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What are a tenant`s responsibilities?

Tenants’ responsibilities should be clearly described in the tenancy agreement signed at the commencement of the tenancy. Our advice to everyone is to make sure they have read and fully understood all the terms and conditions of a tenancy before signing it. If necessary take legal advice.

You will be happy to know that landlords are normally responsible for most repairs in the rented home and as the tenant you are probably only responsible for some minor maintenance and for putting right any damage you have caused. Your tenancy agreement must show who is responsible for which kinds of repair.

Also you need note that your landlord is responsible for certain repairs regardless of what your tenancy agreement says and even if you do not have a written tenancy agreement, you will still have basic rights as set out in statute and in common law. There can be nothing written into a tenancy which negates or reduces your legal rights as a tenant, so if there is, you can either have them removed prior to signing or you can ignore them for legal purposes. That doesn’t mean the landlord won’t try and enforce them, so beware.

The tenant is usually responsible for minor repairs to internal decorations unless the disrepair is caused by dampness or wear and tear (then it becomes the landlord`s responsibility).

You must look after the property and avoid causing any damage wherever possible. This means such things as keeping home reasonably clean, not damaging the property or any contents provided and not allowing your guests to do so either.

Act in a Tenant Like Manner

You should act reasonably and treat the property with respect. So this means minor maintenance, like checking and replacing alarm batteries, or unblocking a sink or drain and changing light bulbs should usually performed as is using the heating system properly with proper ventilation to avoid mould and burst pipes.

As a Tenant you won’t be able to redecorate a property unless you get permission from the landlord or you have damaged the decoration, or it is specified in the tenancy agreement that you can. In cases where you damage or redecorate the landlord may want to keep all or part of the deposit unless you repair any damage before you leave. If the tenant wants to decorate the property then you will usually need the permission of the landlord, who can specify what changes the tenant is allowed to make. If you need permission make sure you get it in writing.

If you have a garden it is often the tenant`s responsibility for the upkeep of it but tenants are not required to clean up or carry out improvements to a garden already in a mess. If you do not have a written tenancy agreement, then the landlord is usually responsible for garden repairs unless the tenant agreed otherwise when he moved in. if you did get it in writing.

Normally, unless it is a shared property you will be responsible for payment of bills for the provision of electric or gas as well as any local rates for water supply and the local authority (council tax). These are normally transferred into your name at the start of the tenancy and it’s normally your responsibility to notify everyone at the end and pay off any outstanding bills.

The Big one - pay the rent that is due on time every time!

Oh and finally, be nice to the neighbours don’t upset them by acting antisocially.

As we mentioned previously for a full list of what you are responsible for you should read your tenancy agreement where it should tell you exactly that.

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