The tenant-landlord relationship is just like any other; it involves a lot of give-and-take. If the latter does not ignore any repair requests, the former wouldn’t have to complain about them. Additionally, if tenants pay their rent on time and do not cause any trouble with neighbours, their relationship with their landlord will be straightforward. .
When both parties do not see eye-to-eye, like in the case of a tenant refusing to agree to some of the landlords’ rules or the landlord not respecting the tenants’ privacy, this is when trouble arises. Sometimes, this goes to the extent of unlawful, forceful eviction of the tenant, no matter how good they are in paying their rent.
Although there are rogue landlords that make life miserable for certain tenants, there are also bad tenants that landlords have to deal with. Nevertheless, it is important for renters to be aware of unlawful practices that some tenants do. Armed with this knowledge, a tenant can take pre-emptive steps to avoid doing things that will, undoubtedly, drive a wedge between them and their landlord.
Landlord rights and responsibilities
In a tenancy or rental agreement, the landlord usually has more responsibilities compared to tenants. Apart from legal obligations, landlords are required to provide a good home and renting experience to their tenants.
Landlords need to keep their rented home in a good state of repair. Gas and safety certificates must be in place as this will ensure the tenants are moving into a safe and secure environment. The Energy Performance certificate must at least have a rating of D or 55-68, which means the home’s energy efficiency is on par with stipulated UK requirements.
Most major repairs should be handled by the landlord. Damp and mould caused by the absence of ventilation in the flat and a defective central heating system are common issues in UK homes, especially during winter. Landlords also need to address cracks in walls and leaks in roofs as these defects can cause severe disrepair in the home.
The rented home must be fit for human habitation so it must be free of vermin infestation, have a clean and safe water supply, and not get too cold or hot that it causes discomfort and/or health issues.
One important legal obligation that the landlord must carry out is to make sure the tenants’ security deposit is tucked away safely in a tenancy deposit protection scheme as the money must be returned to the tenant in full – unless there are necessary deductions – at the end of the tenancy. Tenancy deposits must not exceed the equivalent of five weeks’ rent.
Tenant rights and obligations
Just as tenants have certain rights while renting, they also have obligations to fulfil in order to have a good relationship with the landlord. The type of rental agreement will determine what tenants can demand from their landlords.
Tenant responsibilities cover paying the rent on time, keeping the rented home clean and orderly, paying for bills that are not included in the tenancy agreement, and not causing any trouble with the neighbours.
Home improvements or any aesthetic changes to the flat are the tenant’s responsibility, and it is imperative that the landlord approves of the plans before having any work done. Replacing light bulbs can be done quickly if the tenants want to do it themselves instead of waiting for the landlord’s electrician to do it for them, unless it is faulty electrics that broke the bulb.
As with the light bulbs, repairs of appliances and of any installations that were not provided by the landlord is the tenant’s responsibility. It is better to discuss details like this with the landlord before moving in, to avoid any confusion or conflict during the tenancy.
If there are repairs that need to be done, tenants will need to report the matter right away in order for the landlord to act on it within a reasonable amount of time. If the landlord does respond, they need to be allowed to access the rented home provided they inform the tenant 24 hours prior to the inspection. However, if the repair needs immediate attention like a broken-down heating system, faulty electrics, or anything that can cause fire or gas leaks, tenants must allow the inspection to be done at once.
So long as both landlord and tenant are aware of their rights and responsibilities, renting a home should be a hassle-free affair. Conflicts and disagreements will not happen if both diligently follow housing and rental laws.
Complaining about your landlord
Some landlords unlawfully evict or treat tenants poorly especially if they complain about disrepair in their rented home. Make sure you are aware of your rights as a tenant in case this happens to you. You can always reach out to your local council for help if your landlord does not take action on your repair requests. Or you may contact the housing disrepair experts DisrepairClaim.co.uk if you want quick action on your case.