Guest Author: Emila Smith
One survey showed that only 65% of tenants were satisfied with the service they received from their landlords. If you are unsatisfied with your landlord’s service, you need to know whether they are meeting their legal obligations – if not, you could be entitled to compensation.
Keep reading to learn how to protect yourself as a tenant. This guide will cover your rights as a tenant and what you should expect from your landlord during your lease.
As a tenant, you have entitlements to ensure your rental property is a suitable place to live. Here, we will discuss these individual entitlements so you can review whether your landlord is meeting their obligations in your tenancy.
During your tenancy, you retain the right to enjoy your property peacefully, without any interjection or disturbance from your landlord. Your landlord may only enter the property in the event of an emergency. Your landlord is not entitled to enter the property without your permission in any other instance. Only with 24 hours of written notice can the landlord enter the property during a reasonable hour of the day.
If your landlord enters the property without permission, you are entitled to complain. This visit would count as trespassing, and you would be able to complain to your local authority to resolve the issue.
As a tenant, you pay your landlord a sum of money each month in return for suitable living conditions. The Homes Act dictates that your landlord must provide suitable living conditions at the start of the tenancy and throughout the residence.
Your landlord should provide you with hot water, operational electrical sockets, an oven, and other necessities you will need to live. Failure to meet these requirements would constitute a breach of your tenancy agreement.
Landlords must provide a gas safety check from a Gas Safe registered inspector every 12 months. In line with the right to quiet enjoyment, your landlord should give you at least 24 hours’ written notice before the inspection takes place. When you move in, you should receive a copy of the latest gas safety report and every report following.
Every 5 years, you must receive an electrical installation condition report which will assure you of the electrical system’s safety in your rental. You should also receive an energy performance certificate, which will make you aware of the property’s energy efficiency and carbon emissions. The EPC is usually included in the property listing, as it will give you insight into your monthly energy bills.
In your lease agreement, you should outline which maintenance tasks you will be responsible for, such as keeping the home in good repair. However, your landlord will be responsible for keeping your home secure and ensuring that the property’s gas, electricity, water supply, and heating remain in good working order.
Your landlord will most likely perform mid-term inspections to assess the current state of the property and identify any repairs they must make. If you notice any major repairs needed on the property, you have the right to submit a maintenance request to your landlord – especially if these issues put your health and safety at risk.
Tenants need assurance that if they breach the terms of their lease and their landlord wants them gone, they will have ample time to find a new place to live. Tenants should be protected from landlords evicting them without notice.
Only if a tenant breaks the terms of their fixed-term lease can the landlord evict them – these breaches might include not paying rent or damaging the property. But, even then, landlords are required to give you at least 28 days’ worth of notice so that you can make arrangements for a new place to live.
If you are renting on a month-to-month basis, then your landlord will be able to increase your rent. The landlord must give you 30 days’ notice before increasing the rent charge, and your landlord must hand over this notice in writing. Unless you agree to the rent increase with verbal notice, you are not required to pay it.
However, if you have signed a lease agreement with your landlord, they do not have the right to increase your rent until the end of your notice period.
Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash
If your landlord breaches your agreement’s terms and does not provide you with your fundamental tenant rights, you have the right to take legal action. First, you should send your landlord written notice of the breach to ensure they are aware of the violation and to give them a chance to resolve the issue.
If the landlord does not comply and resolve the issue, you can take the matter to small claims court as a civil complaint. If you win your case, you will be entitled to compensation from your landlord.
As a tenant, you deserve a comfortable place to live that meets your basic needs, and you need assurance that you will not be turned out without proper notice. Knowing your tenant rights is essential, as you are entitled to take legal action should these rights be breached. Consider whether your current landlord is meeting these conditions or whether you could be entitled to compensation.