Tenants given government guidance on their rights when renting

Tenants and leaseholders can now access official guidance on their rights when renting their home.

The online rental guides, published by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, are part of a continuing crackdown on poor practice by a minority of landlords and agents in the private rented and leasehold sectors.

The Citizens Advice Bureau helped 65,000 private renters with more than 100,000 problems about their tenancy in 2017.

There are several new ‘how to’ guides with checklists including:

How to lease

Leaseholders can learn about their unique set of rights and responsibilities. For example, a managing agent or landlord could be responsible for running a leaseholder’s block or estate – but the leaseholder does have a say in how they do it.

How to rent a safe home

This document will help current and prospective tenants identify potential unsafe conditions in rented properties. It gives tenants an overview of the most common hazards to look out for in rented properties, including gas and electrical safety, damp and mould and trips and falls hazards, and how they should report dangerous conditions.

How to rent

This updated guide provides a step-by-step process to renting privately. Tenants can learn how to challenge poor practice and understand private landlords’ legal obligations. It is a legal requirement for all landlords to provide their tenants with this document.

Housing Minister Heather Wheeler MP said: “We want to ensure renters, landlords and leaseholders are armed with information, so they know their rights, responsibilities and can challenge poor behaviour.”

The guides show that the government is determined to crack down on bad practice in the private rented sector. Landlords may wish to review their practices and policies to ensure they comply with all the current rules and regulations.

Please contact us if you would like more information about the issues raised in this article or any aspect of commercial property law.