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Is Landlord Responsible for Plumbing Issues When Renting UK?

Is Landlord Responsible for Plumbing Issues When Renting UK?

Being a landlord requires your full commitment. Aside from keeping your property marketable and reducing voice periods, it is also important for you to ensure that it is habitable and safe for all your tenants.

A very common issue between tenants and landlords has something to do with who is responsible for some maintenance problems like plumbing.

To answer this concern, below are some things you should know about who will be legally responsible for plumbing issues when renting in the UK.

Plumbing Checks Before a New Tenancy Begins

Prior to the start of a new tenancy, it is the responsibility of the landlord to hire a plumbing company to identify and repair any existing plumbing issues in the property. The rental property should be in liveable and safe condition once the new tenant moves in. If the property is in poor state, the local authority can enforce the necessary action. The following should be part of pre-tenancy plumbing checks:

  • Accessibility

If there are physically disabled tenants, landlords are required to make some reasonable adjustments like installation of handrails in the bathroom.

  • Drains

Eliminate any obstructions from drains and gutters. A pre-tenancy drain inspection and clean can offer peace of mind.

  • Fittings, valves, and radiators

Ensure that the radiators work properly.

  • Hot water cylinders and boilers

Check that everything works as it should be. A Gas Safe engineer must annually inspect and repair boilers or any gas appliances.

  • Pipes

Inspect if there are corrosion on the metal pipes.

  • Showers or bathtubs

Replace the seals when needed and check for signs of damp.


  • Sinks

Ensure that the water drains properly.

  • Taps

Check for leaks or drips.

If there are plumbing problems identified before the new tenant moves in, it is the responsibility of the landlord to fix them. Aside from making sure that the property is safe and habitable, it will also let the landlord identify issues early on before they turn into serious and pricier problems.

When Tenants Move In

The moment the new tenant has moved in, the landlord must provide them all the necessary information that they can use during emergencies, such as the number of emergency plumbers and the instructions for turning off the mains gas and water supply.

Landlords also need to explain potential damages that may be the result of washing food waste and non-biodegradable items down drains and sinks. Tenants should also be informed that it will be their responsibility if blockages occur in the gullies, waste pipes, and drains through misuse. These things can be communicated verbally or be included in the tenant information pack.

Responsibility for Repairs

After the tenant moved to the property, the party responsible for plumbing issues is dependent on the type of repair and reason for the fault. If damages are due to the tenant’s misuse or the tenant made the problem worse by trying to repair a problem themselves, the bill will be paid by the tenant. If the fault is because of normal wear and tear, the landlord will fix the issue. But, for minor repairs like a dripping tap, it is likely the tenant’s responsibility that depends on the lease terms.