Are windows and doors my landlord’s responsibility?

Housing disrepair claims can be made whether you rent privately or you live in social housing, your landlord has certain responsibilities when it comes to repairs in your home. As well as being responsible for many of the interior repairs of your rental property, your landlord is also responsible for maintenance and repairs to the exterior of your building, this includes external doors and windows.

Your landlord is responsible for these repairs even if your tenancy agreement says that they are not as they are not legally able to include a clause in your tenancy agreement that makes you responsible for any major repairs.

Damaged or broken windows and doors can lead to many issues including damp and mould, they can also be a safety risk if it means that your property is not properly secured. Your landlord should ensure that your external windows and doors can close and that they are damp and draught-proof. They should fix any eroded sealants, broken door handles or locks, rotten window frames, faulty hinges or broken glass.

Tenant’s responsibilities regarding windows and doors

It’s worth noting that whilst your landlord is usually responsible for repairs to your windows and doors, tenants also have certain responsibilities. Whilst you are not responsible for normal wear and tear in your home, you are expected to keep your property in a good state of repair, this means that you should use fixtures and fittings correctly and that you keep the property clean.

If damage to your windows or doors has been caused by you, for example, if you have smashed a window, then you could be liable for the repair. You may need to organise for the repair to be made and cover the repair costs yourself. Your landlord is usually responsible for accidental damage that wasn’t your fault and most landlords have insurance that covers this.

You could also be liable for repairing any damage you have caused by attempting to make repairs yourself. Whilst you may be able to make minor repairs to your home you should only do so if it says that you can in your tenancy agreement or if you get your landlord’s written permission first.

You also have a responsibility to report any problems with your windows and doors to your landlord. Your landlord is not responsible for the repair until you have reported the issue to them. You should tell your landlord what the problem is, where it is and how long it has been an issue for.

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Wayne B

Housing Association Tenant

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Couldn’t leave any clothes in any of the bedrooms due to dampness and mould, our clothes, possessions & electronics were ruined and not to mention the huge amounts of stress this caused over the years. I am so grateful for your help with getting my property repaired for me & the financial compensation awarded to me has changed my life. Thank you so much

Liam M

Council Tenant

My flat was repaired in time for my child’s birth and I received rent refunds and compensation. The team were very helpful and understanding of my dangerous situation.

Ashley Y

Council Tenant

We had been waiting for 12 months for the damp to be repaired by the council but got nowhere. We were told by a friend that this company could help and within 6 months we received compensation for damages & all the damp and mould was removed.

Are you a Council or Housing association Tenant with housing disrepair issues? If so we can help you claim compensation on a NO Win, NO Fee basis.

What else is the landlord responsible for?

If your rented council home or housing association property has issues that have not been repaired find out if you are eligible to make a housing disrepair claim for property repair and compensation.

How long does my landlord have to make repairs to windows and doors?

The law states that your landlord should make repairs within a “reasonable time”, this applies to private landlords as well as councils and housing associations. However, what qualifies as a reasonable time depends on the severity of the issue.

If the problems with your windows or doors are not causing a risk to the safety of your rental property or issues to your own health then the repair will most likely not be classed as urgent. This does not mean that your landlord doesn’t need to make the repair, it simply means that they do not need to make repairs immediately but must still make them in a timely manner.

If the issue is causing a risk to your health and safety, for example, if a broken door is leaving your property at risk of being breached or if rotten windows and mould have caused you health issues then it will be classed as an urgent repair and your landlord should take action within 24 hours.

If you have reported the issue to your landlord a long time ago and they fail to make any repairs then you could be entitled to compensation.

Can I make a housing disrepair claim because of damaged windows and doors?

Damaged windows and doors can cause many issues, they can leave your property unsecured and they can also cause issues such as damp and mould that can cause damage to your personal belongings as well as impact your health.

Providing that your windows or doors have not been damaged by you, your landlord is legally obliged to make repairs and they must also repair damage caused by problems with your windows and doors. If they don’t make repairs in a reasonable amount of time then you can make a housing disrepair claim against them and they could be ordered to make the repairs and pay you compensation.

You can claim compensation if the problems with your doors or windows have caused damage to your personal belongings or caused a nuisance in your daily life. If rotten or broken windows have led to damp and mould issues you may also be able to claim compensation for personal injury, if, for example, you have suffered from a respiratory illness as a result.

How do I make a housing disrepair claim for damaged windows or doors?

There are several steps to the housing disrepair claims process. Before you make your claim it is important that you follow the Disrepair Protocol, this is a series of steps that you may need to show the court that you have completed if your case progresses. The pre-action protocol includes sending a letter of claim to your landlord and attempting to find an alternative dispute resolution.

Another important step in the claims process is gathering your evidence. You should keep a record of letters, texts, emails and notes about conversations between you and your landlord and you should also obtain receipts if you have had to pay to replace belongings damaged by the disrepair or if you have had to pay for repairs yourself because your landlord has refused.

If your landlord doesn’t respond to your letter of claim or you are not satisfied with their response then you can issue proceedings by making an application to the county court.

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