Private tenants advice and support
Finding your own property
If you plan to rent in the private sector, you need to be realistic about what you can afford and also make sure that any property you are thinking of moving into is licensed.
Viewing the new property
- the type of agreement - check the type of tenancy, usually they are short-term assured tenancies running for six to 12 months
- the landlord's name and contact details and your name (tenant’s)
- the property's address
- rules on rent and date of when it should be paid and rent review arrangements
- who is to pay gas, electric, water and Council Tax bills
- amount of deposit and conditions for withholding for damages
- how repairs will be organised
- the date your tenancy ends or comes up for renewal
At the start of your tenancy
- get a written tenancy agreement from your landlord, licence holder or managing agent
- read and understand its terms and conditions. If you feel confused by what you read you can get help from the Stratford Advice Arcade and Citizens Advice Bureau.
- check that the property is licensed. Visit the Property Licensing Register, select 'licences' and search for the property address.
- inspect the property very thoroughly and write to the licence holder or landlord to tell them of any damage or faults. Take pictures of any faults.
- have the correct contact details for your landlord, licence holder or managing agent and that they have yours.
During your tenancy
- pay your rent on time
- do not be a nuisance to neighbours, such as making noise
- report any anti-social behaviour from neighbours to the police and to the landlord, licence holder or managing agent.
Looking after your home
- Report in writing all necessary and urgent repairs to the landlord, licence holder or managing agent and keep a copy.
- If you want to do repairs, you should first agree the work with the landlord, licence holder or managing agent.
- Keep the property clean.
- Get your landlord, licence holder or managing agent's written permission to decorate any rooms or any other alterations to the fabric of the property.
- Report any pest problems to your landlord, licence holder or managing agent and follow it up it in writing.
- Report any damage you do to the property promptly to your landlord, licence holder or managing agent.
- Keep your garden or yard in a tidy condition and rubbish free.
Health and safety
Landlord/managing agent/licence holder’s responsibilities
- the structure and exterior of the property
- baths, sinks, basins, toilets and other bathroom fittings
- heating and hot water installations
- Responsibility for other repairs depends on what the landlord/managing agent or licence holder has agreed with you.
Your deposit and getting it back
- issuing threats
- withholding services such as gas or electricity
- or any other sort of interference.
- If this is happening to you, phone the police or contact the Hackney Community Law Centre, Citizens Advice Bureau, Stratford Advice Arcade or a solicitor.