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Landlord and tenant responsibilities

Under the conditions of the tenancy agreement, both the tenant and the Housing Executive or housing association have responsibilities for carrying out repairs to properties.

Who is responsible?

Tenant and landlord responsibilities are summarised as follows:

External works

The tenant is responsible for:

  • care and upkeep of gardens and hedges
  • cleaning of gully traps

The landlord is responsible for:

  • repairs to garden paths, walls, fences and gates where installed by the landlord
  • the replacement of wheely bins every seven years where replacement is deemed necessary
  • replacement of rotary clothes driers
  • maintenance of communal amenity areas, unless these are the responsibility of the local council
  • outside repair work involving structural repairs to walls, outside doors, windows (but not replacement of glass), roofs, chimneys, valleys, gutters, downpipes and house drains (excluding cleaning of gullies)
  • external paintwork

Internal decoration

The tenant is responsible for keeping the interior of the dwelling in reasonable decorative order.

Electrical repairs

The landlord is responsible for:

  • electrical wiring
  • repair to electrical appliances, fires and heaters where fitted by the landlord
  • door entry systems to communal blocks
  • ceiling roses, lamp holders and flexes
  • socket outlets and switches

The tenant is responsible for:

  • repair to electrical appliances, fires and heaters not installed by the landlord
  • door bells (where not installed by the Housing Executive or housing association) and plug tops on appliances
  • re-setting of trips and replacement of fuses, except main service fuses which are the responsibility of Northern Ireland Electricity

Cooking and heating appliances

The landlord is responsible for NIHE installed:

  • repairs to defective solid fuel cookers and stoves
  • solid fuel room heaters
  • fire hearth and surrounds
  • annual service of heating appliances where installed by NIHE

Plumbing

The landlord is responsible for:

  • clearing blocked sewers, drains and external waste pipes other than gullies and waste pipes blocked through tenant misuse
  • boilers and hot water cylinders
  • pipe work, radiators, fittings and valves

The tenant is responsible for:

  • stoppers and chains for baths, sinks and basins
  • replacement of wash basins, wc bowls and wc seats (except where damaged or discoloured through fair wear and tear or by faulty installation)
  • replacement of baths, sinks and drainers (except where damaged or discoloured through fair wear and tear or by faulty installation)

Doors and windows

The landlord is responsible for:

  • window frames, sashes and window furniture
  • repair of defective internal and external doors, saddles and door frames
  • hinges, locks, handles, trapper bars and letter boxes on external doors

The tenant is responsible for:

  • hinges, locks and handles to internal doors
  • kitchen and bedroom unit doors, door hinges, handles and catches on drawers
  • draught proofing of doors and windows
  • replacement of broken glass

Structural and other repairs

The landlord is responsible for:

  • walls, staircases and all structural timbers, roof, chimney and rainwater goods
  • wall and floor tiling
  • architraves, skirting boards, timber sills and other internal decorative woodwork
  • airbricks and ventilators
  • roofspace insulation (where the tenant has not been receiving grant aid)
  • timber rot

The tenant is responsible for:

  • sweeping chimneys and the cost of any work required because of the failure to sweep chimneys
  • internal plaster cracks on walls and ceilings

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