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
Your landlord must give you certain information at the start of your tenancy.
This information includes:
- an Energy Performance Certificate for your home
- a copy of the government guide How to rent
- the landlord's full name and address or details of their lettings agent (who must give you the landlord's details if you ask)
The court can fine a landlord who does not disclose their name and address within 21 days.
Most landlords must protect your deposit
Your landlord must 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 about tenancy deposit protection scheme rules.
All landlords must return your deposit to you at the end of your tenancy, unless there's a dispute about damage you've caused to the property or rent you haven't paid.
Find out more about tenancy deposit deductions.
Your landlord must carry out most repairs
Landlords are responsible for most repairs to the exterior or 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.
Most private landlords are also responsible for installing smoke alarms on each floor of your home and carbon monoxide detectors in rooms with a coal fire or woo- burning stove.
Landlords must also:
- get a gas safety certificate for every gas appliance they provide
- 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.
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'.