Your rights and responsibilities
You have certain rights and responsibilities when you are a tenant in privately rented property.
When renting a residential property through an AST the landlord is responsible for certain repairs to the property, including the structure and exterior of the property. The landlord is required to keep the equipment for the supply of gas, electricity and water in a safe and good working order.
The tenant must ensure the property is kept clean and carry out any minor maintenance repairs as well as any other responsibilities which may be stated in the tenancy agreement. Increasing rents under tenancy agreements
What are your rights?
As a tenant, you have the right to:
- live in a property that’s safe and in a good state of repair
- have your deposit returned when the tenancy ends -and in some cases have it protected
- you have the right to challenge excessively high charges
- know who your landlord is
- live in the property undisturbed
- see an Energy Performance Certificate for the property
- be protected from unfair eviction and unfair rent
- have a written agreement if you have a fixed-term tenancy of more than 3 years
If you have a tenancy agreement it should be fair and comply with the law.
If you do not know who your landlord is, write to the person or company you pay rent to. Your landlord can be fined If they do not give you this information within 21 days. How to increase the rent when the market rises
When you start a new tenancy
When you start a new assured or short assured tenancy, your landlord must give you:
- a copy of the ‘How to rent guide’ if you live in England How long does an eviction take – and more useful information
You must give your landlord access to the property to inspect it or carry out repairs. Your landlord has to give you at least 24 hours’ notice and visit at a reasonable time of day, unless it’s an emergency and they need immediate access.
In most cases, your landlord is not responsible for repair work until they know about it, so it is up to you to tell them about any repairs that are needed.
Reporting repairs is often a condition of your tenancy agreement, so you may have to report any problems even if they seem quite small or if you are not too concerned about getting them fixed.
You must also:
- take good care of the property, for example turn off the water at the mains if you’re away in cold weather
- pay the agreed rent, even if repairs are needed or you’re in dispute with your landlord
- pay other charges as agreed with the landlord, for example Council Tax or utility bills
- repair or pay for any damage caused by you, your family or friends
- you can only sublet a property if the tenancy agreement or your landlord allows it
Your landlord has the right to evict if you do not meet your responsibilities. What are tenants expectations
End your tenancy properly
You must end your tenancy properly if you want to move out or you may still be liable for rent. This applies even if you are no longer living there.
It’s sometimes possible to end your tenancy immediately or at short notice but only if the landlord agrees. Get their acceptance in writing. This is called a deed of surrender.
You can always give notice to end a periodic tenancy. You might not be able to do this during a fixed term tenancy unless there’s a break clause in the agreement.
A periodic tenancy is one that rolls on usually monthly without a fixed end date.
A fixed term tenancy has an end date.
Many fixed term tenancies end automatically if you leave by the last day of the contract but some continue as periodic tenancies unless you give notice. How to keep your tenants longer- Rental Property Management