Let’s Talk About Lights

The Problem of Light BulbsPendent

Somehow the simple light bulb causes a lot of issues for tenant and landlord alike. I often get asked “Who is responsible for making sure that the light bulbs in a rented property are working?”

The answer is as simple as:

  • Between tenancies the landlord should make sure that all bulbs in the property are working
  • During the tenancy the tenant will need to replace all bulbs, fluorescent tubes (and fuses and any replaceable filters) as and when necessary. The landlord should supply any User Manuals, if required.


But, I hear you cry, what if the fitting is weird, too high, too expensive?

Well, that depends. For example, this wall fitting has normal bulbs and only takes a moment to change the bulb.
This chandelier also has ordinary fittings and bulbs and so the tenant would be expected to replace them, each and every one. Although it gives off adequate light it does look very sad with only half of its bulbs working.


IMG_4297Unusual Fittings

But what of this glorious fitting?

Well! For one thing the ceiling was double height and a step ladder should have been needed. For another, that thing looks very heavy and very expensive. This is one that I would recommend the landlord maintains. That would also be my advice if a fitting was in any way difficult to access; if the fitting was unusual or the bulbs in any way unusual.

The landlord would always have the the choice of providing a user manual, and maybe a demonstration of how to change a particular bulb, or to hire a maintenance company to maintain any unusual or difficult to access light fitting.

If you do have an odd light fitting then the best starting point is at the viewing. Ask the landlord, or agent, abut the fitting. Ask them who is responsible for its maintenance. Then, before signing, check in your tenancy agreement. What does it say about that fitting? If in doubt ask the landlord or agent to clarify the situation.

Remember, at the end of your tenancy you are responsible for making sure that all the bulbs are in place and working. Deductions from your deposit can be made for the cost of replacing any bulbs.