10 Things All Tenants Should Know About Renting - 04/11/16
There are around four million private renters in the UK right now, but how much do you know about your rights as a tenant? Here are ten pointers that you should be aware of when renting a property for your own protection and peace of mind and for the sake of your relationship with your landlord.
1) You Need Notice
By law, a landlord can’t just drop by and let him or herself into the property. The Housing Act 1988 says they must give you a minimum of 24 hours notice before they make a visit
2) Put the Duster Round
Although one person’s tidy is another person’s clutter, you should make every effort to keep the property at an acceptable level of cleanliness. It is possible for a landlord to have a tenant evicted if a court rules the place to be too untidy.
3) Rent Rises
It is against the law for a landlord to put up your rent partway through a fixed-term rental period. The exception to this is if you have agreed to the rise.
4) On Your Holidays
Your landlord needs to know if you're going to be away for more than 14 days, whether it is on holiday, business or any other reason. If the property is vacant for any longer than two weeks, your landlord’s insurance may be invalidated.
5) Prized Pets
Some tenancy agreements specifically forbid keeping pets in the property, and of course that should be respected. However, if there is no such clause, you should still check with the landlord before you bring home a dog, cat, iguana or any other animal.
6) Leave it to the Landlord
Resist the temptation to crack open your toolbox – the landlord is your point of contact for all maintenance issues in the property and any fix that you do that goes wrong could have repercussions.
7) Changing Rooms
On a similar theme, don’t just go around splashing paint on the walls. If you think the place needs a little freshening up, the landlord should be consulted first. They may insist on having their own trusted professionals do the job.
8) Let the Landlord Let
You may be desperate to fill that recently-vacated room in your house, but unless your tenancy agreement expressly allows you, let the landlord sort it. Subletting could lead to your contract being terminated, so ask before you advertise.
9) Deposits Vary
In England and Wales, there is no limit to the level of the deposit you can pay. Scottish renters will never pay more than two months rent as a deposit, but the law does not restrict bonds elsewhere.
10) Free Viewing
A landlord or letting agent cannot charge you for a viewing. It is unfair and against the law too. You will only pay anything once you have been offered the property and the admin fees for the move need to be covered.
If you have any questions about renting, please contact us. Call 01274 876863.