your rights as a tenant
Know your rights & responsibilities
So, you have found the perfect rental property and are about to move in, but do you really know your rights and responsibilities?
As the tenant you will be eligible to certain rights and responsible for certain requirements. As will your Landlord.
Terms themselves are defined in your tenancy agreement. Ensure you read your tenancy agreement thoroughly prior to signing. Be sure to ask your landlord/letting agent to explain any section you do not fully understand.
Private Rented Property
Renting privately and obtaining a tenancy agreement, which needs to be signed by both yourself and the Landlord, will provide you with certain Rights. Ensure you are given a signed copy upon entry.
(Note these are as a guide only and it is still very important to READ your own specific tenancy agreement prior to signing)
- The tenant has the right to live in a property that is safe and in a good state of repair.
- The right to have your deposit returned at the end of the tenancy, provided you have met the terms of your tenancy agreement. The Landlord has a responsibility to protect your deposit if you have an AST, assured shorthold tenancy. Most private renters now have this type of tenancy. Even if your Landlord or Letting Agent changes during your tenancy, your deposit still needs to be protected.
- You may, as the tenant, challenge excessively high charges
- You have the right to know the identity of your landlord
- The right to live in the property undisturbed
- Ask to see the Rental Property’s EPC (Energy Performance Cert) which should now be of a minimum E Rating. This is also your right.
- The tenant should be protected from unfair rent and unfair eviction
- The right to have a written agreement if you have a fixed-term tenancy of more than three (3) years
- The Tenant Fees Act bans most letting fees and caps tenancy agreement deposits due by the tenant. In the private rented sector of England the ban now applies to tenant fees to new or renewed tenancy agreements. This came into place on 1 June 2019, thereafter.
Your Responsibility as the Tenant
The tenant must allow the Landlord access to the property to inspect and carry out repairs. You should be given at least 24 hours prior notice before entry. They should only enter at a reasonable time of day, unless in an emergency.
Your tenancy should clearly state your responsibilities as the Tenant.
In addition to this, your responsibilities as a tenant mean that you must:
- Take good care of the property. Keep it clean and ensure no undue damage is caused and be sure to report any likely issues, especially escape of water. Turn off water if you vacate the property for protection. Protect the property you are renting.
- Pay the agreed amount of rent on time. This needs to be paid, even if you are in dispute with your or awaiting repairs to be undertaken by your Landlord.
- Pay utilities and associated property bills, for example: Council Tax, Power, Water & TV licence etc. The Landlord will insure the building itself, but you are responsible for your own contents if the property was let to you unfurnished.
RENTING A ROOM may be slightly different. The tenancy agreement should detail if you (or the Landlord) are responsible for the payment of power, gas or electricity. As a tenant you are at liberty to shop around to get yourself the best deals on utility bills if you are paying them directly. Ask what else is included in your rental agreement before signing.
- Pay for any damage that has been caused by yourself, another tenant or guests.
- Only sublet your property if the tenancy agreement states that you may do so.
Read your Tenancy Agreement
The Landlord has the right to evict you, if you are in breach of your responsibilities.
Hopefully, it will never come to this, but make sure you read your tenancy agreement in full and speak to your Landlord or Letting Agent to explain anything you do not understand before committing to a rental property. Keep lines of communication open with y our Landlord/Letting Agent at all times.
Find out more about Tenant Rights at www.gov.uk
SEDGE LETTINGS are more than happy to walk you through any aspect of locating and renting a property in and around the Spalding area.
Call DOROTA (Lettings Manager) at SEDGE on Spalding 01775 713888 (Opt 1) for a friendly informal chat about your requirements.
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