Tenant rights

This article will provide an overview of some basic tenant rights and how they apply in the general scenario. Read more below to check if your renter’s rights are not being denied to you.

In this article
• Your rights as a tenant
• Your landlord’s legal obligations
• What landlords are not entitled to
tenants rights
Introduction
As soon as you sign a tenancy agreement and move into a property you are entitled to the ‘quiet enjoyment of the property’. In other words, your landlord cannot turn up at any time they feel like it and invade your privacy. It is a basic tenant right to be given at least 24 hours written notice prior to a visit from the landlord or their representative, except in the case of an emergency.

Your landlord is legally obliged to:
• Insure the property
• Pay for and arrange necessary repairs to the structure / exterior of the property, sanitary installations, electrical system, gas installation, heating and hot water
• Protect your deposit in a government scheme and return it in full at the end of your tenancy or explain in writing why money has been deducted
• Follow correct legal procedures for evictions including obtaining an order from the court
• Ensure safety checks are conducted annually by a qualified gas engineer (Corgi registered) who will inspect all gas appliances, flues and fittings to ensure they are safe and carry out necessary maintenance; tenants must be provided with a CP12 certificate indicating the gas installation and appliances are safe
• Ensure all soft furnishings in the property are compliant with the Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) Safety Regulations 1988; such furnishing and furniture will normally have fire safety labels
• Ensure that the electrical installations and appliances are safe at the start of the tenancy and are in proper working order throughout the tenancy
• Supply the operating instructions of electrical appliances including safety notices at the start of the tenancy
• Make ‘reasonable adjustments’ in the property for disabled tenants
• Install smoke detectors that are wired into the mains electricity supply (if the property was built later than June 1992)

Your landlord is not legally entitled to:
• Change the locks of the property without informing you and supplying you with new keys
• Cut off the water, gas or electricity
• Threaten you either physically or verbally
• Interfere with your mail
• Neglect the property

Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs)
HMOs are subject to special licensing regulations including meeting higher standards of electrical and fire safety. All HMOs (not just those that require a license) must have an inspection carried out of the full electrical installation every five years; a certificate must be obtained and the local authority can require a certificate to be produced in 7 days if requested. All HMOs are legally obliged to have smoke detectors on every floor that are wired into the mains electricity supply.

Where to go for help and advice
See our related articles for more information regarding specific issues and infringements of your rights. Always maintain calm and respectful communication with your landlord or letting agent with an aim to resolving the matter.

Further guidance should be sought from professional advisors at Shelter or the Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB).

http://england.shelter.org.uk/get_advice/advice_services_directory
http://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/index/getadvice.htm

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Disclaimer: This article is provided as a guide. Any information should be used for research purposes and not as the base for taking legal action. The Tenants' Voice does not provide legal advice and our content does not constitute a client-solicitor relationship.

We advise all tenants to act respectfully with their landlords and letting agents and seek a peaceful resolution to problems with their rented property. For more information, explore the articles in our Rights and responsibilities category.

The Tenants' Voice works in conjunction with Deposit Recovery Claims to assist tenants.

If you experience problems with your tenancy deposit, have disrepair in your rented property or suspect that your landlord should have a licence to rent your property but does not have one then you can receive a free consultation by calling our advice service: Call Tenant Assist on 0333 344 3788.

For more ways to reach us, please visit our contacts page.