Your landlord's legal obligations or duties vary depending on your tenancy type but certain basic rules are always the same.
Duty to check your right to rent
Before you can rent a home in England, a private landlord or letting agent must check your immigration status and the status of any adult who is living with you.
It's a criminal offence if they don't do right to rent immigration checks.
Duty to provide start of tenancy information
At the start of your tenancy the landlord must give you:
- an Energy Performance Certificate for your home
- a gas safety certificate (if your home has gas appliances)
- a copy of the latest government guide: How to rent - if you have an assured shorthold tenancy that started or was renewed on or after 1 October 2015
It is harder for a landlord to evict an assured shorthold tenant if the information required isn't provided.
Duty to protect your tenancy deposit
If you're an assured shorthold tenant your landlord must protect your tenancy deposit with a UK government-approved deposit protection scheme.
If your deposit should have been protected but wasn't:
- you can claim tenancy deposit scheme compensation
- it can be more difficult for your landlord to end your tenancy
Lodgers' deposits don't have to be protected.
Tenants and lodgers' deposits should be returned after you leave if you've paid all the rent and caused no damage.
Landlords are responsible for repairs to the exterior and structure of a property including problems with the roof, chimneys, walls, guttering and drains.
Landlords must make sure the equipment for supplying water, gas and electricity is kept in safe working order.
If your landlord needs access to the property to inspect it and do repairs, they should give reasonable notice and arrange a suitable time to visit (unless there's an emergency). Your tenancy agreement may say how much notice they should give.
Find out more about responsibilities for repair.
If your assured shorthold tenancy started or was renewed on or after 1 October 2015, you have some legal protection against revenge eviction if you complain about repairs.
Health and safety obligations
- have a gas safety check done every 12 months by a Gas Safe registered engineer
- make sure any furniture they provide meets safety standards
- ensure electrical equipment they provide meets safety standards
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.
Find out more about fire safety in rented homes
Duty to follow rules on rent and rent increases
Your landlord must tell you when and how your rent should be paid. If you pay your rent weekly, your landlord must provide a rent book.
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.
Landlords must follow rules on rent increases that vary according to the type of tenancy you have.
Duty to allow you to enjoy your home
Landlords must let you live in your home without unnecessary interference.
Your landlord should not let themselves into your home without your permission.
Your landlord (or anyone employed by them) should not harass you in your home or make it difficult for you to stay there.
Duty to follow eviction rules
Your landlord needs to give you notice in writing and get a court order before court bailiffs can be used evict to you from:
- an assured shorthold tenancy - the most common private tenancy type
- an assured tenancy
- a regulated tenancy
A court order isn't needed for the eviction of lodgers.
It's illegal eviction if a landlord tries to force you to leave without following the correct procedure. This is a criminal offence.
Last updated 09 May 2017 | © Shelter
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