Renting can sometimes be a confusing time, especially if you are new to it. Just as a landlord will want to know about you, your lifestyle and your ability to pay the rent, you should find out the answers to any questions you have about the property you are going to be living in and what is expected of you as a tenant.
You will probably have a long list of questions about renting, but here are the answers to 5 of the most common ones.
Can my landlord evict me when renting?
Many people worry about the security and the stability of renting. After all, the power ultimately is in your landlord’s hands, right? To a point – however, your landlord cannot simply evict you without good reason. There are strict procedures that they must follow if they wish to do this.
At the moment, amidst the Coronavirus situation in the UK, evictions by bailiffs cannot take place until after 31 May 2021 (information correct as of 18th May 2021). Evictions may still, however, go ahead if the landlord has proved that you have displayed antisocial behaviour, or if you are behind on at least six months’ rent.
Evictions are quite a complicated issue and much of it depends on the circumstances and the type of tenancy agreement you have. The GOV website should provide you with the answers that you need.
What are my responsibilities as a tenant?
It is so important to understand your responsibilities as a tenant and what your landlord expects of you, to ensure a good relationship and minimal issues. Your main responsibilities include paying your rent on time, reporting any safety issues and allowing your landlord access for property inspections and repairs.
In terms of repairs, you may wonder what is your responsibility and what is your landlord’s. The law implies that you must use the property in a ‘tenant-like’ way. This basically means that you will carry out minor repairs yourself, such as changing light bulbs, keep your home reasonably clean and not cause any damage to the property. You must also make sure that you are using any fixtures and fittings properly to ensure that they stay in good working order.
What is my landlord responsible for repairing?
Which leads nicely to the next common question – what is your landlord responsible for repairing? A landlord is generally responsible for the structure and exterior of the property, including the roof and walls. They have a responsibility to maintain the pipework, toilets, water, boilers, wiring, radiators, fitted fires and heaters.
The only exception to this is if you cause any damage to any of these things that could otherwise have been avoided. If it is your fault, then the repair bill will fall on you. Otherwise, a landlord has a duty of care to ensure that the property they have provided you with is safe and in good working order.
Can I decorate my rented property?
Part of the joy of living in your own space is being able to decorate it exactly how you want. Renting, however, does come with a few limitations in this respect. Almost every tenant rightly wants to know what these limitations are so that they don’t cross any boundaries and breach their tenancy agreement.
It all depends on your landlord. Whilst some will let you paint the walls and hang up pictures, others won’t. The most important thing is to always ask permission before you do anything. If you can build up a good relationship with your landlord, they may well let you do some DIY and make some changes. Your landlord should be redecorating and touching up the paint every three years or so anyway – you may even be doing them a favour by taking it on yourself!
Do I need insurance when renting?
You don’t need insurance when renting, but it could be a really good idea. You won’t need buildings insurance, as you don’t own the property but contents insurance could be a wise choice. This protects your personal possessions against fire, flood, storms, subsidence, burst pipes and water leaks.
Your landlord can compare landlord insurance and take out contents insurance too as part of their landlord insurance, but this will only cover the items that they own. Again, it is not mandatory for a landlord to have landlord insurance, but you will find that most of them will as most mortgage lenders insist on it.