*This post was written in collaboration with Beresfords.
(Image source: Pixabay)
A lot of people rent when they first move out, rather than buying a home straight away. This means that a lot of people who are looking to rent a property might not exactly be clued up on all of the different terminology used or what their rights are as a renter. Most good UK estate agents will have extensive knowledge of what your rights are, and should certainly be able to help you if you are unsure what your rights are. But you can never acquire too much knowledge, so it is always worth doing a bit of research yourself before you start the renting process. The UK government sets out a few rights for tenants:
Live in a property that is safe and in a good state of repair
Safety is paramount, so landlords will need to carry out certain checks, like safety checks to the gas and electricity. As a tenant, you are well within your rights to ask for proof of safety checks before you rent the property. You are also within your right to live in a continuously safe home, so if anything breaks that could detriment your safety, the landlord should repair this.
The “good state of repair” part is a bit more ambiguous. But usually tenants and landlords will agree on the state of the house before the tenancy agreement is signed.
Receive your deposit back when the tenancy ends
All tenants have the right to have their deposit back, providing the property has been left in the condition it was rented out in. The estate agent will usually carry out an inventory check and as part of this they will assess the condition of the property. Ensure you ask for a copy of this document so that you have the best chance of getting your deposit back, as you can make the checks yourself towards the end of your tenancy.
Challenge excessively high charges
If charges look particularly high, they can be challenged.
Know who your landlord is
Any tenant in the UK has the right to know their landlord’s name and address, and the estate agent or the landlord must provide this by law. This is not provided as standard, but once you have made the request the party you made the request to has 21 days to provide the correct and up-to-date information.
The right to live in the property undisturbed
This right basically means that the landlord cannot harass you or evict you without a court order. This right is to protect the tenant from any verbal or physical harassment from a landlord.
See an Energy Performance Certificate for the property
An energy performance certificate gives an overview of how much the typical energy costs for the property are. as well as information about the energy use, this document will provide energy saving suggestions. Most UK estate agents will either be able to provide you with this for the property you are renting or point you into the direction of where to get one for your property.
Be protected from unfair eviction and unfair rent
This means that the landlord cannot spring an eviction or rent increase on the tenant without any prior warning or going through the correct channels.