Tenancy Rights Every Student Should Know
A handy guide to knowing your tenancy rights
If you notice anything that can cause an accident, report it to your landlord. It is then their responsibility to take the necessary actions to rectify the situation. They should be attended to as soon as possible, and some should be rectified within 24 hours if they are an emergency. These can include repairs from unsafe electrical fittings to leaks in the roof.
It is the responsibility of your landlord to ensure that your house is in good condition when you arrive on move in day. However, you should also abide by some simple rules when it comes to decorating. Firstly, get permission if putting up photographs or posters, and ensure you don’t damage the walls with tape or blu tac to make sure you keep your tenant relationship sweet.
Eviction and notice to leave
Your landlord has a number of legal reasons for which they are able to evict you, such as if you breach the terms of your tenancy agreement or cause disruption to your neighbour. If you receive an eviction notice, make sure you seek legal advice immediately, and if there is no court order in your eviction notice this is not legal. If your landlord gives you notice to leave, you should receive this at least two months before you are required to leave the property.
If your student house is infested with rodents, bugs or bats, it is your landlord’s responsibility to address the problem, unless it’s your fault. These might be dealt with in different ways depending on the severity of the problem e.g, rats should be dealt with by the local health authority or infested furniture should be removed and replaced by the landlord.
Your landlord is not authorised to walk into the property whenever they want, they must give you advanced warning of visits. These include for reasons such as repairs and house viewings. If you are not on the premises, you can leave it under the supervision of someone else you trust. Most student letting agents will text, email or call the lead tenant and give advance warning for any property visits.
Appliances, fire and safety
Ensure these things are all in place when you move into your new house: there must be at least one smoke alarm per floor that works, rooms with a fireplace need a carbon monoxide protector, gas appliances are to be checked yearly (make sure you have your landlord show proof of these checks before signing your contract), ensure all electrical installations are safe to use through measures such as a PAT test.
Deposit Protection Scheme
Every landlord legally has to put your deposit in a government owned scheme called the tenancy deposit protection scheme. This means when you pay your bond to your landlord or letting agent, this has to be put in a secure bond to ensure you get your fair share of your deposit back at the end of your tenancy. If you have any disputes over deductions in your deposits after this, you can reason theme with the scheme, and your deposit will remain protected until these issues are resolved.