Although renting a property is a more temporary measure than owning a property, tenants rights must still be considered by landlords. Given the importance of the rental market in the current climate and the increasing number of people turning to rental solutions, this is extremely important. Even though you have to agree to the terms and rights that are available to the landlord, there are still a number of rights that you are entitled to as a tenant.
One of the most important things that a tenant has the right to is the “quiet enjoyment” of the property. This should ensure that the landlord is not able to arrive at your property without notice and expect to gain entry. A landlord is expected to provide their tenant with a notice period for all visits and they are not allowed to harass a tenant in their home.
Obviously a landlord has the right to inspect their property and to attend at certain times but these all have to be notified to the tenant in advance. The period of time that requires to be given by the landlord will depend on the tenancy agreement, so if a tenant has any concerns about this they should refer to their tenancy agreement.
Restrictive Covenants Applied to a Flat
The landlord should carry out repairs
A tenant should also expect a landlord to be responsible for the maintenance of the property and to carry out necessary repairs. This will often require the tenant to inform the landlord of any issues but as long as the tenant meets their parts of the requirement, they will be entitled to have the property properly looked after. Any repairs or maintenance work should be completed within a reasonable time frame, which may differ depending on the urgency surrounding the items that need repairing. A tenant can protect themselves by keeping a written record of any requests for repair or maintenance work to be carried out.
In return, a tenant is expected to pay their rent on the agreed date and to behave in a proper manner. This may differ depending on the actual tenancy agreement signed but there are certain things like keeping the property in good order, reporting any faults or breakages in the property and interacting politely with the neighbours.
A tenant should find that their property is protected
A tenant also has the right to have their deposit protected in a proper fashion. This means that the landlord should place the deposit into an approved deposit protection scheme. There are suitable schemes provided by the government. The deposit should be made available to the tenant at the end of the tenancy, providing that all terms of the tenancy have been met. If there is a dispute, the landlord may have the right to withhold part or all of the deposit. However, a tenant will always have the right to appeal the amount of money that is being withheld by the landlord at the end of a tenancy agreement.
A tenant has the right to receive proper procedures
A tenant has the right for the landlord to follow the correct procedure if they wish the tenant to leave. This will often require a notice period, that the tenant should receive in writing. If the landlord does not follow the correct procedure, they may be conducting an illegal eviction, which will provide the tenant with cause for a complaint and counter-action. An illegal eviction or harassment of a tenant is a criminal offence, which can result in a fine or a prison sentence if the landlord is found guilty.
A tenant should be aware if they are responsible for a number of improvements or procedures around the property. Many tenants will find that internal decorations, gardening work and some furniture will be under their own remit. However, if a property is advertised as fully furnished, the tenant may expect the landlord to have responsibility for the property.