A landlord has a legal duty to make sure your home complies with certain minimum physical standards.
As a landlord you must:
- Ensure that the house is essentially sound with roof, floors, ceilings, walls and stairs in good repair and not subject to serious dampness or rotting
- Provide a sink with hot and cold water.
- Provide a bath or shower and toilet. If you are living in a bedsit or flat, your landlord must provide a toilet and bath/shower for every two flats, unless four single people are living in four single bedsits in which case all four may share a toilet and bath/shower.
- Provide appliances for space heating, which may include an open fire
- Provide facilities for installation of cooking equipment and facilities for the hygienic storage of food
- Ensure that electricity or gas supplies are in good repair and safe
- Ensure that every room has adequate ventilation and both natural and artificial lighting
- Ensure that all common areas used by more than one household are kept in good repair
- Ensure that all unoccupied basements, outbuildings, yards and forecourts are kept in good repair.
The tenancy agreement will set out which repairs are the responsibility of the local authority or housing association and which are the responsibility of the tenant. Generally, the tenant is responsible for interior decoration, mending broken windows and fittings and the local authority or housing association is responsible for major structural repairs and external decoration and maintenance.
If your rented accommodation is sub-standard and / or the landlord refuses to carry out repairs that are included on the aforementioned list, the tenant has the right to ask the local authority to make the landlord comply with these standards. Failure to comply with the minimum standards can result in penalties. Further disputes between landlords and tenants in the private sector can be mediated by the Private Residential Tenancies Board.