All tenants renting property from private landlords have certain rights which are protected under UK law. The extent of these rights depends on the type of tenancy agreement, as well as the location of the property within the UK. But broadly speaking, the rights themselves may be subdivided into the key sections itemized below:
Condition of the property
Firstly, all tenants have the right to inhabit a property that is safe and in good condition. Usually, that means a health and safety assessment will need to be undertaken before the property is rented out. This is applicable throughout all the countries of the UK
You also have the right to live in the property without frequent and unreasonable disturbances from your landlord or other external elements. As above, this is applicable everywhere in the UK.
Protecting your deposit
The deposit paid to your landlord should be retained in a centralized tenancy deposit scheme. While these vary in name depending on where you live in the UK, their basic function is the same: to keep your deposit safe. All tenancy deposit schemes are approved by the government.
As a tenant, you have the right to know the level of energy consumption for the property you are renting. Wherever you are based in the UK, you can request to see an Energy Performance Certificate.
It also your right to challenge any proposed rent increases made by your landlord if you find them to be unfair. For instance, if the increase is out of proportion when compared to other properties in the area, and there is no specified reason for the increase, then you would be within your rights to challenge it. In such cases, your dispute would likely be taken to a tribunal. Regardless of where you live in the UK, your best bet in this situation would be to consult with your local Citizens’ Advice Bureau, as they will be well-equipped to guide you through the process.
You also have the right not to be unfairly evicted from a property. Typically, that means the landlord needs to provide you with sufficient notice and, in some cases, a specific reason for the eviction.
While your rights as a tenant are considerably different at a technical level depending on where you are in the UK, all of the above key areas are covered. If you are in doubt, your first recourse should be to the Citizens’ Advice Bureau for further guidance.