As a tenant there are aspects of a property that you need to take responsibility for and there are other aspects which fall as your landlord’s responsibilities. To begin with we will outline the things that need to be legally looked after by your landlord, so that you are aware of what you need to take care of yourself. We will also highlight other aspects that a landlord can look after but doesn’t necessarily have to do so.
Smoke alarms are a requirement that a landlord has to have installed in a rental property. Smoke alarms have to be in full working order and be attached to the mains or have a long battery life. Although it is a legal requirement for them to be installed, it is advisable that tenants conduct regular tests to make sure that they work properly.
Gas and Electrics
If a house has central heating, it needs to be checked regularly for leaks and for any sign of carbon monoxide related issues. If your property is not fitted with a central heating system, your landlord needs to ensure that the property if property ventilated and has access to heating. If a property has the ability to be able to control its climate, the tenants are likely to stay longer.
This is an area that needs to be taken seriously by both the landlord and the tenant. Your landlord may already have some form of residential security systems in place or they may have basic door and window security. If you are a tenant and you only have the basic level of security installed, it is worth asking your landlord if they will be happy to put more security features into the property. However, if he believes that the property has enough security in place, it may be down to you to increase the security. This is something you will need to discuss with your landlord and see if he is happy about it.
Once you move into a rental property your landlord will advise you of what is expected of you. Landlords will take care of any structural work required on the property as well as general maintenance such as fixing of toilets or windows etc, plumbing related issues etc. You as the tenant will also be liable for the general upkeep of the property for example, looking after the garden, DIY house wash, cleaning the windows as well as general cleaning of the house.
Pests and Infestations
The landlord has a responsibility to make sure that your rental property is free from any pests or infestations. There are a number of steps that a landlord can take to ensure that the property is free of the above before a property is rented out. It is the tenant’s responsibility to continue to keep a house clean and tidy and keep it in a condition that will deter pests or an infestation.
The landlord has the responsibility of maintaining good relations with neighbouring properties. By the term quiet we mean that there must be space for you to have a reasonable amount of space, comfort and privacy. The tenant’s responsibility is to make sure that they conduct themselves in an appropriate manner and also respect neighbouring properties, in simple terms, treat the property as if it was their own.
Bylaws / Laws
The landlord has to make sure that he/she provides the tenant with a safe home. They must ensure that all local laws and bylaws are adhered to and supply any information that the tenant may need. The tenant responsibility is to make sure that whilst they are resident, that they also keep within the laws stated.
Checking and Inspections
A landlord needs to give notice for an inspection. Before you move in it is worth taking pictures of the property in its original state and share these with the landlord. The landlord has the right to take pictures of their property as long as they don’t take pictures of your belongings. A landlord needs to give a minimum of 48 hours’ notice and they have to visit the property between the hours of 8am and 7pm. Landlords are only allowed to visit once in a four-week period. If the landlord or tenant notices that something is broken, damaged or needs fixing, they will have to agree a date to fix the issue. If inspection is required after the issue, 48 hours’ notice still needs to be given.
As mentioned above, a landlord has the right to inspect the property as he owns it, but at the same time the landlord must respect a tenant’s privacy as they are residing in the property. As long as the landlord gives the correct amount of notice time and gains permission from the tenant, he is able to enter the property. The landlord can also enter the property in the case of an emergency such as a fire or a flood. If a landlord is fixing something that has been previously agreed on, a tenant must have been given 24 hours’ notice for essential maintenance repairs. Cosmetic changes should be done at a mutually agreed time.
The landlord and tenant relationship can work hand oi hand as long as both parties stick to the guidelines that have been set out. There should be no need for any problems to arise as long as both parties are fully aware and respect what is expected of each other.