You must tell your landlord/property manager ASAP if something needs to be fixed or maintained, it doesn’t matter how the damage happened or who did it.
Who is responsible for fixing damages depends on what it is and how it happened. You need to tell your landlord about any damage or anything that needs to be repaired. If something isn’t working or even if it’s only partly broken you need to tell the landlord, if you don’t, the landlord could claim some of the cost of repair from you if it gets worse. Always communicate with your landlord in writing to keep the best record!
You are not responsible for damage caused by burglary, natural events (e.g. floods), or fair wear and tear.
Intentional damage: If you or one of your mates intentionally damages the landlord’s property you must tell the landlord, they can ask you to fix it or pay the cost of fixing or replacing it.
14 Day Notice: if your landlord hasn’t fixed something or has breached any of their other responsibilities you can issue them with a 14-day notice to remedy. This gives them 14 days to fix the problem. OUSA Student Support can give you a copy of the 14-day notice and help you fill it out.
You can’t refuse to pay rent until the landlord fixes something, but you can negotiate a rent reduction. What’s reasonable in terms of compensation depends what the issue is and how much of the house is affected.
Urgent repairs: If there’s a significant health and safety risk that could result in injury if it isn’t fixed quickly you can arrange to have the work done and get the landlord to reimburse you for the cost. Before you do this you need to have made reasonable attempts to contact the landlord. If you haven’t heard back from your landlord or aren’t sure if it’s urgent or not come and speak to OUSA Student Support.
Insurance: Get some insurance to avoid going bankrupt at 21! Your landlord’s insurance doesn’t cover your belongings so it’s wise to get some contents insurance. You might also want some personal liability insurance for certain situations where damage isn’t covered by the landlord’s insurance. There are different types of insurance policies and prices so it pays to shop around.
Renovations over summer: a lot of landlords do renovations and upgrades over the summer break, remember that from the moment your tenancy agreement starts you are entitled to live in the flat without interruption. If you’re paying rent you are entitled to vacant possession of the flat and it needs to be reasonably clean and tidy and in a reasonable state of repair.
Landlords can’t give notice to do renovations – they can only give notice to do necessary repairs or maintenance during the tenancy.