What are you responsible for as a tenant?

by Ed Firmin

Posted on Thursday, November 26th, 2015 at 10:00

Before you sign on the dotted line to agree your property for the next year, it’s important to know what you are responsible for as a tenant.

Landlords have certain responsibilities to look after the property you will be living in, but you have to also remember that you have a duty to keep the property in the same condition as the day you move in.

So, as a tenant, what are your roles and responsibilities?

  • Any minor maintenance. So if a fuse needs replacing, or a lightbulb has blown, these are things that you should do yourself, this isn’t up to the landlord to do. So if you need to brush up on your DIY skills, then it might be wise to start learning!
  • Cleaning the property. Don’t just leave it until you move out, you shouldn’t neglect the property whilst in it, that includes things like cutting the grass regularly (if you have a garden and you are responsible for maintaining it) and keeping the windows clean
  • Fixing any damage you may have caused. It is up to you to repair something you, or someone who is visiting you, has broken
  • Reporting any problems, such as a boiler breakdown to the landlord or letting agent. You should really report this by phone and in writing
  • Rubbish and recycling. You are responsible for ensuring you put the bins out on the right day, and recycle anything that the council requires of you. Visit your local council’s website if you aren’t sure what to do and what day the rubbish gets collected. Oh, and don’t leave the bin outside on the street all of the time, you’ll get fined. Only put it out on the day of collection, and bring it in afterwards
  • Be aware of the neighbours. Don’t have parties every weekend until the small hours of the morning. It’s a sure fire way to annoy your neighbours, and they’ll complain to the council about you. It’s your responsibility to keep the peace and not disturb the neighbourhood
  • Stick to the terms of your agreement. If it says you can’t sub-let, keep pets or smoke, then don’t
  • Keep the property well ventilated to avoid condensation, damp or mould, and adequately heated (particularly in the winter and when you aren’t living there over Christmas, for example) so that you aren’t at risk of frozen or burst pipes
  • Keeping the bills paid, for example the gas and electricity
  • And of course, paying the rent on time!

So you can see it’s not as simple as just moving in, you will have a lot more responsibilities compared to living in halls, and you may need to learn how to do things for the first time, like changing a fuse.

If you’d like to know more about what renting a home means for you, then please get in contact, I’m happy to run through what you need to know as a tenant.

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