Requirement to provide heating

chris horne

Staff member
Hi Jeffrey,

I wonder if you could clarify a point regarding the heating in a buy-to-let property. Is there any requirement on a landlord to provide any form of heating within a buy-to-let property? I am aware that it is the landlords responsibility to maintain any heating already installed. But what happens if there was none in the first place. What part of the legislation require a landlord to upgrade? I'm not suggesting that not having a heating is a good idea. I can't think that there would be many tenants who would want this type of property. I am curious what the legal starting point is.

Jeffrey Shaw

Staff member
Basic answer: no.
Detailed answer: as you already know, L has a duty to maintain any heating that's there- but not to instal heating. The fact that the house is a BTL is irrelevant. Here's s.11(1) of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985, re repairing obligations in short leases/lettings, to which I've added some underlining:

11 Repairing obligations in short leases.

(1) In a lease to which this section applies (as to which, see sections 13 and 14) there is implied a covenant by the lessor:
(a) to keep in repair the structure and exterior of the dwelling-house (including drains, gutters and external pipes),
(b) to keep in repair and proper working order the installations in the dwelling-house for the supply of water, gas and electricity and for sanitation (including basins, sinks, baths and sanitary conveniences, but not ther fixtures, fittings and appliances for making use of the supply of water, gas or electricity), and
(c) to keep in repair and proper working order the installations in the dwelling-house for space heating and heating water.
The only other avenue might be to complain to the Local Housing Authority, on the grounds that:
a. an unheated house is not fit for human habitation; and/or
b. the property is therefore one on which that they should impose additional requirements as a condition of L being licensed to let it.