If you are a first time renter, or unclear about your tenant responsibilities when living in rented accommodation, take a look at what will be expected of you below.
Rent and bill payments
Rent must be paid on time every week/month – depending on the date set out in the tenancy agreement. Failure to do so could lead to the landlord starting eviction proceedings.
Whether this is done via direct debit or by cash each month (be sure to get a receipt), or via claiming housing benefit, it will be your responsibility to ensure the full amount is paid on time.
If the rent is not inclusive of utility and council tax bills, you also need to ensure these are kept up-to-date and do not run into arrears.
While you are living in rented accommodation it is your responsibility to treat the property with care and ensure any issues are raised for the landlord’s attention. This means things such as:
- Telling your landlord about any repairs or maintenance that may be required
- Where possible, ventilating the property to minimise condensation and mould
- Change lightbulbs and ensure batteries in carbon monoxide alarms are working etc.
- Regularly dispose of any wastage from the property
Any furniture and fixtures and fittings that are damaged beyond standard levels of wear and tear may have to be paid for out of your deposit at the end of the tenancy.
Allowing property access
If any repairs or maintenance is needed in the flat that requires access by the landlord or a third party, or if they wish to carry out an inspection, they must give you at least 24 hours’ written notice and ensure it is carried out at a reasonable time.
A gas safety check will have to be carried out once a year to ensure the safety of gas appliances and equipment, which you must also allow access for.
You are likely to need permission from your landlord if you wish to:
- Sublet part or all of the property
- Set up a business from home
- Make any alterations to the property
- Keep a pet
Always communicate in writing so you have a record of your conversation, and remember, the landlord does have the right to say no if it isn’t agreed in the contract already.
While living in the property you will be expected not to demonstrate anti-social behaviour that could raise complaints from neighbours or other tenants you are living with.
You should also adhere to the tenancy agreement rules regarding smoking – although in shared accommodation it is unlikely to be allowed with areas used by others.
Leaving the property
When you want to end a periodic tenancy, you should follow the notice period set out in the agreement. You may be able to end the arrangement sooner, although the landlord must agree to this.
Fixed term tenancies work a little differently and unless there is a break clause you may have to wait until the end of the contract.
If you leave the property without giving proper notice, you could still be liable to pay rent, even if you are no longer living there.
Looking to rent property in Willesden Green or the surrounding areas?