Once you enter into a contract and become a tenant your rented accommodation becomes your home and you then have a number of basic rights which are granted under several statutes (laws).

The right to quiet enjoyment

This is the tenants right to occupy the property without being disturbed and means that the landlord must ask for permission before entering the premises. Generally, 24 hours’ notice if the landlord is complying with the obligation to carry out repairs or inspecting the state of repair of the property.

The right to repairs

This is the tenants right to adequate living facilities, which include the repair and keeping in good working order of such things as:

  • the structure and exterior of the premises, including the roof, drains, gutters, external walls, widows, door and external pipes
  • the water and gas pipes and electric wiring
  • the basins, sinks, baths and toilets
  • fixed heaters (e.g. gas fires) and water heater

The right to terms and conditions of the tenancy

This is the tenant’s right to be provided with information about their tenancy: this information must be provided within 28 days of a request being made in writing and includes the following:

  • The start date of the tenancy
  • The amount of rent and the date on which the rent is due
  • The length of any fixed term
  • How and when the rent may be changed

Protection from eviction

The law protects tenants from harassment and illegal eviction by making it a criminal offence for a landlord to commit acts that would, for example, interfere with the peace and comfort of a tenant or interfere with the services a tenant would reasonably need to live in the premises as their home.

So if a landlord wants to evict you he must serve the correct notice and then make an application to the courts for a possession order. You cannot be evicted before the landlord has gone to court and the court has agreed that the landlord should regain possession of the property. For more information go to the Eviction page link.

Tenancy Deposit Protection

For tenants with an Assured Shorthold Tenancy from April 6 2007 your landlord has to protect your deposit, for more information about your contract go to the Understanding your Contract page link .  Within 30 days of your paying it he has to give you details including; which scheme your deposit is in, how to contact the scheme, how to contact the landlord, how to get your deposit back, and what your deposit is for, what to do if there is a dispute about the deposit.  For more information about the scheme in England go to www.shelter.org.uk https://england.shelter.org.uk/housing_advice/tenancy_deposits

Issues

A number of Coventry students experience problems with their landlord each year and it can prove difficult, if not impossible, to put things right for a number of reasons, these include

  • The landlord/estate agent refuses to cooperate
  • The landlords cannot be found when you want to take action against them
  • The tenants leave it until they are moving out, or until they have moved out to try and take action against them

You can’t guarantee a harmonious and problem free tenant/landlord relationship but you can do things to try and avoid a landlord who just wants to take your money and ignore your rights as a tenant.

Top Tips

  1. Never sign a contract or part with a deposit, retainer or rent in advance before you have viewed the property in person and you are completely satisfied it is in good condition and where you want to live. A picture on an internet site may be just the house you are looking for but there are a lot of scams on the internet that promise a lot but deliver very little.
  2. If you are dealing directly with a landlord avoid the ones who only give you a mobile telephone number or email address. You need to know the full contact details of the person(s) you are renting from.
  3. If you’re using a letting agent use one that has registered with an approved redress scheme. Letting agents must join a government approved letting agents redress scheme.  Check which scheme they are registered with before you agree to do business with them

The three government-approved schemes are:

If the letting agent is not a member of any of these schemes then you      should think again about signing an agreement with them as you will have no redress if anything goes wrong during your tenancy.

  1. A reputable landlord or agent will not put pressure on you to sign a contract before you have had time to read it.
  1. If you’re not absolutely certain about your contract or the property you have been looking at, contact Students’ Union Advice Centre and an Advisor will check out your contract for you.

Please contact SUAC for advice if you have any problems or issues link to SUAC