Are landlords responsible for ovens UK?

Are landlords responsible for ovens UK?

A broken oven is more than an inconvenience. Whether it’s prone to switching off mid-Sunday roast, won’t display any temperatures or controls, or you’ve called time of death on the appliance — life without a functioning oven can be pretty frustrating.

After all, being able to cook yourself a hot meal or have friends over to share dinner is one of the best parts of having a home. But if your oven breaks down while you’re renting, who’s responsible for fixing or replacing the appliance? Should you heave a sigh and reluctantly crack open your wallet, or is the landlord responsible for the oven? Well, for the answer to this question and more, just keep reading!

Is a landlord responsible for broken oven?

Before you head down to your local Currys store, are you sure the broken oven is your responsibility? Let’s recap some of the fundamentals of renting first — namely, that renters have a right to a fully functional home that has all the necessary bits to live safely and comfortably. One of your landlord’s responsibilities is to provide these necessary bits, which include a working oven and hob so that you have access to hot food while you’re living at their property.

So the bottom line is if they’ve provided you with a faulty appliance? It’s their responsibility to sort the problem. However, if you’ve damaged the oven in some way — for example, you’ve cracked the glass door or forgotten to clean the oven one too many times. In those cases, the responsibility to get it fixed could be on you.

Here’s a full breakdown:

A broken oven could be your landlord’s responsibility if…

  • The oven they originally provided was faulty in some way.
  • The oven is old and has decreased in functionality over time. This can present in a number of ways — for example, it could start making a weird noise when switched on or begin leaking more heat than usual into the kitchen.
  • The oven poses a health and safety risk to the home’s tenants — let’s say the wiring is damaged or there’s rust on the inside of the oven.

Quick note: It’s a good idea to do a full check of all supplied appliances when you first move into a new property. That way you can identify any faulty units or damages (and prove you’re not responsible) early on.

A broken oven could be your responsibility if…

  • You’ve let the oven slip into a state of disrepair — ie. it’s never seen a sponge in its life (and we don’t mean the kind with jam and cream).
  • You’ve caused damage to the oven in some other way. Cracked glass and broken heat knobs etc… that sort of thing.

At the end of the day, if you caused the problem, it’s your responsibility to fix it. As soon as you notice the damage, it’s a good idea to get in touch with your landlord right away to inform them of the problem. You don’t want the issue to get any worse and the longer you keep the information to yourself, the longer you’ll be left without a working oven! If you’re lucky, your landlord might even offer to bring in a replacement for you, but in most cases, they’ll take the cost as a deduction from your deposit.

How to ask your landlord to repair oven

So let’s say you’ve read the terms above and decided you’re absolutely not responsible — does your landlord have to fix the oven? Thankfully, yes, they should have to fix it. Here’s how to go about asking for a repair or replacement:

  • First, get in touch with your landlord informing them of the damage and any other circumstances they might need to be aware of — for example, if the broken appliance poses any immediate health and safety risk.
  • Your landlord will most likely then schedule a visit to the property to assess the damage themselves. They might also send a handyman or electrician.  
  • The law states that damages must be dealt with in a “reasonable amount of time”. So it’s fair enough to assume that you won’t be left without an oven for more than a few weeks. You could even ask for a rent deduction during this time as compensation for the inconvenience.

But what happens if you get in touch and your landlord won't fix the oven? Maybe they’re being unreasonable, or maybe they don’t agree that they’re responsible for the broken oven at all. In either case, you can seek help from Citizen’s Advice or, if your landlord has taken your deposit to cover the damages, use the dispute resolution service provided by your deposit scheme. For more information on this, take a look at our article on: ‘5 things you need to know about tenancy deposits’.

Can landlord charge for cleaning oven?

Lastly, what happens if you’ve rented a home for a year, maybe two, and rarely (if ever, let’s be honest) cleaned the oven — can your landlord charge you for that? Unfortunately, the answer is yes. Ovens that are left to gather dirt and grease aren’t just grim and horrible to cook in — they can stop working, become less effective, or even become fire hazards over time. For these reasons, a landlord can’t allow their new tenants to use an oven in poor condition, so it’ll need cleaning and you’ll most likely have to pay for it. They'll often use a professional oven cleaning company for this.

On the other hand, sometimes tenants who’ve kept their ovens in suitable working condition will still be charged for a professional cleaning. Cleaning disputes are some of the most common disputes following tenancies, so if you disagree with a charge — get in touch with the dispute resolution service provided by your deposit scheme.

A few final tips…

The best way to avoid oven repair or replacement costs is to give your oven a quick clean every two weeks. You’ll be able to spot when your oven is in particular need of a clean if there are grease splatters on the door, a strange smell when you switch it on, or smoke from burnt food residue when you open the door. Happy scrubbing!

For more tips on avoiding charges or deposit deductions, check out our: ‘Landlord property inspection checklist’.

Wondering if your landlord can stop you finding a new property to rent? Read: ‘Can a landlord give a bad reference’.

Urban Jungle is not a financial advisor and information in this article should not be taken as advice or recommendation.