Tenants have responsibilities when they enter into a tenancy agreement and move into a property. If you abuse the responsibilities then you may be evicted from your home. Some of your responsibilities as a tenant are set out below.
Rent - You should keep up with your rent and pay on time. If you fall behind with the rent the landlord may seek to evict you before your tenancy agreement comes to an end. If you are having trouble with meeting rent, you may be able to claim benefits such as Universal Credit, or Local Housing Allowance.
Bills - You should keep up with the bills such as electricity, gas or Council Tax, if these are not included in your rent. If you do not keep up the payments, you may be cut off and have to pay for reconnection. It will not be your landlords responsibility to pay for reconnection if you have been disconnected due to your non-payment.
Use of property - You have a responsibility to use the property in a responsible way and take care of it. If the property is not looked after, the landlord may be able to seek possession of the property and you may be liable for the cost of the repair. Some examples of what this means are:
- Minimising the risk of burst pipes from cold weather when you go away for example by ensuring they don’t freeze
- Unblocking a clogged up sink
- Making sure you, your family or any visitors do not damage the property in any way. (Excepting through fair wear and tear)
- Removing rubbish regularly and not allowing it to build up
Standard Occupation contract - You should not abuse any fair term of your tenancy agreement for example regarding sub letting, damage or use of a garage. The landlord may be able to seek possession of the property before your tenancy agreement comes to an end if you break the agreement and you may lose your deposit and have to pay for any disrepair.
Anti-social behaviour and other prohibited conduct
This term sets out what the contract-holder, people living with the contract-holder and their visitors must not do. It includes things such as:
- make too much noise
- verbally abuse or physical assault other people living in the home, the landlord/agent or other people in the neighbourhood
- abuse their partner (including physical, emotional and sexual, psychological, economic or financial abuse)
- use the property for criminal purposes, or
- allow other people living in the home to do these things.
If the contract-holder does the things listed above, they will be in breach of their contract and might be evicted from the home.
Duty to take care of the dwelling
This term says that the contract-holder is not responsible if things in their home become worn or broken through everyday use. However, the contract-holder has to take proper care of their home and the things that are in it that belong to the landlord. The contract-holder is not allowed to take those things out of the home (without the landlord’s permission). They also have to keep the home in a ‘state of reasonable decorative order’ and they cannot keep anything in the home that is a health and safety risk.
Duty to notify landlord of defect or disrepair
This term says that the contract-holder has to tell the landlord of any faults or damage which the landlord is expected to repair. Where the fault or damage is not the landlord’s responsibility (for example, because the contract-holder caused the damage through a lack of proper care) the contract-holder has to carry out the repair.
Ending tenancy - You also have a responsibility to end the tenancy in the correct manner. If you do not end the tenancy in the correct manner, or in agreement (in writing) with the landlord you may end up being liable for rent payments even if you no longer live at the property. See ending your tenancy.