Most adults state their time as a student was the best of their lives, but rogue landlords can ruin this by causing unnecessary anxiety. Knowing your rights and responsibilities can make renting as a student tenant stress-free.
Landlords are required by law to protect your security deposit in a government-approved scheme within 30 days. They must also provide you with details of this scheme so you know where your money is.
Your landlord is responsible for ensuring gas, water and electrical supplies are functional and safe to use. They also have an obligation to ensure the property is hygienic and that any safety certificates are up-to-date.
Similarly, your landlord is obligated to install smoke alarms on each floor, plus carbon monoxide alarms if appropriate. However, it is your responsibility to check that they are working regularly and replace any batteries as required.
You should always agree on an inventory with your landlord before moving in, clearly detailing the condition of the property. Companies such as inventorybase.co.uk use sophisticated property inventory software to make creating and agreeing to an inventory easy.
New laws that came into effect on 1st October 2018 mean a room in a shared house cannot be less than 6.51 square meters in size for a single occupant. Along with this, properties housing five or more tenants must be correctly licenced.
Who’s Responsible for Fixing Problems
Your landlord is responsible for the upkeep of water, gas and electricity supplies, along with the maintenance of any appliances or furniture they have supplied. For example, if the fridge belongs to your landlord, they must keep it in a good state of repair.
If your landlord is not maintaining your property to a sufficient standard, the council may be able to step in. If you are still not happy with the state of your property, property managers must be a member of a government-approved redress scheme to help resolve any disputes between landlords and tenants, so you always have a backup.
Your landlord or letting agent should always be reachable to deal with any problems that arise during your tenancy. Ensure that you have their correct contact details in case of an emergency.