What rights does your tenant have?

When you rent out a property to a tenant to live in, they will be given certain tenant rights for the period of that lease, depending on the type of lease they have agreed with you. It is vital that at all times you respect your tenants’ rights, otherwise you may find yourself facing the consequences, which could ultimately be legal action.

What exactly are their rights as a tenant?

The law specifically states that all tenants have the right to:

  • Live in a safe property that is in good repair
  • Have their deposit returned and perhaps even protected
  • Know their landlord
  • Live undisturbed
  • See the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)for the property
  • Not be evicted unfairly
  • Not be charged unfair rent
  • Challenge unfairly inflated charges
  • Have an agreement in writing if their tenancy term is fixed for over a certain period

These are the basic tenant rights laid down by the law. There are specific legal issues tied into many of these rights, and whilst we are focusing on their rights, it is not just a one way street because you do have rights too and your tenant also has a number of responsibilities that they must meet to remain compliant with their tenancy agreement. Where they fail to maintain these responsibilities, you may take legal action against them.

Safety and legal protection

In order to allow your tenant to live in a property that is safe, you have to complete an annual gas safety check on all gas appliances and also on the flue, ensure that all appliances are installed and maintained by a Gas Safe engineer and provide your tenant with a copy of the annual gas safety check when they move in.

Any furniture you supply with the property must meet the fire safety standards, so check this carefully. Depending on the size of the property, there may be a requirement by law to provide fire alarms and fire extinguishers, so you should check the fire safety regulations to ensure you comply.

Your tenant has a legal expectation that you will pay any deposit amount into a deposit protection scheme if you have agreed an assured shorthold tenancy, also known as an AST. This is the standard contract given to most tenants and will normally last for six or twelve months. You must pay any deposit into a government backed scheme that supports dispute resolution between landlords and tenants and means that there is a uniform approach to disputes over deposits.

You can see that a tenants’ rights impact significantly on you and what you can do as a landlord, so by understanding the synergy, you can stay in control of your tenants and know what you are allowed to do and when to do it.

To find out more about tenant rights and how they affect you as a landlord, call us now on 020 7480 5861 and one of our experienced property law team will be happy to help. If you would rather get in touch online, please fill out our Online Contact form and we’ll be in touch shortly.