What Are Your Rights As A Tenant

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tenants rights

When you rent a property from a landlord, you have a number of rights that it is important you understand. These can help to protect you if you have an issue with your landlord or your home. Whilst many of your rights should be outlined in your tenancy agreement, some are not, so it is important that you know what they are.

When you have a problem or disagreement with your landlord, you need to be clear on exactly where you stand in order to get the best outcome. Knowing your rights means that you know what you can ask for, what you can reasonably expect, and what is possibly out of reach. In this article, we outline some of your main rights as a tenant so that you can be fully prepared for any negotiations.

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Your home must provide suitable living conditions, and under the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018, it is made clear that the property must be fit for habitation when the tenancy begins and throughout the term. This includes having a working over, hot running water and working phone ports amongst other things. It also means that landlords must ensure that the property is safe and secure to a reasonable standard before you move in.


Your landlord should be arranging a gas safety check on a yearly basis with a registered Gas Safe engineer. This is to check things such as the boiler, stove or fires if they are powered by gas. The landlord should check with you that the time and date for this is suitable and give you at least 24 hours written notice.

They are also required to give you a copy of the report within 28 days and show that they are repairing any issues contained within that report. The latest gas safety certificate should be given to any new tenants before their tenancy begins.

All rental properties must also have a valid Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR), which is valid for five years. This will identify any potential fire hazards or defective electrical work and a copy of the report should also be given to tenants.

An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) gives detailed information about the energy efficiency of a property as well as its carbon dioxide emissions and should be carried out by a Domestic Energy Assessor. The EPC rating should be displayed on every property advert, and landlords must provide a copy of this if required.

Quiet enjoyment

A tenant is entitled to what is known as “quiet enjoyment”. This means that you should be able to live in the property without interference from your landlord. They do not have the right to access your property without your agreement, and this should be done as a reasonable time of day with at least 24 hours written notice. This ensures that you are able to relax in your home without the fear of an unexpected interruption.

If the landlord does enter the property without your consent, they will be considered to be trespassing and in breach of the tenancy. The tenant will have the right to complain to the local authority in this situation and the landlord can be charged with harassment and fined under the Housing Act 1988.

The only time the landlord may enter your property without notice or consent is in the case of an emergency such as a fire, flood or gas leak.

Property maintenance

There are certain repair standards that are expected to be upheld according to the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985. This means that the landlord is responsible for keeping the property safe and secure, including keeping the water supply running and ensuring safe access to gas and electricity. They also need to ensure that the exterior of the property is kept in adequate condition.

The general upkeep of the property, such as changing light bulbs, cleaning, gardening and minor damage is the responsibility of the tenant themselves. However, more significant maintenance or repairs is down to the landlord. The tenant has the right to ask the landlord to address any issues that might threaten their health and safety.


The threat of an eviction is one of the most worrying factors for a property tenant, so it is important to know where you stand with this. In England, landlords are required to give a minimum of two months legal notice of eviction, which should be done in writing.

A landlord is not entitled to evict a tenant during the fixed term of a tenancy unless the tenant breaches their agreement, such as a failure to pay rent or causing damage to the property, or there is a specific break clause in the contract.

If a tenant stays beyond the fixed terms of their agreement and role onto a periodic tenancy, the landlord can regain possession through a Section 21 notice.

Rent increases

A landlord does not have the right to increase the rent of a property without the consent of their tenant. If you have a fixed-term lease, the landlord cannot increase the rent until that term has ended. The only exception to this is whether a rent increment clause was included in the tenancy agreement.

At the end of a fixed term, the landlord can renew the tenancy with an updated rent price which should be clearly stated in the new tenancy agreement.

In an assured shorthold tenancy, the landlord is required to give their tenant a Section 13 notice to increase the rent. Notice of a rent increase must be served in a respectable period of time before it comes into effect.

Knowing your rights as a tenant is very important to ensure a fair and long-lasting tenancy. You will then know exactly what you can expect from your landlord and the maintenance of your property, as well as what changes can be made to your tenancy. This will avoid you being caught out and will ensure that your home is kept in good order throughout.

Chander Bagga is the Principal Solicitor at Valens Solicitors, who are a multi-service law firm who specialise a range of legal services for businesses and individuals.


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Millie is a perfectionist with a passion for property and writing articles. You’ll find her researching the latest housing trends and the newest up and coming areas worth investing in. Read more about Millie here.

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About Millie Archer 142 Articles
Millie is a perfectionist with a passion for property and writing articles. You'll find her researching the latest housing trends and the newest up and coming areas worth investing in. Read more about Millie here.

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