Tenants' rights under landlord law

Landlord Law – Tenants

Tenant is the name given to an individual who rents a property from another party. They do not have rights over the property itself and do not own any part of the property. The tenant merely pays a monthly rental amount to the landlord to live there. The tenant does have certain rights which are usually agreed upon in the tenancy agreement.

Tenant rights

As mentioned, although the tenant does not have any ownership rights over the property they are renting they do have certain rights regarding the tenancy. Tenants have the right to live in the property free from disturbance by the landlord, the tenant has the right to live in a property which has its facilities and structure in a good state of repair, they have the right to access any information about the tenancy at any time and the tenant is also protected from unfair eviction. It is essential for a tenant to have these rights because if they did not then they would never be able to feel secure in the rented property as they could be evicted at any time.

Tenancy agreements

The tenants’ rights should be detailed in the tenancy agreement. The tenancy agreement is a formal written contract between a landlord and tenant which detail the rights and responsibilities each party has. Any rented property that doesn’t have a tenancy agreement leaves the tenant completely vulnerable. Any individual looking to rent a property and become a tenant should ensure there is a tenancy agreement in place and that it provides the relevant protection they require.

Tenant deposit

More often than not a landlord will require the tenant to pay a deposit before they start renting the property. This deposit will be used should there be any damage to the property, should the tenant fail to pay rent or should the tenant fail to pay all the required bills. The deposit amount is agreed upon by the tenant and landlord and is usually the cost of one month’s rent. To ensure that this deposit is returned the tenant should note any damages to the property that are there already in the property before they move in, ensuring the damage cannot be blamed upon them on their day of departure by the landlord.

Terminating a tenancy

If a tenant requires to leave the property before the specified rental period is over, then they are required to supply a written notice to the landlord. Failure to provide a written notice will be viewed as abandonment which will constitute a breach of contract and the tenant could be held liable for costs incurred by the landlord as a result of this. The required period of notice will usually be agreed upon in the tenancy agreement.

Tenant health and safety responsibilities

The tenant is also responsible for health and safety within the property. They are to ensure that they do not damage the property in anyway and should take the necessary steps to ensure that the property isn’t damaged, this refers to steps such as ensuring the oven is turned off, taps turned off and to inform the landlord of any damages they see occurring which they are unable to prevent, such as a burst pipe.

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