A guide for tenants
- Pay the rent
- Even if you’re unhappy about something to do with the place you still have to pay the rent. It is important that you always pay the rent on time.
- Keep the place reasonably clean. It doesn’t need to look perfect, but it does need to be reasonable.
- Tell the landlord if something needs to be fixed. If something breaks down or goes wrong tell the landlord straight away. It is the landlord’s responsibility to repair and maintain the place. It is your responsibility to tell the landlord about any problems. It’s a good idea to put it in writing for the landlord as well, and keep a copy.
- You should have Contents Insurance. If your actions cause significant damage to the property the landlord will use their insurance to have the property repaired. It is likely that the insurance company will then sue you for the cost of the repairs. Contents Insurance covers you for this event.
- Notify the landlord of any changes to the tenancy, such as a change in the people living at the property, or new pets.
- When you move out make sure the place is completely clear of everything you own and is left clean and tidy. Remove all rubbish and give all the keys back to the landlord.
It’s your home!
The landlord owns the place, but while you rent it, it is your home. This means the landlord has to respect your peace and privacy (quiet enjoyment ).
When can the landlord enter your home?
The landlord can come inside, but only at certain times. These are:
- inspect the place
The landlord can inspect the place, but no more than once every four weeks and they must give you 48 hours’ notice that they are going to do an inspection.
- fix something
If the landlord needs to fix something then they can come inside to do the repairs after giving you 24 hours’ notice.
- In case of emergency.
If the landlord wants to come inside for some other reason then they need your permission, otherwise they may be breaking the law. If it happens to you talk to Tenancy Services.
The Landlord’s Responsibilities
The landlord needs to look after the place and keep it reasonable. That means keeping the plumbing, electrical wiring and anything to do with the structure of the house safe and working properly.
If the landlord is not doing some of their jobs talk with Tenancy Services about what you can do.
Refer also to “A guide for tenants” published by Tenancy Services.
(0800 83 62 62)
About Tenancy Services!
- Tenancy Services offer free advice and information.
- We can help you if you are the person paying the rent or if you are the landlord.
- We can explain the law about renting to you.
- We can help tenants and landlords sort problems out.
- We can also help you with any questions about your bond money.
If you need more help call Tenancy Services free on 0800 TENANCY (0800 83 62 62).
If you need to ask about your bond money, then call Tenancy Services on 0800 737 666.
Keep all of your records
Keep all records, papers, and documents about your tenancy, even after the tenancy is over. These records will include:
- your tenancy agreement
- rent records and receipts
- water, power and phone bills
- letters from the landlord
- copies of letters you have sent to the landlord
What can the landlord do if I can’t pay my rent?
If things can’t be sorted out then the landlord can:
- Give you a letter giving you ten work days to pay.
- Apply to the Tenancy Tribunal for an order that you pay what you owe.
- Apply to the Tenancy Tribunal to end your tenancy .
- The landlord can’t physically throw you out. But a Court bailiff may evict you by order of the Tenancy Tribunal.
Am I paying the right rent?
If you think the rent you are paying is substantially more than for other places like yours, you can ask the Tenancy Tribunal to decide if the rent should be changed. Talk to your landlord or Tenancy Services about this first.