Living in Private Accommodation – Know Your Rights
All of the below was extracted from pages 8 and 9 from the ‘How to Rent. The checklist for renting in England’.
This guide details all tenants should be provided a copy of this guide. A copy of this guide can be found here:
THE LANDLORD MUST….
- Maintain the structure and exterior of the property
- Ensure the property is free from serious hazards from the start of and throughout your tenancy
- Fit smoke alarms on every floor and carbon monoxide alarms in rooms with appliances using solid fuels – such as coal and wood – and make sure they are working at the start of your tenancy. If they are not there, ask your landlord to install them
- Deal with any problems with the water, electricity and gas supply.
- Maintain any appliances and furniture they have supplied.
- Carry out most repairs. If something is not working, report it to your landlord or agent as soon as you can.
- Arrange an annual gas safety check by a Gas Safe engineer (where there are any gas appliances).
- Give at least 24 hours notice of visits for things like repairs – the landlord cannot walk in whenever they like
- Get a licence for the property if it is a licensable property
- Ensure the property is at a minimum of EPC energy efficiency band E (unless a valid exemption applies).
THE LANDLORD SHOULD….
- Insure the building to cover the costs of any damage from flood or fire.
THE TENANT MUST….
- Pay the rent on time. If your rent is more than 14 days late, you could be liable for a default fee. For more information, please read the Government’s guidance for tenants on the Tenant Fees Act 2019. Further, you could lose your home because you have breached your tenancy agreement If you have problems, GOV. UK has links to further advice. Check out these practical steps for paying your rent on time
- Pay any other bills that you are responsible for on time, such as council tax, gas, electricity and water bills. If you pay the gas or electricity bills, you can choose your own energy supplier
- Look after the property. Get your landlord’s permission before attempting repairs or decorating. It’s worth getting contents insurance to cover your possessions too, because the landlord’s insurance won’t cover your things.
- Be considerate to the neighbours. Anti-social behaviour may be a reason for your landlord to evict you.
- Not take in a lodger or sub-let without checking whether you need permission from your landlord
THE TENANT SHOULD…
- Make sure you know how to operate the boiler and other appliances and know where the stopcock, fuse box and any meters are located.
- Regularly test your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors – at least once a month.
- Report any need for repairs to your landlord. There will be a risk to your deposit if a minor repair turns into a major problem because you did not report it report it
- And don’t forget to register to vote register to vote