately maintained, they can easily approach local authorities. These bodies are proactive in ensuring that properties under their jurisdiction meet the mandated standards. If a property is found lacking, it’s not just the threat of potential fines in the tens of thousands that landlords should be concerned about; it’s also the tarnishing of their reputation as a reliable landlord.

Owning a rental property isn’t merely about collecting rent. It’s about ensuring that the property offers a safe and habitable environment for its occupants. While the responsibilities might seem burdensome, they are there for a reason. After all, a well-maintained property is not just beneficial for the tenant; it is also an asset that will appreciate in value and stand the test of time.

Meet Sam your local Expert

Sam has a wealth of experience across the private landlord and Build to Rent sectors. He has advised a wide range of clients across the whole of London on how to find great tenants, improve their assets and effectively market their properties for the best returns.

Our Trusted Partners

As Featured on