As a Tenant, you should:
- Pay your rent on time
- Pay any bills associated with the property on time
- Look after the property
- Follow any rules that are laid out in your Tenancy Agreement.
- Follow the correct procedures, such as when raising a complaint and ending your Tenancy.
- Allow the Landlord or Letting Agents access to the property when required and when given at least 24 hours’ notice, unless in an emergency.
Pay Your Rent On Time
Rent is usually paid in advance, typically on a monthly basis. If you are unsure as to when your rent is due to be paid, check your Tenancy Agreement, or ask your Landlord or Letting Agent. It is important to remember that it is your duty to pay the rent and not your Landlord’s duty to collect it.
If you ever have any issues regarding paying the rent for the property, please talk to your Landlord or Letting Agent. There may be a solution to the issue, such as a decrease in the rental amount for a short period of time, or applying for housing benefit if you have a low income.
If you fall behind with the rent, and it hasn’t been discussed with your Landlord or Letting Agent, your Landlord could take steps to evict you and claim any money you owe them. They must follow the correct legal procedures.
Pay Your Bills On Time
You may be responsible for paying your own bills for electricity, gas, water and telephone, as well as paying council tax and getting a TV licence.
If you don't pay your bills, the services could be cut off, and you may have to pay to be reconnected. Some Tenants also have to pay service charges for things like communal cleaning or gardening. Check your Tenancy Agreement for more information on this.
Looking After The Property
Although the property is not owned by you, as part of your Tenancy Agreement, you are required to look after the property and avoid causing any damage to it or to the surrounding neighbours' property.
As a Tenant, you are responsible for:
- Not damaging internal decorations, furniture equipment
- Reporting any repairs needed to your Landlord or Letting Agent
- Minor maintenance (such as checking smoke alarms are working, changing light bulbs)
- Repairing or replacing anything you've broken or damaged. Keep receipts for this, in case there is any dispute at the end of your tenancy
- Disposing of your rubbish properly
- Keeping to the terms in your Tenancy Agreement regarding smoking, pets, parking and maintaining the garden
- Making sure your home is well ventilated, to help avoid condensation and dampness
- Repairing any of your own appliances, such as a washing machine, or anything that you had installed, such as a shower.
- Not leaving the property empty for a long period of time. This is stated in your Tenancy Agreement, which typically states that you can leave the property empty for 28 days. If you are planning on leaving the property empty for a while, perhaps you’re going on vacation for a few weeks, we would advise letting your Landlord or Letting Agent know, so that the property can be maintained while you are away.
Your Landlord’s responsibilities include maintaining and repairing:
- The structure and exterior of the building, including the walls, stairs and bannisters, roof, external doors and windows.
- Sinks, baths, toilets and other sanitary fittings, including pipes and drains.
- Heating and hot water.
- Chimneys and ventilation.
- Electrical wiring.
Your Landlord must also make sure that Gas and Electrical Installations meet the required safety standards. As an Agency, we can arrange for these safety checks to be carried out.
When raising a complaint, please see the document titled ‘Complaints Procedure’. This talks you through, step-by-step, the correct route to follow to ensure that your complaint is dealt with appropriately and in the correct manner.
With regards to ending your Tenancy, you must give a written notice of at least one calendar month. The notice must be in writing and must end on the first or last day of the Tenancy, unless the Tenancy Agreement allows it to be ended on a different day. When writing your notice letter, you should include:
- Your name
- Your address
- The date your notice period ends. If it is incorrect, your notice letter won’t be valid.
You may also want to include any forwarding details, where your Landlord or Letting Agent can forward any mail delivered to the property and return your Tenancy Deposit to you.
If you deliver the letter to your Landlord or Letting Agent by hand, ask for a receipt. If you post it, use recorded delivery so you can prove it arrived. Don't send an email unless your contract says you can. Your notice won't be valid.
Access To The Property
You have the right to live in your home without unnecessary interference from the Landlord or Letting Agent. Unless you share the property with the Landlord, you have the right to stop the Landlord from coming into the property.
However, you must give your Landlord or Letting Agent access to the property if repairs and periodic inspections are needed to the property. Your Landlord or Letting Agent must give you reasonable notice of this, typically at least 24 hours.
For more information, please visit: england.shelter.org.uk/housing_advice/private_renting/tenants_responsibilities; www.gov.uk/private-renting/your-rights-and-responsibilities; www.citizensadvice.org.uk/housing/repairs-in-rented-housing/disrepair-landlord-and-tenant-repair-responsibilities/disrepair-what-are-the-tenant-s-responsibilities/; www.tenancyagreementservice.co.uk/ending-a-tenancy-agreement