Repairs to furniture and fittings if you rent privately

If you rent furnished accommodation, your landlord is responsible for replacing or mending fittings, furniture and equipment that have broken or become unusable or unsafe through everyday wear and tear.

Who is responsible for furniture and equipment?

Your landlord is legally responsible for replacing or repairing fixtures, fittings, appliances and furnishings that become unusable or dangerous due to normal wear and tear. This includes:

  • light fittings

  • carpets

  • kitchen fittings (for example, cupboards and drawers)

  • electrical appliances such as the cooker, microwave, fridge, washing machine or vacuum cleaner.

Remember, your landlord is not responsible for repairing anything that belongs to you.

What if furniture or equipment gets damaged?

Report any damage to items provided by your landlord through everyday wear and tear as soon as possible. They should repair or replace the items within a reasonable time. The page on getting repairs done has more information on how to report repairs.

Your tenancy agreement should say whether your landlord has to replace worn out or damaged furniture that isn't actually unsafe or unusable.

What if my landlord refuses to replace or repair damaged equipment?

Your landlord is legally responsible for ensuring that the fixtures, fittings, appliances and furnishings they provide are in working order and safe to use. Therefore, if your landlord refuses to replace or repair damaged items, you will be able to take action against them, for example, by applying to the The Housing and Property Chamber of the First Tier Tribunal.

Furniture safety standards

Any furniture and equipment supplied by your landlord should be in a reasonable state of repair and in proper working order. This doesn't mean that it needs to be brand new, it just means that it should work and shouldn't be dangerous in any way.

Any upholstered furniture provided by your landlord should be fire resistant. This includes sofas, armchairs, mattresses and head boards and cushions. There should be a symbol on these items to show they conform to safety standards.

If the furnishings in your accommodation do not conform to fire safety standards or seem in any way unsafe, ask your landlord to replace them. If they refuse, your local trading standards office can take action against them. And, depending on your tenancy type, you can make an application to the PRHP.

Find out more about fire safety.

Gas safety

Gas equipment provided by your landlord, such as fires or a cooker, must be inspected every year by a Gas Safe Register engineer. Your landlord has to keep a copy of the safety inspection report and fix any problems identified by the engineer. Your landlord should give you a copy of this report.

If you're worried that gas equipment in your accommodation isn't safe, don't use it. Let your landlord know immediately. If your landlord won't fix it, you may be able to make an application to the PRHP, depending on your tenancy type.

Find out more about gas safety.

Electrical safety

From 1 December 2015 landlords must carry out an inspection of all installations, fixtures and fittings in a property. Landlords have to give a copy of the most recent inspection report to new tenant before the tenancy begins. 

After the initial inspection, there will have to have a further inspection carried out at least once every five years.This new requirement applies to any new tenancy that begins on or after 1 December 2015. 

For existing tenancies landlords have up to 1 December 2016 to carry out an inspection.    

You are responsible for maintaining any electrical goods that belong to you.

Find out more about electrical safety.

What if I damage the furniture or equipment?

If you damage furniture or equipment provided by your landlord you have a responsibility to fix it, even if the damage was accidental. This might involve repairing or replacing anything that has been damaged, or paying for your landlord to replace it. If you damage furniture or equipment, your landlord might be able to use this as a reason to evict you.

Report any damage to your landlord straight away. If you suspect the furniture or appliance may be unsafe as a result of the damage, don't use it.

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Last updated: 5 April 2017

Housing laws differ between Scotland and England.

This content applies to Scotland only.

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