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  1. Hi We moved in to our rented property at Christmas 2017. We both work from home and took the property based on being able to do just that. My fiancé has a photography studio set up here with regular clients coming to the house. In May we found out that the neighbours had sold a patch of their garden to a builder who is now building a house on the land. The noise is unbearable, we are woken up every morning at 7 and we can't use the garden because of the noise and dust. The neighbours are also having their remaining garden paved by a separate company who also make noise from 7am. To top it off, our other next door neighbour have just started work on their house so we have to deal with hammering and banging all day on that side too. The landlord claims he knew nothing about any of it, which is rubbish and the builders have confirmed that they have had extensive conversations with him as part of the planning process and he in fact moved out of the house because of the construction. We have already asked for a rent reduction as we have been deceived in to moving in and the worst part is we pay nearly £2k in rent to live here! In this beautiful weather, we haven't been able to enjoy the garden at all. I have spoken to a solicitor who has told me whilst the landlord did have a moral obligation to tell us about the work, he unfortunately didn't have a legal obligation, which I just cannot believe! We have spoken to the builders who have now said they will try not to do noisy work before 8am, but even minor work causes enough noise to disturb us. We have to have the windows open because of the heat and there is no escape from it! We've requested a rent reduction but the landlord said no and we would have to pay to get out of our contract. There is another month left of the building works and we just don't feel like we can cope with it anymore. We're both being woken up in a state of stress and anxiety and its impacting on our work and our health! Is there really nothing we can do!?
  2. Good morning Caggers, I am wondering if someone can help me out with a bit of an issue to do with lease of a retail kiosk. Back in February of this year I rented a retail kiosk from my local council which was in a High Street but was classed as within the local market. I was selling cut flowers and plants. This was a completely new venture and basically took all spare money I had to set up and it looked really good. The problem started about a month after I opened when the market manager (council run market) allowed a huge plant and flower stall to pitch up a few yards from the kiosk. When I say huge it was the size of 8/10 normal size market pitches. Apparently, this stall was a nursery and therefore grew a lot of the plants and was able to sell them cheaper than me. Now the market was on 3 days a week and to be fair he was only there on a Saturday but it was a waste of time me opening on a Saturday because people walked straight past and made a beeline for him. To add insult to injury, the market manager in his infinite wisdom, allowed 2 other stalls onto the market selling plants and flowers and they were there every day. The problem was I just didnt take any money. I think I had a couple of weeks at first which were ok but as soon as these stalls were allowed on I didnt even take the rent!. I complained to the Council and the local councillor but it all fell in deaf ears and eventually I had no choice but to return the keys in April, I was there about 10 weeks in total. The original lease I signed was a year with a six month get out clause and the council were chasing me for the full six months. | sent them a letter when I gave the keys back explaining why and how I felt they had let me down by letting all these other stalls on and basically killing any hope I had to build a business. Unfortunately I had no money so consequently got into arrears with the rent because I had no customers and no savings because I had spent it all setting up the kiosk. Eventually after a few backward and forward letters they agreed to accept me terminating the lease when I returned the keys and said they would cancel any invoices after that date but I would still owe the rent upto that date, which was fair enough. I told them I would have to pay it off with a small amount weekly as I was out of work. I have now received another legal document which I believe is a Deed of Surrender for which the councils legal team have produced and are charging me £200 for the privilege. They know my current situation, another £200 really? I dont understand it, I dont know what they will do if I dont sign it. any input on this situation would be really appreciated.
  3. Hi everyone I don't think there is anything can be done aboit this situation but I thought I would ask. My daughter booked a last minute caravan break at the weekend from a private owner who rents her caravan on a caravan site. She paid £50 bond and £40 per night for four nights. The caravan was not like the photo's she advertised as the pictures must have been from a few years ago. The van was dirty, loose electric radiators propped against the wall, fridge seemed warm, flooring a trip hazard, these are just a few things as the list is endless. My daughter took photo's but they could not afford to go anywhere else as they had paid the owner, so she cleaned up a bit and they decided to stay. They went out for the day the next day and on return they found the fridge was not working and all the food and milk had gone off due to the hot weather and the van was full of ants. She rang the owner who sent her brother to the van to look at the van and even he said he wouldnt let his kids sleep in the homemade bunk beds or shower in the filthy shower but I guess that would be his word against my daughters. My daughter decided that she couldn't let the kids stay in the filthy van another night so they came home. She contacted the owner who said she would give her her bond and £80 back after she had checked the van. Today not unexpected should I say, she said my daughter left the van in a bad state by spilling bleach in the toilet and kids drawing on the table, all of which are lies but once gain its her word against my daughter. My daughter rang the site where the van is kept and they won't do anything and that they do not inspect the vans. I just wondered if there is anything that could be done and also what could be done to stop this woman getting away with renting out a dangerous van. Thans Alamand
  4. Hi long story short. ive been made redundant. I do not plan on being jobless for long but in the interim regarding universal credit, im currently renting a room, question being,would it be problematic for the landlord?
  5. Hello, Hopefully someone can provide some solid advice! We agreed and signed for a property after viewing on the agreement from the management agent that various jobs would be completed prior to our official move in date. Upon picking up the keys we went to check the property again to ensure these had been done - none of the jobs had been other than cutting the grass. Upon further examination it also turned out that: - There were no electrics - There was no hot water - No heating - No smoke alarms - No CO2 alarms - Property not cleaned as agreed (to the point there are dead insects lying around and there was remains of food in cupboards) - Some furniture has been left over when renting on unfurnished basis - One rear external door to the property does not lock and therefore we cannot appropriately secure the property - Some rooms have curtain rails, others do not and are just full of holes - There are patches of paint worn off (after agreeing someone would repaint) We have two very young children (1 and a half and almost 3) with us and we were subsequently unable to move into the property on the agreed date due to the issues. We contacted the letting agent and were told the landlord was arranging the electrics to be sorted and the boiler - no one showed up to perform the work until 4 days later, meaning we could finally move in on the 5th day after our tenancy start date. There was not and still has not been any mentioned of any other works other than the CO2 and smoke alarms have now been fitted. As things like CO2 alarms and smoke alarms are a legal requirement for landlords to provide, would this mean there is a breach of contract or just that the landlord was breaking the law without initially putting them in? We paid for a van on the initial move in date for a for the weekend - as we were physically unable to move into the property due to the issues stated, are we within our rights to claim this cost back? As the property was not cleaned as agreed, we paid to have a cleaner come round. Can this cost be claimed back? Are we within our rights to claim for the days of rent paid where the property was uninhabitable due to these issues? It's been such a stressful situation and we are VERY lucky that we had a little bit of overlap in our current tenancy otherwise we would have been homeless or extremely cold for almost a week!
  6. What information is required by an Agency if someone wants to rent a flat/property ? My niece was asked for : Passport Driving Licence 6 months pay slips Employers Reference 6 months bank statements Utility Bills She was then charged £400.00 for the agency not showing anyone round the flat she was interested in whilst they were doing credit checks? Surely these take no time at all now? She was also advised that should the credit check not be satisfactory - then she would lose the £400.00 anyway? All this was aside from the 2 months rent in advance. She was not however, asked for a reference from the Landlady she had rented from for the past 4 years and who wanted the property back because she was going to live in it herself.
  7. Hello All I wonder if anyone can advise on my daughters situation please. She is 18 and in her first year at university. Against our advice she ditched her student accommodation to move in with her boyfriend in his flat. The boyfriend's dad owns the flat that they live in and they rent it from him. They have an assured shorthold tenancy for a furnished flat for 12 months (Jan 1st 2017 - Jan 1st 2018) Both their names are printed on the tenancy but only my daughters signature is on there for some reason which I find strange. They have now spilt up and the Landlord (ex boyfriend's dad) wants her out by 1st June 2017. She wants to move out and find her own place but just wondered what the law says ? Is there any relevance that only she signed the tenancy despite it being in both names ? Thank you so much. Victoria
  8. Back in August I moved into a 2 bedroom flat that was sold to me as a 2 bedroom self contained flat. The landlady is now beginning to cause me some issues. She keeps referring to me as a lodger, and the 'Lodgers Agreement'. True, I do have a lodgers agreement, but she does not live in the property. The landlady is getting shirty with me having people round, namely, I have begun dating someone, and she has an issue with him staying. She was quite vile to him the other day, and made reference to the fact that he is 'moving in'. This is not true, he occasionally stays over as we haven't known each other for very long, and he lives 2 hours away from me. She also went on to ask what I was doing for Christmas ('I assume she'll be spending Christmas with you') and told him details of my rent payments. My agreement does not saying anything about overnight guests, and this was first an issue at the end of October - the first time I had anyone other than my parents stay over (a couple of friends that had been to thee Halloween party my landlady hosted - she had known for weeks that they were staying). She will often text me to say she is staying on the sofa, as she likes to go out and get drunk in the town I am in. She has demanded to have access to the property at all times. My issue is this; I found out yesterday that it is not actually legal to have a lodger if you do not live in the property, and that would in fact, make me a tenant (thus me having more rights). I believe she is actually subletting. I'm planning on leaving as soon as I can, but in the mean time I would like to enjoy my home without fear of her pretty much harassing me. Any advice???
  9. Hi all, Am renting part of a car park from the Council, they are about to renew the Lease and increase it by 110%, can they do this? I would really appreciate some help on this one. Thanks in anticipation
  10. Hi, For over 4 years now I have rented a small warehouse. I have never seen or ever signed a contract and have been paying the rent firstly via a caretaker and then weekly via BACS to the landlord bank account. A couple of weeks ago they emailed me saying I was a couple about a month behind with the rent and now wanted the money paid monthly in advanced, I replied saying I would be able to clear any arrears in about a month but would not be able to pay monthly in advanced. This evening I received an email saying they wanted me out of the unit as soon as possible and have threatened to lock me out of the unit. I am a sole trader and have quite a bit of stock in, so finding another suitable unit and moving will not be a quick process. Does anyone know how long notice they should give me. I have read some post regarding the Landlord and Tenant act 1954 and it seems the notice period can be upto 6 months, and also can they legally lock me out of the unit? Thanks for your time JJ
  11. Recently on this forum there have been one or two posts regarding renting from relatives. I was on Scoop and saw this story and thought I would share it to you all for more detail see here http://www.echo-news.co.uk/news/12945046.Benefit_cheat_ordered_to_pay_back___42k____after_she_was_caught_claiming_for_her_mum_s_house/ Story from here: http://www.scoop.it/t/lacef-news
  12. Govan Law Centre has launched a campaign which it hopes will give a voice to people in the private rent sector and lead to reforms. Staff from the service which provides free legal support are holding street stalls throughout the city as part of the lottery funded research project. They hope tenants who have had problems with landlords will come forward and tell their story. READ MORE HERE: http://www.eveningtimes.co.uk/news/law-centre-campaign-to-help-tenants-203848n.123407248 More info Here from GLC: http://govanlc.blogspot.co.uk/2015/03/govan-law-centre-endorses-living-rent.html
  13. Hi, We rented a property during 2013 for £695 per month, in the contract it stated about the renewal and the increases would be 3% making it £715 for the second year etc. Anyway. the landlord at the expiry of the first year term decided not to issue us a tenancy agreement via the letting agent but instead use one of the templates purchased from Staples. This year he has decided to go back using the agent and now wants £750.00 per month. 1st Year £695 2nd Year £715 3rd Year £736 (Landlord now wanting £750) so my question is this, the first agreement was a fully detailed contract which stated the 3% increase per renewal. the second contract was so basic it was just a 1 A4 Page with no mention of the 3% now i suspect the new contract from the agent will again contain the 3% increase. so basically by the landlord not giving us a new contract last time which is the one issued by the agent, Can he now put up the rent to what ever he wants?
  14. Hi My neighbor's son and his friend have for the last year been renting with a private landlord who is now selling house. They were going to rent together again, but his friend changed his mind last week. Come Wednesday next week the neighbor's son will be homeless, and is friend he was renting with who owns a one bedroom flat which he was renting out is going back to it. The major problem is in late 2014 my neighbor's son (I don't want to go into the ins and outs) ended up with a electronic monitoring tag for homegrown for himself. He cannot afford to find a lump some to take out private on his own. He was made redundant and cannot get another job due to monitoring tag and community service. He cannot go back home to mums has she is sold up and moving away. He did try and tell the courts and electronic monitoring tag company Friday gone about soon being homeless etc but no one wanted to know. Anyone got any advise, what to do. who to go and see? Many thanks Dan
  15. Hi all, I have just rented out my garage to a chap to store his car that has been damaged in a motoring accident and is SORN. Please can anyone advise me accordingly as I have never let out a garage before and was wondering if there is anything I should be aware of or any potential problems, such as having a sitting tenant? I havent drafted up a contract yet but I have seen proof of address and intend to draft one up shortly and drop it round. I have had the first month's rent up front and we have agreed an initial period of three months. Any help/ advice greatly appreciated K regards BB
  16. hi there I am renting a white Van to help a friend move some bits. I am going to be the name driver and liable for the hired van. The cost is £65 for the day and has an excess of £500 on it. The people at the van hire company have mentioned I can reduce the excess on the vehicle to £100 if I pay an extra £15. Do people think this is worth it? Additionally are there any other things to bear in mind when renting a van? Thanks for the help BB
  17. Lived in Private Rented Housing for 17 years,and recently was advised by the Land Agent that my £900 deposit was being transferred into renting housing deposit scheme as required by recent changes in the law,and the amount being transferred was the £900 deposit +£427 interest,which is very nice however,it is unclear as to whether I can ask for the interest element to be paid to me now as a one off payment Any idea's Thanks FS
  18. Evening, Is it true that letting agencies cannot do a thorough check like a bank and only see CCJ's and other similar marks on your report? Or Do they only look for those? I read somewhere they cannot access the defaults on an account. Looking to rent but have a few defaults. Hopefully I'll find somewhere.
  19. Hello I'd really appreciate your input please. I vacated the property on 2nd May 2014( after 3 years of renting). Rent was paid up to the 5th. I kept the terms of the tenancy agreement, prompt notice given and rent paid. I turned the keys in on time, cleaned the property, however, did not manage to cut the grass (grass was not cut when we moved in anyway) as left it too late and the bad weather prevented me from doing it on the last day. On 6th May 2011 I paid rental deposit, that I was told was protected by My Deposits scheme. The copy of the certificate I still have, looks a little dodgy (bad copy) but it has the all important Cert No. It also tells me the Period of Protection: 06 May 2011 - until 3 months from the date you vacated the property. This means that it is still protected, right? My first question is: why then, when I enter the Cert No on mydeposits website my deposit is not found?? What does that mean? Also, when I was called into my agency's office after I moved out, I signed a paper confirming that I agree to pay for damaged carpet & broken sink. I bought a new sink and left it there but the agent claims it doesn't fit, so I agreed to pay for a new one. I was not given a copy of that paper and made a mistake of leaving the office without one. I was rushing to get back to work as I was on my lunch break, but when I realised my mistake I emailed them to ask for copy (twice!) but received no reply at all. I was never told how much it would cost me to pay for these things. Is that acceptable??? I emailed twice asking for that information but heard nothing from them. Shall I write to them again? How to word my request to avoid being ignored? Huge thanks for any advice you can offer! Monika
  20. Hi need some urgent advice. I ‘m currently in a dire situation, I’m looking for a single room in London. I’m going through a divorce. My ex- partner threw me out the house. That doesn’t really concern me. I’m working at the moment and can pay three months rent no problem. Thing is if I get the property (single room, shared bathroom kitchen etc) and I lose my work as it’s a short term thing, can I claim housing benefit, until my next project? I have never been on housing benefit before but it looks like I may have to once this project comes to an end, in three months. As I reckon there will a 3-5 month gap before my next project begins. The private landlords only want professionals which I am. I’ve contacted housing benefit in anticipation regarding this. They have told me you have a right to claim housing benefit and if your job ends do not have to tell the landlord about this. They mention something regarding ticking a box to have the money paid to you, on the form? Is this correct? The lady informed me not to beat myself up. She said you’re working and you have a right to a roof over your head and to claim housing benefit (and job seekers) until your next job, if needed. Thing is I’ve rang many single room vacancies and It seems that regarding these single rooms lets, the people in charge are loathe to offer tenancy agreements? Which I would need to prove to housing benefit that I am there? What do I ask for, a contract, a short hold tenancy? Which? Also the single room offers seem to fall into two categories, either:- A- families or house owners letting out their spare room B professional landlords that convert multi-room properties into bedsits; with communal bathroom and kitchen? The lady also warned me regarding to be careful of families or owners letting out rooms. It seems many of these in London claim benefits themselves, and as such is therefore acting illegally. Is there any method for finding the professional landlord that lets out single rooms? As I do not want to be in the situation of trying to claim housing benefit for a single room in a house where the owners are claiming as well! I assume for my purposes I would be best looking for b? Is this correct? I’m also concerned if my job falls through in the next three months that if I do claim housing benefit at the property then letters may be picked up? Is there any way avoiding this? I’m not trying to play any angles just want to keep a roof over my head. I’m seeing 5 properties today so any advice would be helpful. I do not want to move into a place only to be in the same dire situation as now in three months, thanks. please reply as im running out of time
  21. Hello there, after getting great advice on my first question I posted here, I thought I'd see what advice I can get with this issue I'm having! I've been renting an apartment for 6 months and the tenancy is due to be renewed at the end of this month, I thought I would just have to phone them up to say I would like to stay another 6 months, but they said I have to come in, and then pay them £99 for mine and the landlords "security"... Is this the letting agency trying to claw more agency fees? If so, is there anything I can say to not have to pay? Thanks a lot in advance
  22. I currently receive ESA, DLA and housing benefit for a long-standing disability. My savings have amounted to £6,500 (which i have declared) and thus my ESA is gradually going down by £1 a week for every £250 increment, hence i thought i would invest the money in a buy-to-let. How would this affect my benefits?? I imagine after all deductions from the rent, i would receive around £200 a month NET. The obvious goal is to become self-sufficient in a gradual move away from benefits over the long term. Advice is greatly appreciated, as the benefits helpline no longer exists. Thank you.
  23. I was wanting some advice. My husband and I have come back from abroad. We are trying to find a place to live, a relative has offered us somewhere but this has thrown up more problems than it solves. She is renting from an estate agent, but doesn't indicate that we will be signing any sort of contract (we need a contract or we can't have anything towards rent) There is still alot of things in the appartment, cat pee and so on, which we would be responsible for. What should we be asking for before moving in? Our moving in is helping them out, but we do feel like we will be waiting to move out again. Plus her term is only 2 months left, but if it was 6 months we would want to choose our own place. Do you have any advice on how to do this officially. Especially, as others aren't keen to talk to the agency.
  24. Hi I am on ESA and they contribute towards my mortgage. last week i had the bailiffs round to collect my council tax arrears. I have been ill the last 4 years and really down to juggling debts. last year i had possession order slapped on me by the Building society and managed to just sort that out and i thought i was just getting my self together, when two months ago i had another relapse and missed a couple of payments on my council tax arrears. one of my friends suggested that i rent out my rooms. i am so broke that any additional money would really help. The bailiff visit last week just totally did me in. So can some one tell me where i stand being on ESA and renting rooms out. thanks Wrecked.
  25. PRIVATE RENTING GUIDE Documents Source: https://www.gov.uk/private-renting PART 1 - TENANCY AGREEMENTS Overview A tenancy agreement is a contract between you and a landlord. It lets you live in a property as long as you pay rent and follow the rules. It also sets out the legal terms and conditions of your tenancy. It can be written down or oral. A tenancy can either be: Ø fixed-term (running for a set period of time) Ø periodic (running on a week-by-week or month-by-month basis) Rights and responsibilities Both you and your landlord have certain rights and responsibilities, whether or not you have a tenancy agreement. Tenancy types Assured shorthold tenancies (ASTs) The most common form of tenancy is an AST. Most new tenancies are automatically this type. A tenancy can be an AST if all of the following apply: Ø the property you rent is private Ø your tenancy started on or after 15 January 1989 Ø the property is your main accommodation Ø your landlord doesn’t live in the property A tenancy can’t be an AST if: Ø it began or was agreed before 15 January 1989 Ø the rent is more than £100,000 a year Ø the rent is less than £250 a year (less than £1,000 in London) Ø it’s a business tenancy or tenancy of licensed premises Ø it’s a holiday let Ø your landlord is a local council Other tenancies There are other tenancies that aren’t as common as ASTs, including: Excluded tenancies or licences If you lodge with your landlord and share rooms with them, like a kitchen or bathroom, you may have one of these. You’ll usually have less protection from eviction with this type of agreement. Assured tenancies Tenancies starting between 15 January 1989 and 27 February 1997 may be assured. You’ll have increased protection from eviction with this type of agreement. Regulated tenancies Tenancies starting before 15 January 1989 may be regulated. You’ll have increased protection from eviction and can apply for a ‘fair rent’. Shelter has information on the different types of private tenancies and a tenancy checker so you can check which tenancy you have. What should be in a tenancy agreement If you have a tenancy agreement, it should include: Ø the names of all people involved Ø the rental price and how it’s paid Ø information on how and when the rent will be reviewed Ø the deposit amount and how it will be protected Ø when the deposit can be fully or partly withheld (eg to repair damage you’ve caused) Ø the property address Ø the start and end date of the tenancy Ø any tenant or landlord obligations Ø which bills you’re responsible for It can also include information on: Ø whether the tenancy can be ended early and how this can be done Ø who’s responsible for minor repairs Ø whether the property can be let to someone else (sublet) or have lodgers The terms of the tenancy must be fair and comply with the law. If you’re unsure of any terms in the agreement, get legal advice before signing. Once you’re happy with it, sign the agreement and get a copy of it. Citizens Advice has a guide on tenancy agreements. Changes to tenancy agreements Both you and your landlord must agree in order to change the terms of the tenancy agreement. Preventing discrimination Unless your landlord has a very strong reason, they must change anything in a tenancy agreement that might discriminate against you on the grounds of: Ø sex Ø sexual orientation Ø disability (or because of something connected with your disability) Ø religion or belief Ø being a transsexual person Ø having just had a baby or being pregnant Example You might need a guide dog in the house but a term in the tenancy says no pets are allowed. Your landlord must change the terms to allow guide dogs in the property, unless they have a very strong reason not to (eg another tenant in the property has a serious allergy to dogs). How to end your tenancy Tenancies Your tenancy agreement should say how much notice you need to give your landlord before you leave the property. You can usually end a fixed-term tenancy by giving your landlord written notice up to 2 months before the tenancy ends. Your tenancy will then finish at the end of the fixed-term. You can end a periodic tenancy by giving notice at the end of a rent period. The period varies according to the rent term. For example, if you pay rent monthly, you’ll need to give a month’s notice. Licence agreements If your licence automatically runs out after a specific date and you want to end the agreement, you should let your landlord know this before your licence runs out. Shelter has information ending a tenancy or licence. Ending a tenancy early Unless there’s a break clause in your tenancy agreement, your landlord can insist you pay rent until the end of the tenancy. Download ‘Notice that you must leave - a brief guide for landlords and tenants’ (PDF, 229KB) Your landlord wants to end your tenancy If your landlord wants you to leave, they must give you notice in a particular way, including certain information and warnings. This depends on the type of tenancy agreement and its terms. Assured shorthold tenancies (ASTs) In some circumstances, your landlord can take back their property without giving any reason. To do this, all of the following must apply: Ø they’ve protected your deposit in a deposit protection scheme Ø they’ve given you at least 2 months’ written notice that they want the property back (‘notice to quit’) and the date you must leave Ø the date you must leave is at least 6 months after your original tenancy began (the one you had on first moving in) Ø you have a periodic tenancy – or you have a fixed-term tenancy and your landlord isn’t asking you to leave before the end of the fixed term During the fixed term If you’re still in the fixed term, your landlord can only ask you to leave if they have a ground (reason) for wanting possession that’s in the Housing Act 1988. Examples of the grounds include: Ø you’re behind with your rent payments (‘in arrears’) Ø you’ve used the property for illegal purposes (eg selling drugs) Ø your landlord wants to move back into the property The notice period they must give varies from 2 weeks to 2 months, depending on the ground they’re using. Assured tenancies Your landlord will need to use one of the reasons or ‘grounds’ for possession in the Housing Act 1988. The Department for Communities and Local Government has published a guide for tenants on assured and assured shorthold tenancies. Download ‘Assured and assured shorthold tenancies: a guide for tenants’ (PDF, 370KB) Excluded tenancies or licences You’ll often have an excluded tenancy or licence if you live with your landlord as a lodger and share rooms with them. Your landlord only needs to give ‘reasonable notice’ to quit. Usually this means the length of the rental payment period – so if you pay rent weekly, you’ll get 1 week’s notice. The notice doesn’t have to be in writing. Non-excluded tenancy or licence Your landlord can end the let at any time by serving a written ‘notice to quit’. The notice period will depend on the tenancy or agreement, but is often at least 4 weeks. Break clauses If there’s a break clause in the tenancy agreement, your landlord can give you notice after this. However, your landlord doesn’t have a guaranteed right to possession during the first 6 months of the tenancy. If you don’t leave the property If the notice period expires and you don’t leave the property, your landlord may start the process of eviction through the courts. Your landlord can’t forcibly remove you without an eviction order. PART 2 - Your Rights and Responsibilities In all privately rented property, you’ll have certain rights and responsibilities. Your Rights As a tenant, you have the right to: Ø live in a property that’s safe and in a good state of repair Ø have your deposit returned when the tenancy ends - and in some circumstances have it protected Ø challenge excessively high charges Ø know who your landlord is Ø live in the property undisturbed Ø see an Energy Performance Certificate for the property Ø be protected from unfair eviction and unfair rent Ø have a written agreement if you have a fixed-term tenancy of more than 3 years If you have a tenancy agreement, it should be fair and comply with the law. If you don’t know who your landlord is, ask the person or company you pay rent to, in writing. If they don’t give you this information within 21 days, your landlord may be fined. Your responsibilities You must give your landlord access to the property to inspect it or carry out repairs. Your landlord has to give you at least 24 hours’ notice and visit at a reasonable time of day, unless it’s an emergency and they need immediate access. You must also: Ø take good care of the property – eg by turning off the water at the mains if you’re away in cold weather Ø pay the agreed rent, even if repairs are needed or you’re in dispute with your landlord Ø pay other charges as agreed with the landlord - these may include Council Tax or utility bills Ø repair or pay for any damage caused by you, your family or friends Ø only sublet a property if the tenancy agreement, or your landlord, allows it If you don’t fulfil your responsibilities, your landlord has the right to take legal action to evict you. PART 3 - Your Landlords Safety Responsibilities Your landlord must keep the property you live in safe and free from health hazards. Gas safety Your landlord must: Ø make sure gas equipment they supply is safely installed and maintained by a Gas Safe registered engineer Ø have a registered engineer carry out a gas safety on each appliance and/or flue annually Ø give you a copy of the gas safety check record before you move in, or within 28 days of the check Electrical safety Your landlord must make sure: Ø the electrical system (eg sockets and light fittings) is safe Ø all appliances they supply (eg cookers, kettles) are safe Fire safety Your landlord must: Ø follow fire safety regulations - eg by checking you have access to escape routes at all times Ø make sure furniture and furnishings they supply are fire safe Ø provide fire alarms and extinguishers (depending on the size of the property) Part 4 - Repairs What your landlord must do Your landlord is always responsible for repairs to: Ø the property’s structure and exterior Ø basins, sinks, baths and other sanitary fittings including pipes and drains Ø heating and hot water Ø gas appliances, pipes, flues and ventilation Ø electrical wiring Ø any damage they cause through attempting repairs Your landlord is usually responsible for repairing common areas, like staircases in blocks of flats. This information should be in your tenancy agreement. Your responsibilities You should only carry out repairs if the tenancy agreement says you can. You can’t be forced to do repairs that are your landlord’s responsibility. If you damage another tenant’s flat, eg if water leaks into another flat from an overflowing bath, you’re responsible for paying for the repairs. You’re also responsible for paying to put right any damage caused by your family and friends. If your property needs repairs Contact your landlord if you think repairs are needed. Do this straightaway for faults that could damage health, like faulty electrical wiring. You should continue to pay your rent while waiting for repairs to be done. Your landlord should tell you when you can expect the repairs to be done. If repairs aren’t done Ask your local council’s environmental health department for help. Your council can make the landlord take action if the property contains health and safety hazards. Shelter has information about repairs, including what to do if you’re in dispute with your landlord. Download ‘Getting repairs done - your rights’ from Shelter (PDF, 334KB). If your house isn’t fit to live in If you’re worried about your home being unsafe, contact your local council’s housing department. Your council must ensure that home owners and landlords fix any hazards that could cause you harm. Shelter has more information on how councils deal with poor housing conditions. Part 5 - Rent increases Your tenancy agreement should include how and when the rent will be reviewed. When your landlord can increase rent For a periodic tenancy (rolling on a week-by-week or month-by-month basis): Ø your landlord can’t normally increase the rent more than once a year without your agreement For a fixed-term tenancy (running for a set period): Ø your landlord can only increase the rent if you agree Ø if you don’t agree, the rent can only be increased when the fixed-term ends General rules around rent increases For any tenancy: Ø your landlord must get your permission if they want to increase the rent by more than previously agreed Ø the rent increase must be fair and realistic (ie in line with average local rents) How your landlord must propose a rent increase If the tenancy agreement lays down a procedure for increasing rent, your landlord must stick to this. Otherwise, your landlord can: Ø renew your tenancy agreement at the end of the fixed term, but with an increased rent Ø agree a rent increase with you and produce a written record of the agreement that you both sign Ø use a ‘Landlord’s notice proposing a new rent’ form, which increases the rent after the fixed term has ended Your landlord must give you a minimum of one month’s notice (if you pay rent weekly or monthly). If you have a yearly tenancy, they must give you 6 months’ notice. If you think the rent increase is unfair, you can apply to a rent assessment committee who will decide the rent amount. Part 6 - Settling disputes You can often sort out disputes with your landlord without going to court: 1. First, speak to your landlord about your concerns. 2. If this doesn’t work, write a formal letter setting out the problem. 3. Use a mediation service, which is usually cheaper and quicker than going to court. 4. As a last resort, you can take your landlord to court. Deposit disputes If you can’t get your deposit back, and your landlord protected it in a tenancy deposit protection scheme, contact the scheme they used. Rent disputes If you’re a private tenant and think your rent is too high, you might be able to appeal to the Rent Assessment Committee. Going to court If you or your landlord takes legal action, the case may go to a small claims court. Small claims are cases worth less than £5,000, or £1,000 if the case is about repairs to a property. The courts provide a free mediation service for small claims cases, which can take place over the phone. Free advice for disputes You can get free advice about disputes or housing problems from Citizens Advice or Shelter. A solicitor can also help you, but they might charge a fee. If you have to go to court, you can get advice on the day of the hearing from the housing duty desk at the court. Part 7 - Rent arrears If you get behind with your rent, your landlord may evict you and you could lose your home. Shelter has advice and information if you’re in rent arrears or having difficulty paying rent. It recommends talking to your landlord and trying to come to an agreement with them. Always read any letters from your landlord – they may contain information about action your landlord’s going to take. Going to court over rent arrears If you can’t reach an agreement with your landlord, they can ask a court to evict you. Part 8 - Deposits Landlords usually place deposits in government-approved deposit protection schemes. Under these schemes, your local council will send a guarantee to your landlord for the deposit. Contact your local council for more information. Deposit protection Your landlord must usually place your deposit in 1 of 4 government-approved tenancy deposit protection schemes. The schemes help make sure you get your deposit back if you meet the terms of your tenancy agreement. PART 9 - TENANCY DEPOSIT PROTECTION Overview In England and Wales, if you rent your home on an assured shorthold tenancy that started after 6 April 2007, your landlord must place your deposit in one of the following tenancy deposit protection (TDP) schemes: Ø Deposit Protection Service (Custodial and Insured) Ø MyDeposits Ø Tenancy Deposit Scheme Ø Capita Tenancy Deposit Protection These government-backed schemes ensure you’ll get your deposit back if you: Ø meet the terms of your tenancy agreement Ø don’t damage the property Ø pay your rent and bills Your landlord or letting agent must put your deposit in the scheme within 30 days of getting it. At the end of your tenancy If you and your landlord agree how much deposit you’ll get back, it must be returned to you within 10 days of the tenancy ending. If you’re in a dispute with your landlord, then your deposit is protected in the TDP until the issue is sorted. Holding deposits Your landlord doesn’t have to protect a holding deposit (money you pay to ‘hold’ a property before an agreement is signed). However, once you become a tenant, the holding deposit becomes a deposit, which they must protect. Deposits made by a third party Your landlord must use a TDP scheme even if your deposit is paid by someone else, like a rent deposit scheme or your parents. Information landlords must give tenants Within 30 days of getting your deposit, your landlord must tell you: Ø the address of the rented property Ø how much deposit you’ve paid Ø how the deposit is protected Ø the name and contact details of the tenancy deposit protection (TDP) scheme and its dispute resolution service Ø their (or the letting agency’s) name and contact details Ø the name and contact details of any third party that’s paid the deposit Ø why they would keep some or all of the deposit Ø how to apply to get the deposit back Ø what to do if you can’t get hold of the landlord at the end of the tenancy Ø what to do if there’s a dispute over the deposit If your landlord doesn't protect your deposit If you’re not sure whether your deposit has been protected, ask your landlord or contact the approved schemes: Deposit Protection Service (Custodial and Insured) 0844 4727 000 MyDeposits 0844 980 0290 Tenancy Deposit Scheme [email protected] 0845 226 7837 Capita Tenancy Deposit Protection 0845 412 9969 Getting your deposit back If you think your landlord hasn’t used a tenancy deposit protection (TDP) scheme when they should have, you can apply to a county court. Get legal advice before applying to court. If the court finds your landlord hasn’t protected your deposit, it can order the person holding the deposit to either: Ø repay it to you Ø pay it into a custodial TDP scheme’s bank account within 14 days The court may also order the landlord to pay you up to 3 times the deposit within 14 days of making the order. Search for a county court. At the end of the tenancy If your landlord doesn’t use a TDP scheme when they have to, the court may also decide that you won’t have to leave the property when the tenancy ends. Disputes and problems If there’s a dispute over a deposit Your tenancy deposit protection (TDP) scheme offers a free dispute resolution service if you disagree with your landlord about how much deposit should be returned. You don’t have to use the service - both you and the landlord have to agree to it. You’ll both be asked to provide evidence, and the decision made about your deposit will be final. If you can’t contact the landlord You can ‘raise a dispute’ to recover the deposit if your landlord is registered with one of the following schemes: Ø MyDeposits Ø Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS) Ø Deposit Protection Service Insured Ø Capita Tenancy Deposit Protection The scheme will refund your deposit if the dispute resolution service agrees this is fair. There may be a limit on the time you have to raise a dispute. Contact the relevant scheme as soon as possible. Get help and advice You can get more help and advice from: Ø your local Citizens Advice office Ø a solicitor or advice agency Ø Shelter PART 10 - HOUSES IN MULTIPLE OCCUPATION Your home is a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) if: Ø at least 3 tenants live there, forming more than 1 household Ø you share toilet, bathroom or kitchen facilities with other tenants A household consists of either a single person or members of the same family who live together. It includes people who are married or living together and people in same-sex relationships. If you live in an HMO, your landlord must meet certain standards and obligations. Find out more about HMOs from Shelter. Some HMOs must be licensed. Read the guide from the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) to find out whether your landlord needs a licence for your house, and what this means for you. How to complain Contact your local council to report hazards in your HMO. The council is responsible for enforcing HMO standards and can make a landlord take action to correct any problems. PART 11 – ANTI-SOCIAL BEHAVIOUR If you’re experiencing anti-social behaviour from a neighbour living in rented accommodation: 1. Speak to your neighbour: they may not realise they’re causing a nuisance. 2. Contact the landlord of the property: if the anti-social behaviour continues, ask the landlord to do something about it. 3. Contact the police: if the problem carries on, report it to the police. If the landlord takes no action Your local council can make a special management order if a landlord doesn’t take action to stop cases of serious and repeated anti-social behaviour. This means the council takes over management of the property to tackle the anti-social behaviour. The landlord still owns the property. If people in a number of houses in an area are behaving anti-socially, your local council can create a ‘selective licensing scheme’. This means all landlords of properties in that area must have a licence to show they’re meeting minimum standards. Contact your local council and ask to speak to the anti-social behaviour co-ordinator. PART 12 - EMERGENCY HOUSING IF YOU ARE HOMELESS Your council must help if you’re legally homeless, but how much depends on your eligibility, your level of need and if your homelessness is your fault. Check if your council must give you emergency housing. Legally homeless You may be legally homeless if: Ø you’ve no legal right to live in accommodation anywhere in the world Ø you can’t get into your home - eg your landlord has locked you out Ø it’s not reasonable to stay in your home - eg risk of violence or abuse Ø you’re forced to live apart from your family or people you normally live with because there’s no suitable accommodation for you Ø you’re living in very poor conditions - eg overcrowding If you’re legally homeless, your council must provide you with help – this could range from giving advice to arranging accommodation for you. The amount of help they give you will depend on things like: Ø if you became homeless through no fault of your own Ø if you’re eligible for assistance Ø if you’re in priority need Eligibility for assistance If you live permanently in the UK, you will usually be eligible for assistance. If you’re from abroad, you may not be eligible because of your immigration status. Shelter’s emergency housing rights checker helps you work out if you’re eligible for assistance and what you’re entitled to. Priority need You’re in priority need if: Ø you or someone you live with is pregnant Ø ‘dependent children’ live with you (under 16s or under 19s if they’re studying full-time) Ø you’re ‘vulnerable‘, eg as a result of old age or disability Ø you’re homeless after a flood, fire or other disaster You may be entitled to Housing Benefit to help with your housing costs. This is the Private Renting Guide in PDF:
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