Tenancy rights are a touchy subject, with millions of homes across the UK filled with renters.
While some landlords are reasonable with those who live in their properties, the number of complaints against landlords increased 27% over the last three years. It’s not always easy to know what tenants’ rights are.
Many people are not aware of their rights or are so desperate for a room/house to live in that they end up in properties that are unsanitary, unsafe or simply not fit for purpose. But the law states that landlords must provide you with a safe place in a good state.
“The toilet was blocked and my landlord said they would fix it,” said Jessica Dary, 25, a London Metropolitan student. “After a month, it still wasn’t fixed and he started to ignore our calls. We had to fix it and pay for it.”
As a tenant you are protected from unfair eviction and unfair rent. You should always ask for a tenancy agreement, which is a contract between you and your landlord. In it you should find: your rent and when you have to pay it; the rules of the landlord/house, and the notice period for both the tenant and landlord.
“I moved to a new room and after a month my landlord told me he sold the house,” said student Sonam Kaur, 21. ”Two weeks later I was in the street with no place to live.”
If your landlord is blaming you for damage you didn’t do, or they believe you caused it, you should challenge it. You can ask for proof as landlords can only charge if they can prove the damage came from you. It is your right to live in your accommodation undisturbed.
“My landlord was live-in and he never let us use the living room, saying it was ‘his personal space’ when in the contract the living room was included,” said Karen O’Gorman, 19.
Many people are not aware of their rights.
If you have any doubt check GOV.uk or contact your local council.
By Zorina Beeton, Emma Wynne and Lea Fourmaux.