Frequently Asked Questions: Tenants
Is my landlord responsible for repairing the property?
Save for damage caused deliberately by you or other occupants of the property, your landlord is responsible for most repairs in your home including the structure and exterior of the building, common areas such as entrance halls and stairways, electrical wiring etc. Your landlord's obligations are usually contained in your Tenancy Agreement.
What do I do if my landlord will not repair the property?
If your property is in a state of disrepair and your landlord unreasonably refuses to carry out remedial works, you could be entitled to compensation. Speak to our Litigation Department to see how we can assist you.
How long does my landlord have to carry out repairs?
Your landlord will be expected to carry out the repairs within a 'reasonable' period of time, which is dependent on the extent and nature of the problem.
What repairs am I responsible for?
Your Tenancy Agreement should set out your responsibilities but generally you will be required to use your home in a 'tenant like manner'. For example, to keep your home reasonably clean, minor maintenance such as changing light bulbs or smoke alarm batteries, and keeping the garden in a good state.
What if my landlord asks me to have a Guarantor?
A Guarantor is a means of security for your landlord which is sometimes required if you are not paying a deposit or you have a bad credit rating. Generally, the Guarantor is agreeing to cover any costs you do not pay for example for rent, repairs and costs etc, so it is important the Guarantor carefully checks what they are agreeing to cover.
Can my landlord increase my rent?
Yes, the rent can be increased if you agree a new rent with your landlord, you have a rent review clause in your current Tenancy Agreement or you sign a new agreement.
What if I can't pay the rent?
If you cannot pay the rent you should speak to your landlord and try to agree a payment plan as your landlord could try to re-possess the property if you fall into arrears and ask the court to order you to repay the rent and their costs too.
What if I breach a term of the Tenancy Agreement?
If you breach the Tenancy Agreement i.e. by carrying out an illegal act at the property or deliberately causing damage to the property, your landlord may serve you with notice to end the tenancy and potentially issue court proceedings to re-possess the property. If this happens you should seek legal advice.
What do I do if receive an eviction notice from my landlord?
What if my landlord refuses to return my deposit or they have not protected it?
Your landlord may be in breach of the law if they have failed to properly protect your deposit and you could be entitled to compensation.
If your deposit is protected and your landlord refuses to return it to you can apply your Tenancy Deposit Scheme ('TDS') to resolve the dispute between you and your landlord. The TDS should not release a deposit to your landlord without your agreement.
What if I want to leave my tenancy during the fixed term?
If you want to leave the property before the fixed term, in the absence of a break clause, you will need your landlord's agreement to leave early.
What happens if my housemate moves out?
If you are Joint tenants you are both still responsible for the rent. However, if some of rent is not paid then even if you have paid 'your share' your landlord can still apply to re-possess the property if there are adequate rent arrears. If this situation arises, it is best to speak to your landlord to notify them of the change and try to re-negotiate the Tenancy Agreement if possible.
To find out more or discuss your individual requirements in further detail, our dedicated solicitors will be delighted to help. Contact us today on 01603 693500 or email us using the 'Make an enquiry' form. Appointments are available at our Norwich, North Walsham and Sheringham offices.