Know your tenancy rights
Most landlords are pretty good at what they do and act reasonably so long as you pay your rent, but there are many who seem to go out of their way to make their tenants' lives hell.
Be it through unreasonable behaviour, withholding of deposits or just plain laziness, the action of a landlord can have a serious impact on the health and wallets of their tenants.
If you rent your home privately and have had, or are currently experiencing, landlord problems then it is important to know your tenancy rights and the ways in which you are protected by the law from problem landlords.
Read on to find out more...
Your rights as a tenant
Your right to privacy
If your landlord turns up at your home uninvited then you do not have to let them in. Under law they are required to provide you with 24 hours notice in writing for any visit. If they persist in showing up unannounced then they can be found guilty of harassment.
The landlord is also not allowed to...
- Lock you out.
- Interfere with the gas, electricity or water supply.
- Interfere with or take your possessions.
- Remove doors or windows.
- Refuse to allow your friends to visit you.
- Use threats or make abusive phone calls.
Your right to a safe home
Before you move in your landlord must provide you with a gas safety certificate signed by a Gas Safe Register-listed engineer. This proves that the appliances in your home are safe and must be renewed once a year.
Your landlord is required to maintain the structure and exterior of the property as well as keep the gas, electricity, water, heating and sanitation in good repair.
Your right to get your deposit back
If you paid your rent and have left the property in a good condition then you are entitled to get your full deposit back.
If your agreement is an assured shorthold tenancy and you signed after April 6 2007 then your landlord should be registered with the tenancy deposit scheme. This has been put in place to protect tenants from instances where landlords keep hold of deposits for no good reason, and will help you go get your deposit back without having to go to court.
There are also certain rights and responsibilities outlined in your tenancy agreement. Make sure to read this before signing anything and moving in.