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Knowing Your Legal Rights as a Tenant

Knowing Your Legal Rights as a Tenant

While we represent everyone involved in the housing game, a lesser talked about subject is knowing your rights as a tenant. Knowing your tenancy rights can protect you from discrimination and unfair actions by whoever is managing your home. Now, most people know their rights and responsibilities as renters, sellers, buyers and landlords – particularly, vulnerable people are always at risk of being taken advantage of, so it is always worth reiterating what your rights are specifically in case you are in a situation where help is needed. Here is a list of all the up-to-date GOV UK approved rights you should familiarise yourself with as a property renter:

To live in a safe property

If you are living in a property with no adequate locks, unsafe furnishings, no carbon monoxide detector and so on – you are at risk and your landlord is breaching their contract to you as their tenant, and as this is a human right, you have the power in any potential unsafe situation to dispute this with your landlord, or in serious cases, withhold your rent for one month until the matter(s) are resolved.

The right to a fully refundable deposit and a protected deposit

So long as you have taken care of the property you have been renting and have left no damages – you should be fully entitled to a refundable deposit, and if your deposit is protected through DPS (Deposit Protection Scheme) then you should receive your money back in full. Through DPS, you can take any deposit withhold requests to be challenged, and legally, this will be resolved.

The right to know who your landlord is

Every renter in the UK has a full legal right to know who they are renting from, and ask for formal identification, as this protects you from any potential fraudsters out there trying to promote false property services. If you do not know who your landlord is, write to the person or company you pay rent to. Your landlord can be fined If they do not give you this information within 21 days.

Be undisturbed and respected in your home

If your landlord needs to do inspections of any kind, they should always give 48 hours' notice before turning up to the property, as it is a legal right of yours to live in the property you pay rent for undisturbed.

The right to see an Energy Performance Certificate

Wherever you live in the UK, you have the right to have fully up to date information on the quality of your homes energy performance, and the certifications to prove so, so don’t hesitate to ask about this before signing any tenancy agreements as dismissal of this is a breach of your landlord’s contract.

Be protected from unfair eviction and unfair rent

By law, you should be given 3 months' notice before being evicted from your home, as it can take a while to find somewhere new, and by law its inhumane to evict any sooner. And if your landlord chooses to raise your rent for whatever reason, they are legally only allowed to do this once a year.

The right to own a copy of the ‘How to rent’ guide in the UK

These may see like straightforward ‘common sense’ rights, but if you are new to renting, are young and are living in your first rented property alone, its handy to have these guides at hand – and Clever are always here to help you.

Whilst you’re here, why not check out this blogpost on Buying vs Renting? See which option is best for you.

By Caitlin Stimpson