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Renting privately - your tenancy

It is important to know your rights and responsibilities and the responsibilities of your landlord before signing your tenancy agreement.​​​​​​​

Before you start your tenancy

Before you start your new tenancy make sure you:
  • check that the property is licensed and you have a copy of the licence
  • get a written tenancy agreement from your landlord and make sure you read and understand its terms and conditions.
  • inspect the property thoroughly and send details and photos of any damage or faults to your landlord
  • have the correct contact details for your landlord and that they have yours
  • provide references.

Your landlord’s responsibilities

In Newham all privately rented properties must be licensed. Licensing means your rights are better protected in Newham than anywhere else in the country.
It is a criminal offence if your landlord has not applied to licence the property where you live. You may be entitled to a refund of any rent you have paid up to a maximum of 12 months.
Property licensing means your landlord must:
  • provide you with a written tenancy agreement and check to see if you can afford the rent
  • make sure your home is safe and fitted with smoke alarms
  • regularly inspect your home, to ensure things are in good repair
  • investigate nuisance and problems with noise, rubbish and anti-social behaviour.
  • make sure the property does not become overcrowded.

Your responsibilities

Most importantly, you should not breach the terms of your tenancy agreement as you could then lose your home.
You will also be expected to:
  • pay your rent on time
  • report any anti-social behaviour issues to the landlord
  • tell the landlord about any repairs
  • not allow the property to become overcrowded
  • not cause nuisance to neighbours by you or your guests
  • keep all gardens, balconies and communal areas tidy and free from rubbish.

Tenancy agreement

A tenancy agreement is a contract between you and your landlord that agrees the legal terms and conditions of your tenancy. The agreement protects you and the landlord.
The agreement should contain:
  • 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 as the tenant
  • the property's address
  • rules on rent including the date when it should be paid and arrangements to review it
  • who must pay the gas, electric, water and Council Tax bills
  • the deposit amount and the conditions for withholding for damages
  • how any repairs will be organised
  • the date your tenancy ends or comes up for renewal.
 If you feel confused by what you read you can get help from the Stratford Advice Arcade and Citizens Advice Bureau.
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  • Private Housing Technical Support
    London Borough of Newham Newham Dockside
    1000 Dockside Road
    E16 2QU

    020 3373 1950

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