When Renting Is It The Tenants Or Landlords Responsibility To Repair Or Replace A Broken Oven?
You peer through the glass door of the oven and marvel at your best attempt yet at a homemade loaf of bread. Then the oven light suddenly flickers off and you watch your delicate creation deflate to a sad looking lump.
Whose job is it to repair the cooker then? Is it you, the tenant, who is responsible for replacing the oven? After all you’re the one who’s been using it to cook up all those dishes inspired by that retro recipe book you got from your Gran when she was doing a clear-out. But then again, your landlord was the one who supplied the oven with the house in the first place, so perhaps they are the ones who should buy the new oven?
The answer actually lies in the tenancy agreement you should have signed with your landlord when you first moved into your new home. You know, the one that should be kept safe in the private and secure Tenant’s Tools area of our site where you can store all of your documents and information related to your tenancies. Go on, give it a go, it’s free.
Remember: you can rate your landlord on Marks Out Of Tenancy.
Dig out your tenancy agreement now and give it a read, keep an eye out for sentences related to “white goods” repairs. According to the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985, the landlord is only legally responsible for repairing and maintaining “the supply of water, gas and electricity and for sanitation (including basins, sinks, baths and sanitary conveniences”). In some cases though, it is possible that the landlord accepts responsibility for white goods such as the washing machine, dryer, or oven.
This situation of your oven only possibly being covered in your tenancy agreement stems from the fact that by law the landlord must “keep in repair and proper working order the installations [...] for space heating and heating water”. Typically this refers to the boiler and the radiators, though arguably heating water to cook ungodly portions of pasta is usually done on the hob of a cooker, so there exists this legal grey area in which landlords can decide in their own tenancy agreements whether or not their property’s oven falls into the category of water heater or not.
If your oven is in need of repair or replacement in your rental property, and your landlord has stated in the tenancy agreement they’ll cover the costs of white goods repairs, then as page nine of the Government handbook on renting says be sure to get in contact with your landlord as soon as possible in writing about the repair job needed. Text message or email is best so that you have concrete proof that you did indeed contact them, though carrier pigeon could also work if you keep the little notes safe.
By law, landlords have to see to any repairs you make them aware of within a “reasonable” amount of time; we know right, that’s not a vague amount of time at all. In reality it’s just legalese for a period of time which reflects the severity of the situation you’re in. Shelter recommends you tell your landlord how much it disrupts your life not having an oven, and that you speak to them as soon as you can about it. If you do get a new gas cooker on the way, make sure your landlord has it fitted professionally, as that is a legal duty of theirs.
Remember, if you, your family, or your guests caused the oven’s untimely demise, then you are the ones responsible for repairing or replacing it. Though if the oven broke from general wear and tear, then there’s a chance your tenancy agreement ensures your landlord will have the task of repairing or replacing your current one.
Marks Out Of Tenancy’s TL;DR:
Your oven has broken in your rental property. Are you, the tenant, responsible for replacing it? Or is the landlord? Your tenancy agreement should hold the answers to this. Landlords aren’t by law required to repair or replace white goods in their properties, although if it’s a gas cooker they are required to make sure it is fitted properly. If your white goods are covered, get hold of your landlord as soon as possible and ensure they’re made aware of how much you rely on your oven each day. Then it should be fixed within a reasonable period of time.
Rate your landlord on Marks Out Of Tenancy.