A guide to reporting maintenance issues

The responsibility for most repairs within your property lies with your landlord.

At Seekers, we use PropertyFile, which is a convenient app based system that allows tenants to report maintenance issues with ease. 

What responsibilities do landlords have?

Before reporting a maintenance problem, it’s important to know whether or not it’s your responsibility to fix, or your landlord’s. Section 11 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 states the landlord’s obligations to keep in repair both the interior and exterior of the building, with specific repairs including:

  • Maintenance and repairs to electrical wiring and electrical systems

  • The upkeep of gas pipes and boilers

  • Heating and Water Systems

  • Maintenance of chimneys and ventilation systems

  • Plumbing Fixtures like sinks, toilets, and pipes

  • Redecoration after resolving any issues as necessary

Any additional responsibilities of the landlord will be outlined in your tenancy agreement. Remember, even if your tenancy agreement states otherwise, landlords remain responsible for the repairs mentioned above.

In some cases, your tenancy agreement may include additional repair responsibilities for your landlord, like repairing or replacing faulty appliances, but you should always refer to your tenancy agreement just to be sure.

Reporting maintenance issues on PropertyFile

You should notify your landlord of any repairs needed as soon as possible. You are required to allow access to your residence during reasonable hours for inspections, with a minimum of 24 hours' written notice. If the proposed time is inconvenient, you can propose an alternative.

After setting up your PropertyFile account, you will be able to report any maintenance problems you have. You can do this by accessing the maintenance screen and selecting the category that matches your concern. Once you’ve found the issue on the app, PropertyFile will give you a list of tips to help you resolve the issue yourself.

In the event that your issue persists, you can continue on with your maintenance report, where you’ll need to describe the problem, and attach photos of the issue or its location within the property, so that the contractors can have a better understanding of what the issue is.

Once the information has been logged and received, it will be reviewed by your landlord and a suitable contractor will be assigned to address the issue as soon as possible.

When an appointment to fix the issue is made, you will either be given an AM slot or a PM slot. There is no need for anyone to be in the property at the time of the repairs as Seekers have master keys to all properties.

What responsibilities do tenants have?

Tenants also bear certain responsibilities pertaining to repairs and the condition of their residence. These include maintaining the property in a reasonably clean state, conducting safety checks on personal electrical appliances, tending to gardens or outdoor areas, and ensuring proper ventilation to avoid the risks of mould and damp. The expectation is to maintain the property at a reasonable level, not necessarily in a better state than when you first moved in.

You are responsible for fixing any appliances and furniture you own, as well as any accidental damage caused by you, your family, or guests. Additionally, minor repairs outlined in the tenancy agreement might be your responsibility. However, you may need to cover repair costs resulting from your actions, and landlords can charge for fixing damages you caused, either at the time that the damage was done, or by taking it off of your deposit at the end of your tenancy. Regular wear and tear is not the tenant’s responsibility.

What about emergency maintenance?

While PropertyFile is a great way for tenants to report maintenance issues in rental properties, sometimes emergencies arise that need to be addressed more urgently. An issue is classed as an emergency if:

  • It could become a security risk

  • It could leave the property as uninhabitable

  • The damage could worsen if left alone

  • The tenant’s health and wellbeing is at risk

Emergency maintenance issues include, but are not limited to:

  • Fires in any part of the property

  • Flooding in the property, whether caused naturally or from a serious leak

  • Gas leaks

  • No heating or hot water

  • Smashed windows

  • Broken external locks

These issues are serious and need to be dealt with immediately, so you must make your property supervisor aware of the problem, or if the issue arises out of hours, then you must get in touch with our emergency out of hours team.

If you have an emergency that you need dealing with urgently please report it through PropertyFile.

If you need to get in touch with our out of hours emergency maintenance team, give us a call on 0191 249 5969