Tenancy facts you should know
Are you looking to rent a property for the first time and would like to know more about what you can expect? In this blog, we will look at the most important things that you need to know as a tenant.
Fire and General Safety
Your landlord has legal obligations when it comes to your safety. They must ensure that a property has appropriate fire escape routes. There should also be at least one smoke alarm per floor. If a fireplace is in use, then the room should also have a carbon monoxide detector.
If a property is classified as a House of Multiple Occupation (HMO), your landlord is required to install fire alarms, extinguishers, and fire blankets on every floor.
The landlord is responsible for maintaining the fire alarms, but you also have a responsibility to report any faulty alarms to them in between inspections.
Landlords and letting agents must give at least 24 hours notice before entering the property for viewings or to gain access to carry out repairs. If you cannot be there at the time they request, you can opt to have a trusted person be there on your behalf.
It is a legal requirement for gas appliances to be checked annually by a Gas Safe registered engineer. A record of these checks should be kept at the property. The landlord must show you the most recent gas safety certificate before you sign your tenancy agreement.
Electrical appliances, such as kettles or toasters, must pass a Portable Appliance Testing (PAT) test once every five years.
Infestations or Pests
Promptly notify your landlord if you find an infestation of bedbugs or encounter mice, bats, or rats inside the property. You will also need to contact the local health authority if you find rats, as they pose health risks.
If you bought furniture and then found it had bedbugs, then it is your responsibility to deal with them, but you will still need to inform your landlord. If the bedbugs were already in the property or were in furniture your landlord brought into the property, then it is the landlord's responsibility to dispose of it and deal with them.
Guests and Sleepovers
Renting out rooms or accepting money from guests for their stay (sub-letting) is prohibited in most tenancy agreements and can lead to eviction.
If you are living in an HMO, then it is crucial to discuss and come to an understanding with your housemates about guests staying over because most tenancy agreements do not have clear rules about this. Be considerate if your visitors will be sleeping in common areas, and keep in mind that you are liable for any damage your visitors may cause.
Obtain your landlord's or letting agent's written consent before making any big changes, such as painting the walls. When decorating, refrain from damaging the walls in any way, such as by using nails or blu-tack. Generally speaking, the property should be in the same state as when you moved in when you leave.
Contact your landlord immediately if there are any problems with the property that could lead to accidents. Most landlords will take care of the required repairs right away. If your landlord refuses to undertake any necessary repairs, seek advice from the Citizens Advice Bureau.
A landlord may evict a tenant for a number of legitimate reasons, including repeated late rent payments, violation of the tenancy agreement, annoyance to neighbours, or participation in unlawful activities.
If you are threatened with eviction, you should seek advice straightaway. Landlords are prohibited from evicting tenants by threatening them, shutting off their utilities, or withholding repairs or keys.
Notice to Leave
Your landlord is required to give you at least two months' notice if they want you to leave. You have the option to terminate your tenancy agreement early in some situations, such as when your landlord fails to uphold their obligations. If not, you will still be responsible for paying the rent until the agreement expires.
Your housing deposit must be legally held by your landlord in a government-approved deposit protection scheme. They must let you know which scheme your money has been placed in. In the event of a dispute, this safeguards both parties. You might be entitled to reimbursement or compensation if your landlord doesn't deposit your money within 30 days.
Make sure that you give us a call on 0131 639 6399 or email email@example.com if you are looking to rent a property in Edinburgh so that we can add you to our earlybird list. This means that you will be one of the first to see our latest available properties.