by Ed Firmin
Posted on Tuesday, November 10th, 2015 at 10:00
The beginning of October was a very busy month for landlords and letting agents. There were lots of requirements which needed to be put into place, smoke alarms, carbon monoxide alarms, ensuring the tenant has the ‘How to Rent’ document given to them…the list goes on.
I’ve covered the majority of these issues in previous blogs, but there was also another requirement which wasn’t as prominent, did you know that it is advisable for landlords to provide their tenant with a template for reporting repairs in writing?
Although most tenants would probably ring up their landlord or letting agent to say that the boiler wasn’t working, they should be encouraged to follow this up in writing using the template you have provided. You should also give them contact details of where to send this (address or email address would be fine).
If a tenant reports that a repair is needed in writing then a landlord must respond to that within 14 days with a plan, or they lose their right to serve a Section 21 (notice requiring possession).
If a tenant has been served a Section 21, then sometimes it is claimed in their defence that they have reported a repair, and the landlord’s answer to that is to serve a Section 21. Judges can adjourn cases if they think that there is a repair issue that needs resolving.
So, putting this process in place will help the landlord prepare against this potential defence by tenants. If landlords can demonstrate that they have put a repairs process in place, and the tenant has failed to comply with this, and failed to provide written evidence of a repair request, then this will help the landlord if they subsequently have to defend themselves against eviction procedures.
It’s in the landlord’s best interests, therefore, that they ensure this procedure is in place. The template doesn’t have to be anything complicated, just name of person reporting fault, date, time, list of what the problem is, and also contact details that the tenant should forward the form to. If the tenant reports the fault over the phone, then ensure they do confirm the problem in writing.
If you would like any more additional information about latest legislations to affect landlords, please do get in touch, I am more than happy to offer advice.