15 July 2020

What RIGHTS DO PRIVATE TENANTS HAVE? Plus other stuff.


Tenancy Agreements are not a legal requirement in England

If you are a tenant within the UK in a private rented property you have a number of rights to protect you and your home.

Housing is devolved and each country within the UK have their own set of rules when it comes to renting, but there are certain key rights that you should be aware of:

A safe property

Regardless of where you are renting as a tenant you have the right to live in a property that is in a good condition and safe.

Undisturbed

You have the right to live in the property undisturbed and what is dubbed as ‘quiet enjoyment’.

This means that you have the right to use the property without unreasonable or unnecessary interference from the landlord or their agent.

Energy performance

All tenants have the right to know the energy performance of the property via an Energy Performance Certificate.

Protected tenancy deposits

These must be protected in a government approved scheme. These are the schemes for England and Wales and there are different ones for Scotland and N. Ireland

ENGLAND AND WALES 

If you rent your home on an assured shorthold tenancy that started after 6 April 2007, your landlord must put your deposit in a government approved tenancy deposit scheme. In England and Wales your deposit can be registered with:

·         Tenancy Deposit Scheme

·         Deposit Protection Service

·         My Deposits

Challenge high rent increases

Anywhere in the UK you have the right to challenge rent increases that you feel are unfair, however, the process is slightly different depending on where you live.

ENGLAND AND WALES 

Your landlord must get your permission before they increase the rent.

The rent increase must be fair, for example to a similar level with average local rents.

They must give you a minimum of one month’s notice if you are on a rolling tenancy or six months’ notice if you have a fixed-term annual tenancy.

If you feel the rent increase is unfair you can challenge it.

First speak to your landlord and try to come to an agreement.

If you can’t come to an agreement, you can ask a tribunal to decide for you.

Protection from unfair eviction

There are different protections against unfair eviction depending on where you live in the UK.

ENGLAND AND WALES 

Your landlord must give you at least two months’ written notice, also known as a ‘notice to quit’. (See update on Coronavirus rules below)

You must be outside of your fixed term in your tenancy agreement or;

Your landlord has grounds for eviction or they want to move back into the property.

It is a crime for your landlord to harass you or try to force you out of a property without a court order.

You can talk to Bassetlaw District Council if you feel you are being evicted unfairly.

Evictions during Coronavirus

Across the UK, each country has produced updated guidance on evictions during the coronavirus outbreak.

In all cases this includes an extension of the notice period for evictions and in England, Wales and Northern Ireland there has been a pause in court proceedings.

ENGLAND AND WALES 

The notice period has been increased to three months.

The Government has encouraged landlords to pause eviction proceedings where possible.

All court proceedings have been suspended and landlords cannot evict tenants until 30th September 2020 and only after three months notice has been provided.

You can see the full government guidance here:
Non-statutory guidance for landlords and tenants in the private and social rented sector

Written Tenancy Agreement 

This might come as a surprise for many people, but only in Scotland is it a legal requirement for tenants to receive a written tenancy agreement. This is called the Private Residential Tenancy agreement (PRT).

In England & Wales, there is no legal requirement to use a tenancy agreement, however, Assured Shorthold Tenancy agreements (AST) are most commonly used.

Landlord registration

For Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, all landlords have to register onto a national database in order to comply with the law.

SCOTLAND 

All Landlords are required to register with the local council that covers the area where the property is located as part of the Scottish Landlord Register. They are required provide information about themselves, the agent managing the property (if applicable) and the property.

WALES 

In Wales, the Landlord Registration requirements are handled by the team are Rent Smart Wales. There is also an additional legal requirement for landlord’s who self-manage their properties to become licensed, this involves completing a training course.

NORTHERN IRELAND 

The Northern Ireland Landlord Registration Scheme requires all private landlords in Northern Ireland to register and provide accurate and up-to-date information about themselves and their properties.

ENGLAND 

In England, there is no mandatory requirement for landlord registration or any licensing or training requirements.

Thanks for reading.

I'm always happy to help sellers, buyers landlords and tenants

geraldbowers@thegoodea.co.uk

www.thegoodestateagent.co.uk

01777 237310  Messages to 07981 744003 






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