You have certain rights throughout your tenancy to protect you and your housemates.
The landlord has certain responsibilities regarding the upkeep of the building. The building and surrounding area should:
- Withstand normal use by tenants and guests.
- Withstand the weather.
- Be reasonable inside and out, including no damp penetrating the interior from the outside. Damp can be a big problem, and will usually be blamed on tenants. If ventilation isn’t adequate, it could be your landlord’s problem (an investigation may be needed to determine responsibility). Showers/Bathrooms need good ventilation – make sure you check that the fans are working correctly.
Privacy and Landlord Entry
The landlord or people acting on his/her behalf cannot enter to check the property or make repairs when they please. This must be agreed beforehand.
This is called the ‘tenants right of quiet enjoyment’ and means the landlord cannot disturb you. But, this only remains in force if you do not breach the tenancy agreement.
To view the accommodation and the ‘state of damage’ reported, 24 hours notice must be given. If you refuse entry you have no right to complain about the state of damage or any injury caused.
If the tenants are out when the visit is scheduled, and the landlord wants to continue with his visit, he must be accompanied by a witness.
The landlord can sometimes be accused of, or be responsible for, harassment of the tenants when they want to enter the property. Acts of harassment include:
- Threats of violence or unlawful eviction.
- Disconnecting gas, electricity or water.
- Breaking keys off in locks.
- Deliberately disruptive repair works.
- Frequent visits at unreasonable hours.
- Entering the property without the tenants permission.