Section 11 Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 (“LTA”)

Where a property let out under an assured shorthold tenancy (“AST”), floods – either as a result of rain or an issue with the property or a neighbouring property – section 11 of the LTA implies a duty on a landlord to repair any damage caused to the structure and exterior of a property, including drains, gutters, external windows and external pipes, and keep any installations for the supply of water, gas, electricity, sanitation and heating in repair and proper working order.

It is not possible for a landlord to contract out of their obligations under section 11 and the legislation will override any term in an AST attempting to do so.

There is also likely to be an express term in an AST to deal with the landlord’s repair obligations, but in absence of the same, section 11 will always apply.

Reduced Rent

The repairs must be carried out within a reasonable time frame, as agreed by a landlord and tenant. What is reasonable will depend on the extent of the damage – meaning that the more severe the damage, the sooner repairs should be carried out.

The case of Bailie v Savage 2018 confirmed that, an AST may include an express term providing that rent could be reduced or suspended for a period of time where repairs are not carried out within a certain time depending on whether a property is destroyed or damaged and whether the nature of the damage or destruction renders a property unfit for occupation.

Additionally, in certain circumstances, rent abatement may also be possible where there is no express clause in the AST.

Replacing Damaged Contents

If a tenant’s belongings are damaged or destroyed as a result of flooding, then it may be possible for a tenant to make a claim on the contents insurance policy taken out by either the tenant or the landlord.

Please note that the above does not constitute legal advice. If you have any questions, please contact our Property Litigation team by emailing

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