Tenants' rights

If you're renting private accommodation your landlord must:

  • provide you with a copy of 'How to rent: The checklist for renting in England' (for assured shorthold tenancies beginning after 1 October 2015)
  • provide you with a copy of the gas safety certificate for any gas fittings
  • provide you with a copy of the energy performance certificate
  • provide you with information on the tenancy deposit scheme
  • test the smoke and carbon monoxide alarms
  • ensure all electrical wiring and appliances are in a safe condition
  • ensure the building and any common areas are in good order and properly managed

GOV.UK has useful advice and information on:

As a tenant you've the right to:

  • a fair legal tenancy agreement
  • live in a property that's safe, in a good state and clean at the start of the tenancy
  • have your deposit returned when the tenancy ends (unless there are reasonable grounds for keeping this back)
  • a written agreement if you've a fixed-term tenancy of more than three years
  • challenge excessively high rent charges
  • know who your landlord is
  • privacy and be able to live in the property undisturbed
  • fair eviction notice
  • 24 hours' notice (at a reasonable time) to access the property
  • gas checks every 12 months
  • a rent book (if the rent is paid weekly)

In return you must:

  • give your landlord access to the property for inspections and repairs
  • take good care of the property
  • repair or pay for any damage you caused
  • report any problems with the property
  • pay the agreed rent, even if repairs are needed or you're in dispute
  • pay other agreed charges
  • only sublet a property if the tenancy agreement allows
  • be considerate to neighbours

The Shelter website gives information on tenants' rights and general housing issues. The local Shelter office can also offer you advice on disrepair, homelessness and tenancy issues.

Email private.rent@plymouth.gov.uk or call 01752 307075 if you've any problems with private rented accommodation.