Posted on: 2 June 2016
When living in a rented property, there are certain parts of the home that the landlord will need to fix. Is the fence one of them? Whether it has been damaged by the weather or you have damaged it, here is all you need to know about this question.
Who Broke It?
The initial answer will depend on how the fence was damaged. If you have broken the fence, then it is your responsibility as the tenant to fix it. If not, then there is no need for you to put money into the property. If someone you invited over has broken the fence, the onus goes back to you to fix it.
If you refuse, your landlord can take money out of your rental deposit to fix the damage. This will be stated in your rental agreement.
Whose Fence Is It?
Another question to answer is who the fence belongs to. If you put the fence up, with or without your landlord's written consent, then it will be up to you to fix the damage. When the fence is actually your neighbor's, it will be up the neighbor to decide whether the fence should be fixed or not. Your landlord doesn't own it, so will not legally have to do anything.
Talk to your neighbor to find out whether they own the fence or not. If they do, you can point out the damage but there is nothing you or your landlord can do.
Is It Fit for Occupancy?
The damage may be so small that the fence is still fit for occupancy. This is something you will need to consider. The landlord, by law, has to make sure the property is fit for occupancy and fully maintained to this standard. This includes anything in the garden like the fence. When the fence has been poorly maintained or damaged and could affect the people living there, it will be up to the landlord to make sure it is up to standard.
This includes any damage caused by the weather or vandalism that wasn't your fault. Landlords may try to avoid repairing fences, so document anything and make a note if it is a hazard and risk of injury. The work could involve removing the fencing altogether.
There is a duty of care placed on the landlord when it comes to fencing, but it will depend on the reason for it breaking. If you as the tenant damaged the property, it will be your responsibility to fix. Otherwise, it will be up to your landlord. Consult with a lawyer, like Schulze Howard & Cox, if you need more help.Share