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Vincent2013, JustAnswer Expert
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 213
Experience:  Qualified solicitor and barrister (non-practising) with 7+ years experience
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we have a property that has been rented out for 6 years. It

Customer Question

we have a property that has been rented out for 6 years. It has an open fire that is not in use ever and has a ballon in place at the top of the chimney. New tenants moved in and demanding the chimney was swept as they were expecting a baby and the soot was a cause for concern and they did not want it going on to the light coloured carpet. the chimney was swept £40 but the lanldord is refusing to pay and says the tenants should pay can you help me out on this?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  James Mather replied 4 years ago.
Hello, I am Law Denning and I am a practising solicitor. I have been an expert on this website in UK law since 2008. During that time, as you appreciate, I have answered thousands of questions from satisfied users on a variety of subjects.
Because we are all in practice with clients and court and other users, I might not always respond in minutes, particularly evenings and weekends. Please bear with me in that case. I will be online and off-line all day today.

It is my pleasure to try and assist you with this today. Please bear with me while I gather some further information from you in order for me to be able to advise you fully.

Is the property owned by you?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

no the property is owned by a landlord that we look after

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Relist: Other.
awaiting an answer need
Expert:  James Mather replied 4 years ago.
I'm afraid I have been called out to a meeting - I will get back to you as soon as I'm back at my computer?

There is no need for you to reply. Thank you for your patience.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

ok but I am looking to get an answer to this as soon as poss

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

can someone help me? re whos responsible for a chimeny sweep landlord or tenant?

Expert:  Vincent2013 replied 4 years ago.

Hi, thanks for your question. It looks like the other expert is offline at the moment so if you require an urgent answer I'm happy to help you.


Pursuant to s.11 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985, the responsibility of a landlord includes ensuring that all heating and hot water installations are in a safe and working condition. This would include ventilation and flues and therefore if the chimney was in working use for heating purposes, it would require the landlord to carry out an annual sweep of the chimney. However, as it has been blocked with a chimney balloon, and is not used for heating, we also need to look at the tenant's maintenance obligations.


Tenants do have a duty to use the property in a "tenant-like" manner and must take proper care of it by being responsible for the small jobs that can reasonably be expected of him from his tenancy agreement. These can include unblocking drains, changing fuses, having chimneys swept etc. Nevertheless, subject to anything expressly to the contrary in the tenancy agreement, if the chimney is out of service and has not been used by the tenant, my view is that it would not be a task reasonably expected to be carried out by the tenant. He hasn't created the soot, so it shouldn't be his maintenance issue, if it becomes a problem that needs dealing with. On that basis, and considering the statutory obligations, this minor maintenance cost should probably be born by the landlord.


Does that answer your question? If so, please take a moment to rate my answer so that I can obtain credit from the website for my time. Our conversation will not close, so please also feel free to ask anything you need to clarify the information above.