Private tenants

Tenants renting or looking to rent in the private sector should be aware that there have been a number of recent changes to tenancy law. These changes provide private tenants with additional safety checks within the property and added security to their tenancy agreements.

Private tenants' rights and responsibilites

Tenants renting in the private sector are required to:

  • provide proof that they have the 'right to rent' in England
  • pay their rent in full and on time
  • look after the property, carry out any repairs they are responsible for, including the testing of smoke alarms and reporting other repairs to the landlord
  • respect their neighbours' right to privacy and peace, including taking responsibility for their visitors' actions
  • get written permission from their landlord before making changes to the rented property, such as decorating, housing a pet and moving in a new tenant
  • allow the landlord reasonable access to the property for safety checks and routine inspections.

All private sector landlords are required to:

  • check that tenants have the 'right to rent' a property or room in England
  • undertake a range of statutory annual safety checks in the property
  • protect then tenant's deposit using a Government approved deposit scheme
  • provide the tenant with a written and understandable tenancy agreement (Assured Short Tenancy Agreement)
  • provide the tenant with copies of the deposit paperwork, the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC), and a record of any electrical inspections
  • provide the tenant with a copy of the Government's 'How to Rent: A checklist for renting in England' booklet

  • carry out repairs (reported by the tenant) within a reasonable timescale

  • provide the tenant with advance notice to enter the property

  • comply with an enhanced eviction process which offers more protection to the tenant

  • provide a smoke alarm on each floor of the property and which need to be in working order before the start of the tenancy

  • provide a carbon monoxide alarm in any room of the property which is used wholly or partly as living accommodation and contains a solid fuel burning combustion appliance.

Join our mailing list

We run a number of Let's Talk events, aimed at keeping private tenants up-to-date with important changes to tenancy law and their rights and responsibilities, throughout the year.

If you would like to hear more about these events and important information relating to private tenancies, please join our mailing list here.