While there is a considerable level of focus on the responsibilities landlords have in a rental agreement, there is also a need to ensure tenants know their responsibilities. While tenants can sue landlords, under the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act, landlords can end the tenancy agreement if the tenant doesn’t meet their responsibilities.
This outcome could cause considerable problems for a tenant, so it is best tenants know their responsibilities and then live up to them. Many of the duties for tenants are grounded in common sense, but it never hurts to be reminded of them.
The tenant should pay on time
You would think there was no need to reiterate the need for tenants to pay their rent in full and on time. However, many landlords face problems because tenants don’t pay on time. For landlords who are reliant on the rental fee to pay their mortgage, late payments may cause them problems.
It is advisable landlords keep some money in reserve to allow for missed or late payments, but this can only be tolerated for so long. A tenant who struggles to pay rent in the agreed manner will find the landlord is keen to move them out of their premises.
Tenants have many bills to pay
While the monthly rent payment should be a tenant’s priority, it is far from their only monthly bill. There are many additional bills associated with the rental accommodation, including council tax, utility bills, broadband bills and water bills. If a tenant pays their utility bills, they hold the right to choose which energy supplier they use.
Tenants must care for the rental property
Again, this is a responsibility that should go without saying, but tenants are required to care for rental property, maintaining its condition. An important document is the inventory checklist. Ideally, this list will be compiled by an independent party, with the landlord and tenant receiving a copy of the document.
The information contained within this document should be the guidelines tenants adhere to regarding the condition of the rental property.
Tenants should be respectful of the local area and neighbourhood
It is not enough for tenants to care for the rental accommodation; they should care about the local area. If a landlord learns the tenant is disrespectful to neighbours or causes problems in the area, they may decide it is best for the tenant to move on when the rental agreement is up for renewal. Tenants should also be aware that they face eviction if they display anti-social behaviour.
Tenants shouldn’t sub-let without permission
Unless the tenant has permission from the landlord, they shouldn’t allow a lodger to stay with them or sub-let the property. Doing so will see the tenant in breach of the rental agreement, which could cause considerable inconvenience for the tenant.
If you’re a tenant looking for your ideal rental property or need guidance in the market, contact Koopers, and we’ll be happy to help.