What Your Rights And Responsibilities Are As A Tenant

by Grace Motley

Agreeing to a tenancy with a landlord results in you having rights with regards to the property, but with these rights come some responsibilities. The tenancy agreement may differ from one landlord or letting agent to another, but your basic rights will be the same. In order to have these rights, you must act in a responsible manner when using the property. This article will take a look at what that means in more detail.


You have the right to privacy in the property. This means, although you do not own the home, you can still stop anyone from entering, if you wish to do so. This includes the landlord themselves, if they happen to turn up unexpectedly. However, if the landlord gives you sufficient notice (usually 24 hours), you are required to allow them access. This may be for repairs, or to check the condition of the property from time to time.

You have the right to live in a property which has its energy supply fully checked by a registered professional, such as a gas fitter. The landlord must have an appropriate energy certificate to show that the property is certifiably safe. The landlord must also provide smoke alarms, and ensure potential sources of fires (such as exposed wiring) are made safe. The property must be wind and water proof, and have an indoor toilet, otherwise your rights to live in a reasonable accommodation are breached.


You must pay your rent in a timely fashion, and in full. This works in your favor in case any disputes arise, so keep all receipts safe. You have a responsibility to reasonably care for the property, and pay for any damage – unintentional or not – out of your own pocket. You must not make any alterations without seeking the landlord's approval, but you have the responsibility to carry out minor repairs, such as changing light bulbs, or replacing the batteries in the smoke alarm.

If you rent an apartment in a block, you must keep the common area clear of rubbish, as this is a potential fire hazard. You must also inform your landlord of any repairs as soon as you can, so it can be fixed immediately. A leaking pipe, if left long enough, could contribute significantly to more damage occurring - to the carpets, wiring and even structural damage.

It is always best to thoroughly check the terms and conditions of the lease before you agree to them. Some landlords require you to keep the property reasonably clean, while others only require you clean it before you leave. Any notice you are required to give to terminate the contract will also be found in the terms and conditions. For more information about a specific rental, you should contact the tenant services company that oversees the property.