Everything you need to know as a tenant:

  1. RwC and tenants
  2. What does the star rating mean?
  3. Poor housing conditions and your health
  4. My landlord deserves recognition
  5. I want good housing
  6. Housing and debt management

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Advice for Tenants

Smoke alarms

Private sector landlords have been required since 1 October 2015 to have at least one smoke alarm installed on every storey of their properties and a carbon monoxide alarm in any room containing a solid fuel burning appliance (e.g. a coal fire, wood burning stove). After that, the landlord must make sure the alarms are in working order at the start of each new tenancy.

Utility Bills

  • Tenants in self-contained properties will usually be responsible for water rates and payment for utilities like gas, electricity, telephone and television unless otherwise stated in the rental agreement. Make sure you know what you are expected to pay before signing your tenancy
  • Check what bills you are responsible for
  • Ensure you can afford the rent combined with council tax, bills and other expenses

Hazards around the home

Common hazards that affect safety in the home consist of faulty gas boilers, fire hazards, dangerous electrics etc. Common hazards that affect health in the home consist of damp and mould growth, excessive cold, overcrowding etc. The hazards in your home are rated under the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) according to how serious they are and how likely it is that someone will be affected by them.


Dampness produced by condensation is a problem which some tenants experience frequently in privately rented properties. Ventilation is needed in your home to get rid of moisture and there may be a strong possibility you may be doing something, which makes this problem worse such as:

  • Using a tumble dryer with no outside vent – unless a tumble dryer is a self-condensing type, it should be vented to the outside
  • Drying wet clothes on heaters – it's best to dry clothes outside or in the bathroom with the door closed and the window open or fan on blocking ventilation – covering air vents, closing ventilators and switching off or disabling fans.

Drying Clothes

  • Drying wet clothes on a radiator causes the water to evaporate out of the fabric and becomes moisture in the air. Excess moisture in the air results in condensation that forms on walls, windows and surfaces that is exposed to the damp air. This can also lead to the growth of black mould in your home.
  • If you must dry clothes indoors, ensure this is done in a well-ventilated room. It is best to dry clothes outside or in the bathroom with the door closed and the window open or fan on. Never dry clothes on an electric heater as this poses a great fire hazard.

Go smoke free

  • There are multiple reasons to go smoke-free. Since tobacco smoke lingers in the air and can move from room to room it is encouraged to protect your family and children from second-hand smoke, particularly because children have smaller airways and are more susceptible to the health impacts as their immune systems are still developing and are less likely to remove themselves from such environments.
  • People can die in fires caused by smoking as tobacco stays alight. Therefore, it is essential that cigarettes are stubbed and disposed properly.

Safety tips for cigarette smokers:

  • Never smoke in bed – you could fall asleep and allow your cigarette to set light to your bedclothes or furnishings
  • Don't smoke if you’re drowsy - particularly if you're sat relaxed or if you've been drinking or taking prescription drugs
  • Don't leave a lit cigarette, cigar or pipe – they can easily overbalance and land on flammable materials
  • Keep lighters, matches and smoking materials out of the reach of children – you could buy child-resistant lighters

So, go smoke free for your health and safety, your family and to save money.

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