Your responsibilities as a tenant
As a tenant you have responsibilities, as well as rights. Your responsibilities are usually set out in your tenancy agreement. It is important that you follow the rules which are set out in your tenancy agreement, because breaking the rules might result in you losing your home or be less likely to renew your tenancy agreement.
As a tenant are at risk of losing your home if you don't follow some of the rules set out below.
Paying your rent on time, every time
It is very important that you pay the rent on the property each time that is due, on the date that it is due. If you don't pay your rent, or don't pay it on time, your landlord is less likely to renew your tenancy when it expires.
If you don't pay the rent, your landlord may take you to Court to evict you and they are likely to pursue you for the debt after you leave the property.
Keeping the property in good repair
You (the tenant), anyone else who lives with you and any of your guests must not cause deliberate damage to the property you live in. If you damage the property or notice that something is faulty, it is your responsibility to report it to the landlord.
If you damaged the property you will be responsible for repairing it or for paying for it to be repaired. You should only attempt to undertake a repair if you know what you're doing and are able to repair the property to the same standard that it was in before.
If your property has a garden you must remember that you are usually responsible for maintaining it.
If the property you rent is a furnished property you also need to keep the furniture in good repair. If you damage the furniture or notice that something is faulty you should inform your landlord to prevent it getting worse. If you damaged the furniture you will be responsible for repairing it or for paying for it to be repaired.
Allowing the landlord access to the property
You must allow access to the landlord or their agents to the property, given reasonable notice. This means that if the landlord has asked a Gas Safe Installer to visit the property to inspect and service your gas heating appliance, you must prevent them from gaining access to the property.
It is always wise to ensure that when your landlord or someone acting on their behalf arranges to visit your home, they are accompanied at all times and that you ask to see their ID to make sure the person is who they say they are.
Acting in a neighbourly way
This means that you, anyone who lives with you and anyone visiting you in your home must take care not to behave in such a way that will cause nuisance or annoyance to your neighbours. What will cause nuisance and annoyance to your neighbours will vary from place to place but might include any of the following:
- hosting loud late night parties
- slamming doors in the property
- allowing the garden to become overgrown
- not disposing of household waste correctly
If you behave in any way that is anti social, your landlord may have grounds to evict you.
Give notice in the correct form if you want to leave
If you want to end your tenancy you must give the landlord the length of notice set out in your tenancy agreement and in the form set out in the agreement. If you fail to do so, without your landlords' agreement, you will end up owing rent and possibly legal costs.
Seek permission from the landlord
It is important that you seek your landlords' permission before you do anything that the tenancy agreement says you must not. For example if your tenancy agreement states that you must not decorate the property, and you wish to redecorate one room, you need to have your landlords' permission before you start. If you don't seek your landlords' permission your landlord may charge you for re-instating the room to its previous condition and might have grounds to evict you.
If you want to pass on your tenancy to some-one else you need to seek permission from your landlord. If you don't and you have left the property, the person you wanted to take over your tenancy will have no right to be in the property and may lose their home.