Owners of rental accommodation in the UK have been urged to make sure their properties are well looked after.

The Residential Landlords Association (RLA) said buy-to-let investors have a responsibility to ensure their stock is in good repair.

Neil Marsden, environmental health consultant the RLA, warned that tenants who live in properties which are not properly maintained are allowed to take their landlords to court.

He commented: "The court can instruct us to give compensation for the tenant to compensate for damage to their health or possessions or any inconvenience."

Mr Marsden added that landlords should take into account the age and location of the property, as well as the character of the area, when deciding what standard of repair would be appropriate.

For example, he said a modern property would not need the same type of maintenance as a late-Victorian building.

According to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, the average cost of home repairs and improvements has gone up by a fifth in the last two years.

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