If you are thinking of renting a property, it is vital that you are aware of your legal rights and obligations. The law protects both the tenant and the landlord and does not permit you to take the law into your own hands, irrespective of circumstances.
When you rent a property from a landlord, the tenancy is usually an assured shorthold tenancy. If the intention of the parties is to grant a different type of tenancy *, such as an assured tenancy, then the correct legal procedure must be followed. Assured shorthold tenancies have many benefits for both parties and can be for a fixed term or left open-ended.
What is the tenant responsible for?
- paying the rent as agreed and taking proper care of the property
- bills for gas, electricity, telephone etc if this was agreed with your landlord
- in most cases, paying the council tax, water and sewerage charges
Failure to comply with the terms of a tenancy can result in the landlord ending the tenancy at any time on the grounds for possession set out in legislation. Your landlord also has certain responsibilities and obligations to you as a tenant to adhere to, such as maintaining the dwelling in good order, undertaking repairs and recognising important safety issues. Should you be experiencing problems with your landlord in this respect then we are able to give help and advice in resolving a potentially contentious situation between both parties.
As a tenant, you have certain rights under the Disability Discrimination Act, Sex Discrimination Act and Race Relations Act and a claim can be brought against a landlord failing to comply with these Acts. If you feel that you have been discriminated in any way, we are able to offer advice and guidance according to your individual circumstances.
A tenancy can be ended without giving a reason at any time after six months, provided any fixed term you agreed to has ended. You need to give your landlord at least two months written notice terminating an agreement.
Our property teams are able to give advice and guidance on all tenancy matters.
*this does not apply to tenancies commencing before 15th January 1989