There are certain basic rights that both tenants and landlords are entitled to once a contractual agreement, in the form of a lease, between the two parties has been entered into. The Housing Act 1988 is of relevance here, since the Act provides protection that wasn’t before in place, for landlords and tenants alike. Some of these are known as covenants, which are simply promises from one party to the other. This article will discuss some of the basic rights that both landlord and tenant are entitled to during a tenancy.
What are the basic rights of a Tenant?
One of the main rights that tenants have during a tenancy is the covenant of quiet and peaceful enjoyment of the property. This means that there will be interference from the landlord or anyone else throughout the tenancy - other than cases of inspection, repairs, property viewings etc. However, the landlord must give the tenant at least 24 hours’ notice if they wish to enter the property.
Moreover, when you rent a property, you will often have to pay a deposit. Under the Tenancy Deposit Protection Scheme - the government’s approved deposit schemes. The deposit must be protected and your landlord must provide prescribed information about how your deposit is protected. If the landlord does not protect your deposit, tenants could take their landlord to court. Section 21 notices also cannot be served unless a deposit has been protected.
Tenants also have the right not to be evicted from the property unlawfully. There are occasions where serving notice may not be for any wrongdoing on the part of the tenant, the landlord may want to regain possession of their property to sell, for example. Even in these circumstances, there are strict procedures that a landlord must follow to be fair for the tenant. Check out our article on notices for more detail on this.
Tenants also have the right to safety in the home they are renting. There are certain checks that landlords need to carry out which ensure that the property is safe for occupation. These include gas safety certificates, energy performance certificates, safe and working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, and conduct a legionella risk assessment, for example.
Except in the case where the damage has been caused by the tenant, landlords are responsible for carrying out repairs in the rented property. Whilst the tenant should be sure to report the issue to the landlord, it is up to the landlord (or letting agent) to repair, or arrange the repair of the broken item.
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What are the basic rights of a Landlord?
The landlord has the right to receive their rent payments on time and in full from their tenants. Paying rent is a common tenant covenant. If your tenant begins to fall into arrears, you can formally demand that they pay their arrears with a Rent Arrears Letter on Legislate!
Furthermore, the landlord has the right to regain possession of their property, but only if they follow the strict procedures in place, e.g. Section 8 or Section 21 notice processes. This also entitles the landlord to serve notice to tenants who are in breach of their tenancy agreement, the grounds for which are covered in Schedule 2 of the Housing Act 1988.
The landlord should be certain that the tenant is respecting the tenancy agreement and not breaching any clauses. If there are clauses that they are unclear on, they should ask you, the landlord. For example, subletting is typically not permitted in assured shorthold tenancies, but tenants may try and do this anyway. A landlord has the right for the tenant to ask if something like this is permitted - and it could be something that can be negotiated!
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The opinions on this page are for general information purposes only and do not constitute legal advice on which you should rely.