Helping Tenants With Their Legal Problems

What are my Rights and Responsibilities as a Tenant?

If you’re a tenant in privately rented property, you have certain rights and responsibilities.

You have the right to:

  • Know who your landlord is – your landlord can be fined if they don’t give you this information with 21 days of the start of the tenancy
  • Live in a property that’s safe and in a good state of repair
  • Have your deposit protected and returned when the tenancy ends – as long as there is no damage to the property or furnishings
  • Challenge excessively high charges
  • To live in the property without being harrassed by your landlord or his agents
  • 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.
  • Not be discriminated against or harassed by your landlord because of age, gender, sexual orientation, disability (or because of something connected with your disability), religion or belief, race, being a transgendered person
  • being pregnant or having a baby

Your responsibilities are:

  • To give your landlord access to the property to inspect it or to carry out repairs. You must be given at least 24 hours’ notice and it should take place at a reasonable time of day (unless it’s an emergency when immediate access is needed)
  • To take good care of the property
  • Pay the agreed rent in a timely manner, even if repairs are needed or you’re in dispute with your landlord
  • Pay other charges as agreed with the landlord, eg Council Tax or utility bills
  • Repair or pay for any damage caused by you, your family or friends
  • Not to use the property for illegal purposes
  • Only sublet the property if your tenancy agreement landlord allows it
  • If your landlord lives outside the UK and you pay in excess of £100 per week directly to them, HMRC may wish to deduct tax from the payments

If you don’t meet your responsibilities, your landlord has the right to take legal action to evict you.

Possession Proceedings

Your landlord must follow the procedures correctly and if he does not, the court will NOT grant the order, even if the grounds are proved to be met. You can defend yourself at the hearing and would be wise to do so, if you think your landlord is at fault. Evidence is key here and you must ensure you have as much as possible. All your evidence will be taken into consideration by the court. However, if the grounds being used are from the mandatory list, we need to warn you that there would need to be very serious evidence to prevent the judge from making the possession order

If a possession order is granted, you must vacate the property by the date given, which in some circumstances can be immediately. If you fail to do so the landlord can send in baliffs to evict you.

We can help. Call us on 01935 8238833