There are many rights and responsibilities of landlords and tenants.
You might think that as a tenant, your only obligation is to pay the rent on time. But, just as the landlord has their responsibilities, so do you.
However, many people are still in the dark about landlord duties and their tenant obligations. To try and help, we’ve put together a list of landlord and tenant responsibilities.
Your landlord’s responsibilities are partly stipulated by the law, and partly by what you have agreed in the tenancy agreement. Their responsibilities include, but aren’t limited to:
- Maintaining the property so that it’s in a good livable condition
- Ensuring the property is safe and free from any health hazards i.e. mould and damp or overcrowding
- Ensuring all gas equipment is installed correctly and in good working order
- Making sure all electrical equipment is maintained to prevent danger. As a rough guide, you would expect an electrical installation check at least every five years.
- Ensuring the property is properly fitted with working smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors
- Supplying you with the property’s energy performance certificate. This contains information about the property’s energy use and energy costs
- Providing you with evidence that your deposit has been placed in a government approved tenancy deposit scheme. This is essential to make sure that your deposit is protected
- Checking to ensure you have the right to rent their property
- Making sure you have a copy of the government’s how to rent checklist, prior to you moving in. This is so you know what to expect from renting their property, what is expected of you as a tenant, and of them as a landlord, and how to handle any disputes that may arise
You, of course, have your rights, but you also have your responsibilities. Failure to meet these responsibilities could result in you being evicted. Your tenant obligations can include:
- You must allow your landlord access to the property in order to carry out any maintenance and repairs. The landlord has to give you at least 24 hours’ notice beforehand, and their visit must take place at a reasonable time of day – the only exception would be an emergency situation
- You’re required to occupy the property as a tenant, not as the owner, which means you have a responsibility to make sure all damage is reported, and the property is taken care of. You should treat it as your own, keeping it clean and tidy, whilst being mindful that you’re only renting it
- You should pay the rental amount you agreed in your tenancy agreement, when you agreed to pay it by. Even if the property requires maintenance work. You don’t have the right to withhold rent, as this puts you in breach of your tenancy agreement, and could result in you being evicted
- Unless otherwise stipulated, it’s your responsibility to pay all utility bills and council tax bills, otherwise you run the risk of being cut off
- Normal wear and tear of the property is something the landlord has to deal with. However, any damage you do to the property is your responsibility to rectify, either by repairing it yourself, or paying for someone to fix the damage
- You cannot sublet the property unless the tenancy agreement or your landlord gives you permission to do so
- If you’re renting with pets, this must have been agreed by the landlord.