The foundation of a good relationship between a tenant, landlord and letting agent is when parties understand their rights and responsibilities to each other, establishing a collective responsibility to ensure the tenancy goes smoothly.
If you’re new to renting or haven’t reminded yourself of your rights and responsibilities as a tenant, look at our guide below to know where you stand.
Your rights as a tenant
As a tenant, you have the rights provided for in Government legislation and may also have additional rights defined in your tenancy agreement with the landlord. The rights set by the government are the minimum:
· To live in a property that’s safe and in a good state of repair
· Your deposit is returned when the tenancy ends, providing no damage has occurred to the property – and your deposit is protected if you rent your home on an assured shorthold tenancy that started after 6 April 2007
· The right to challenge any charges you believe to be excessively high
· To know who your landlord is
· To live undisturbed in the property
· The right to see an Energy Performance Certificate for the property
· Protection from unfair eviction and unfair rent
· To have a written agreement if you have a fixed-term tenancy of more than three years
In addition to these rights, if you live in England, when you begin a new assured or short tenancy your landlord is obliged to give you a copy of the How to Rent guide, offering advice on the rights and responsibilities of both tenants and landlords and the rental process in England and Wales.
Your responsibilities as a tenant
In addition to your rights, you also have responsibilities as a tenant, which you must be aware of to ensure you aren’t risking your tenancy. These responsibilities are:
• To 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
• Only sublet a property if the tenancy agreement or your landlord allows it.
• Allow the landlord access to the property to carry out repairs if they have given you at least 24 hours’ notice, and they request access at a reasonable time of day unless it’s an emergency and they need immediate access.
If you don’t meet your responsibilities, your landlord has the right to begin legal action to evict you.
Building a positive tenancy
The rental sector is a dynamic one that’s subject to regular changes in the law, such as those proposed by the Renters Reform Bill or the proposed EPC regulations, so there’s a lot for landlords, letting agents and tenants keep aware of.
Good communications and putting processes in place, such as mid-term property reports, ensure that the property is well maintained and all stakeholders know their expectations and can work together to create a positive tenancy relationship – which saves time and money for all concerned.
No Letting Go
If you would like to discuss how our local support or national network at No Letting Go could become your inventory partner, contributing towards a smooth relationship with tenants, streamlining costs and reducing your workload, then contact No Letting Go today.
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