Your rights

Landlord and tenant responsibilities

Your rights

As a tenant, you have the right to:

  • live in a property that’s safe and in good repair
  • have your rent deposit returned when your tenancy ends - and in some circumstances have it protected
  • challenge excessively high charges
  • know who your landlord is
  • live in the property undisturbed
  • 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

When you start a new tenancy

When you start a new assured or short assured tenancy, your landlord must give you a copy of the government’s “How to rent” guide.

Your responsibilities

You must allow your landlord access to the property to inspect it or carry out repairs. Your landlord must give you at least 24 hours’ notice and visit at a reasonable time of day, unless it’s an emergency and they need immediate access.

You must also:

  • 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 the property if the tenancy agreement or your landlord allows it

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

Responsibility for repairs

Your landlord will be responsible for most major repairs to your home, including:

  • the structure of the property, for example walls, roof, windows and doors
  • sinks, baths, toilets
  • pipes and wiring
  • heating and hot water, for example the boiler
  • the safety of gas and electrical appliances

You will be responsible for minor repairs, for example changing fuses and light bulbs, and for repairing anything you’ve damaged.

If your home is damp, responsibility will depend on what type of damp it is - and what caused it. If the dampness is due to a structural fault, such as rising dampness, leaking roof or gutters then the landlord will normally be responsible. However, if the dampness is due to condensation then the cause will need to be determined. If it’s due to the tenant’s lifestyle - such as drying wet clothes in the property or not using the heating correctly, then it may be their responsibility. If it’s due to inadequate heating or insulation then the landlord will be responsible.

You won’t be responsible for repairs caused by other people, for example vandalism.

Your tenancy agreement or contract might give you extra rights, so it's a good idea to check your paperwork.

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