HomeReal EstateTenant’s Rights – What Do You Need to Know When Renting Property

Tenant’s Rights – What Do You Need to Know When Renting Property

The world of renting can be a murky one, even at the best of times. As it happens, the present landscape for renting is less-than-ideal, as the cost-of-living crisis ploughs through its second year without so much as faltering. The effect has been a cooling one on the property market, as many find themselves priced further out of property ownership – leading to a unique level of demand for rental properties. As someone approaching a new tenancy, what might you need to know about your rights?

Protection from Unfair Eviction

One of the more important rights that tenants enjoy is that of protection from unfair eviction. The threat of eviction is a prevailing concern for the renting population of the country, especially in a difficult economic environment where costs continue to rise. 

Thankfully, eviction is a difficult thing for landlords to realise, as specific iterations of rental agreement offer specific levels of protection to renters. Fixed-term tenancies make it extremely difficult for landlords to evict tenants included in the agreement, while those on rolling contracts as part of an assured shorthold tenancy are required to receive a Section 21 notice, with two months’ notice.

Protection from Unfair Rent Increases

As well as eviction, tenants are well-protected against rent increases. Untenable increases to rent can be tantamount to eviction in principle. While landlords retain the right to raise rental rates, their ability to do so is hamstrung by tenancy regulation; generally speaking, tenants in assured shorthold tenancies are protected from rent raises altogether. Even when in a rolling contract, tenants and landlords must together agree to a new rent price – and that price must be fair, and represent the rate at which other local rents have increased.

Rights and Responsibilities

The above rights are hard-fought and hard-won, but represent a sub-set of a much wider net of rights that tenants enjoy. However, the most important sets of information for tenants understanding their rights are the contracts they sign with their landlords. Tenancy agreements enshrine these rights, but also identify and define other rights – and other responsibilities – that a given tenant experiences.

For example, a tenant may be afforded the civil right to make amendments to the property, in the form of decorating or installing fixtures and fittings. By that same token, the tenant’s responsibility would be to ensure the property does not endure undue damage or wear. Renters insurance can be instrumental as an aftermarket policy, to help tenants protect themselves from the unscrupulous actions of landlords in this regard.

Quiet Enjoyment, and Safety from Harassment

Finally, we come to a topic which is often misunderstood, and misapplied in certain key cases: ‘quiet enjoyment’. Quiet enjoyment does not refer to noise pollution or neighbours, but rather the ability for renters to actually enjoy the space they are paying for. You can find the houses for rent.

Quiet enjoyment is a fixture of common law, which guarantees a renter the right to enjoy their living quarters without undue harassment or disruption. More specifically, this limits landlords from gaining illegal and unprompted access to properties they let. This is why landlords are required to give 24 hours’ notice before appearing on premises, and why tenants can refuse certain visits altogether.


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