What are tenants responsible for?
- Paying the rent as agreed and taking proper care of the property
- Bills for gas electricity, telephone, etc if this was agreed with your landlord
- In most cases, paying the council tax, water and sewerage charges
You will normally be responsible for paying Council Tax. However, if the property is a house in multiple occupation, the landlord will be responsible for paying it, although he can include the cost in the rent. A house in multiple occupation, for Council Tax purposes, is a property which is constructed or adapted for occupation by individuals who do not form a single household or who have separate tenancies or who pay rent for only part of the property. If you are in any doubt as to who will be liable to pay Council Tax, contact your local authority. To avoid confusion, the tenancy agreement should set out who is responsible for paying Council Tax.
Water and sewerage charges
You will normally be responsible for paying water and sewerage charges if the accommodation is self-contained. If you are in any doubt as to who will be liable for these charges, contact the water utility company for the area. The tenancy agreement should set out who is responsible for payment. If the landlord pays the charges, he or she can include the cost in the rent.
You should agree with the landlord who is responsible for the payment of other bills (gas, electricity, telephone etc). You may be responsible directly to the utility company for payments, or the landlord may recharge you separately, for example through a coin meter. The resale of electricity and gas is subject to maximum resale prices, which depend on the gas or electricity supplier that the landlord uses. However, the maximum resale charges do not apply if a flat rate is charged to cover your usage, or if rent is charged on an all-inclusive basis.
Duty of Care
You have a duty to take proper care of the property and use it in a responsible way, pay the rent as agreed and keep to the terms of the tenancy agreement, unless the terms are in contravention of your rights in law.
What rights does the landlord have?
The landlord, or landlordâ€™s agent, has the legal right to enter the property at reasonable times of day to carry out the repairs for which he or she is responsible and to inspect the condition and state of repair of the property. 24 hours written notice of an inspection must be given. You should ask the landlord to set out in the tenancy agreement the arrangements for access and procedures for getting repairs done.
What rights does the tenant have?
- You have the legal right to live in the property as your home. The landlord should ask your permission before he or she enters the premises.
- The landlord cannot evict you without a possession order from the court.
- If the landlord sells the freehold of the property, you will retain any rights you have to remain in the property, as the tenancy will be binding on any purchaser.
- Matters such as whether you can keep pets and so on, should be negotiated and included in the terms of the tenancy agreement.
Should these responsibilities and rights be included in the tenancy agreement?
Statutory responsibilities and rights will apply to you and the landlord even if they are not included in the tenancy agreement. However, it is useful to include them in the tenancy agreement to prevent misunderstandings later.
Don't forget Contents Insurance for Tenants
It is your responsibility to insure your personal possessions in your rented accomodation and you could be liable for any damage caused to your landlords goods.
To obtain a quote for Tenants Insurance click on the image.
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