Your landlord has certain legal obligations. The rules and procedures vary depending on the type of tenancy you have but certain basic rules are always the same.
Landlords must give tenants certain information
At the start of your tenancy the landlord must give you:
- an Energy Performance Certificate for your home
- a gas safety certificate, if there are gas appliances in your home
Normally you’ll be given the landlord’s name and address at the start of your tenancy.
If you haven't been told your landlord's details you can write to ask for them from the agent or whoever you pay the rent to. They can be fined if they don’t provide the details within 21 days.
Your landlord must give you a copy of the government guide How to rent if you have an assured shorthold tenancy that started or was renewed on or after 1 October 2015.
If you haven’t been given certain information, it can be harder to evict you if you have an assured shorthold tenancy.
Find out more about the eviction of assured shorthold tenants.
Most landlords must protect your deposit
Your landlord must return your deposit to you at the end of your tenancy, unless there's a dispute about damage you caused to the property or unpaid rent.
Find out more about tenancy deposit deductions.
Your landlord must also protect your tenancy deposit with a UK government-approved deposit protection scheme if you're an assured shorthold tenant.
If your deposit should have been protected but wasn't, your landlord can be fined and it can be more difficult for them to end your tenancy.
Find out more about tenancy deposit scheme compensation claims.
Your landlord must carry out most repairs
Landlords are responsible for most repairs to the exterior and structure of a property.
This means that problems with the roof, chimneys, walls, guttering and drains are the responsibility of the landlord.
Landlords are also responsible for keeping the equipment for supplying water, gas and electricity in safe working order.
If you have an assured shorthold tenancy that started or was renewed on or after 1 October 2015, your landlord could find it harder to evict you if you complain about repairs.
Find out more about protection against revenge eviction.
Your landlord must meet safety standards
Landlords have legal obligations to ensure the safety of tenants.
Your landlord must install a smoke alarm on each floor of your home and carbon monoxide detectors in any room with a coal fire or wood- burning stove. This doesn’t apply if you have a resident landlord.
Landlords must also:
- have a gas safety check every 12 months by a Gas Safe registered engineer
- make sure any furniture and electrical equipment they provide meets safety standards
Your landlord must follow the rules on rent
Your landlord must tell you when your rent is to be paid and how it should paid, for example by cash or cheque or into a bank account.
Your landlord can't refuse to accept your rent.
If your landlord refuses to accept your rent, keep trying to pay it and keep the money separate, for example, in a separate bank account).
Get advice if your landlord won't accept your rent. Use Shelter's directory to find a local adviser.
Your rent can be increased but only at certain times during the tenancy and only in certain circumstances. These depend on the type of tenancy you have and what, if anything, your agreement says about when the rent can be increased.
If you pay your rent weekly, your landlord must provide a rent book.
Your landlord should not disturb or harass you
Landlords may need access to the property to inspect it and do repairs but they must let you live in your home without unnecessary interference.
Find out more about reporting repairs.
Your landlord should always give you reasonable notice and arrange a suitable time if they need to visit, unless there's an emergency.
The amount of notice they have to give might be set out in your tenancy agreement.
You might be able to change the locks if you don't want your landlord to visit without your permission. If you do decide to change the locks, keep the old ones and put them back in, undamaged, when you leave the tenancy.
Your landlord, or anyone employed by them, should not harass you in your home or make it difficult for you to stay there.
Your landlord must follow rules when they want you to leave
Most landlords must give at least some written notice and get a court order to evict their tenants.
Right to rent
From 1 February 2016, if you want to rent privately in England, the landlord must check that you have the 'right to rent'.