Your rights and responsibilities as a tenant

The rights of tenants and landlords vary depending upon what type of tenancy agreement exists. It is always a good idea to ask your landlord for a written agreement before you take up a tenancy so you know exactly what is expected from both of you.

Your rights and obligations as a tenant will depend on factors such as whether the landlord lives in the same property as you, how long you have lived there and what type of tenancy you have.

If you are a private tenant you have legal rights; your landlord cannot just throw you out. The law states certain procedures must be followed before a landlord can evict you, and unless your landlord complies with these, you do not have to leave your accommodation.

Even if your landlord has not provided you with a tenancy agreement or a rent book, if you pay rent a contract exists between you and your landlord.

Most landlords of private tenants charge ‘market rents’, which is the amount of money tenants are willing to pay. It may be worth talking to your landlord if they want to increase the rent to try and agree a lower rent in return for not having to re-let the property.

If your landlord keeps turning up at your home, or letting themselves in without your knowledge, they may be guilty of harassment. Even though they own the property they do not have the right to do this. If you believe your landlord is harassing you, Housing Solutions can provide advice and assistance.

As a private tenant you have the responsibility for smaller repairs, whilst your landlord is responsible for the major repairs. If your landlord needs to gain access to carry out repairs, it is your responsibility to let them in, as long as you have been given reasonable notice.

If you are experiencing problems in your private rented property eg disrepair, notice that has been served, harassment from the landlord, and have not been successful in sorting the problem out, the Housing Option Team can help to negotiate with the landlord on your behalf.

See our rights and responsibilities advice notes.