Requesting repairs from a landlord: who is responsible for the urgent work needed in our building?

Question: I own a conversion flat in an old building. The building is generally in a poor state and there are some urgent repair works that need to be carried out.

I believe the landlord should be responsible for dealing with these issues — but what is the best way to proceed?

Answer: Check your lease to confirm the extent of the building that the landlord is required to repair and maintain. It is likely these parts will include, at the very least, the main structure of the building and any common areas.

You must provide the landlord with written notice of the disrepair and should accompany the notice with details and photographic evidence of this.

The notice must be dated and properly addressed to the landlord and, where relevant, their managing agent.

The landlord must have a reasonable opportunity in which to carry out the necessary works.

What is reasonable will naturally depend on the circumstances and, in the case of urgent repair works as here, the landlord should act as quickly as possible.

A detailed note of all correspondence should be kept for future reference.

If the landlord fails to take any action in relation to the required works, there are a number of remedies that may be available and I would recommend contacting a solicitor to advise further.

These answers can only be a very brief commentary on the issues raised and should not be relied on as legal advice. No liability is accepted for such reliance. If you have similar issues, you should obtain advice from a solicitor.

If you have a question for Piers King, email legalsolutions@standard.co.uk or write to Legal Solutions, Homes & Property, Evening Standard, 2 Derry Street, W8 5EE. Questions cannot be answered individually, but we will try to feature them here.

Piers King is a solicitor in the property department of Streathers Solicitors LLP.



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