Immigration and renting Property
Most migrants don't know the local laws when they rent and can be abused by unscupulous landlords so we put together a few FAQ's
What is my responsibility as a tenant?
As a tenant you are responsible to pay the rent as agreed and take care of the property. To pay bills for gas, electricity, telephone, if you agreed this with the landlord. Also to pay the council tax, water and sewerage charges.
What is the landlord`s responsibility?
Your Landlord is responsible to repair the structure and exterior of the property, heating and hot water installations, basins, sinks, baths and other sanitary installations. Your Landlord is responsible for the safety of gas, electrical appliances, also for the fire safety of furniture and furnishings provided under the tenancy.
Can migrant tenant to get help with the rent?
If your income is low or if you are claiming other benefits, you may be able to get help through Housing Benefit. You should apply to your Local Authority to see if you are eligible and to find out how much rent would be covered by Housing Benefit before you agree to take a tenancy.
What if my Housing Benefit is delayed?
You must contact the Local Authority official dealing with your claim immediately and explain that your landlord is trying to evict you because you are behind with your rent.
What happens if I get into rent arrears?
The landlord can give you notice that he will seek possession through the court if you are behind with rent. If you owe at least eight weeks (if you pay rent weekly) or two months (if you pay monthly) rent, at the time notice is served and at the time of the court hearing, the judge must give the landlord a possession order.
What can I do if I think the rent is too high?
If you think you are being charged more than other tenants for similar properties, you can ask a Rent Assessment Committee to decide what the rent should be. You must contact your nearest Rent Assessment panel for details. You must apply within six months of the start of the tenancy.
What can I do if my landlord tries to evict me illegally or is harassing me?
Your landlord cannot evict you without a possession order from the court. Nor can he or someone on his behalf, try to drive you out of your home or stop you using part of it if you have a legal right to live there.
If you are having such problems, you must contact your Local Authority`s tenancy relations officer. Also you can get advice from a solicitor, Law Centre, Citizens Advice Bureau or Local Authority Housing Advice Centre.