Being a landlord is a great way of earning a living, but if you’re not fully aware of your duties and responsibilities towards your tenants, it can prove a nightmare. Plumbing is one of the areas that can give you real headache if you let it, so being familiar with your duty of care, and the split between who is responsible for what is key.
What it boils down to in essence is that you, as a landlord, are responsible for the fabric of the premises and the fitted appliances.
The landlord’s external areas of plumbing responsibility
In terms of external items, it is the landlord’s responsibility to maintain (and repair when necessary), the following:
- Guttering and rainwater pipes
- Waste pipes
If anything on this list either becomes blocked, or unsafe, it’s the landlord’s responsibility to have it fixed. If however, the tenant blocks any waste pipes or gullies through misuse, then it is the tenant’s responsibility to have it repaired.
The landlord’s internal areas of plumbing responsibilities
In terms of internal plumbing, the landlord plumbing responsibilities cover:
- Boilers and/or hot water cylinders
- Radiator valves
- Internal pipe-work
In addition, if they become damaged or discoloured, either through ordinary wear and tear, or because they were badly installed in the first place, the landlord is responsible for replacing baths, wash basins, sinks, WC bowls, and WC seats. Of course if the tenant damages any of these items, it is that tenant’s responsibility to have them replaced.
Conducting entry and exit audits
When it comes down to identifying damage done by the tenant; if not handled correctly, it can easily become a grey area. In order to avoid this happening, it’s important that both landlord and tenants should conduct a thorough audit of the property, and the integrity of any fitted appliances and items of plumbing, checked to clearly establish that everything is sound, and in good working order. This needs to be done each time a new tenant moves in, and when old tenants move out. It establishes a clear starting/finishing point, and helps to clarify who is responsible for what in terms of damage repairs. It’s essential for both landlord and tenant, and looks after the best interests of both parties.
Working with a quality “gas safe” plumber
Finding a good plumber to work with can both make any landlord’s working life a lot easier, and will also help to safeguard any tenant’s quality of habitation too. Knowing that new products and appliances are installed soundly, correctly, and most importantly of all, safely, benefits everyone. Any gas appliances have an attendant risk or hazard factor, so it is essential that any plumbers that are employed are “Gas Safe Register” approved, the new standard that replaces the old CORGI designation.
Keep gas safe
When it comes down to gas appliances it’s also really important to make sure that they are correctly and regularly maintained, in order to avoid the possibility of carbon monoxide poisoning developing. It’s an essential part of any landlord plumbing responsibilities and duty of care towards his/her tenants.