As a private tenant you have responsibilities when you enter into a tenancy agreement and move into a property.
Your responsibilities as a private tenant include:
- paying your agreed rent on time, even if repairs are needed or you’re in dispute with your landlord
- paying bills such as electricity or gas on time, if these are not included in your rent (your landlord will not be responsible for paying for reconnection if you have been disconnected due to your non-payment)
- taking care not to behave in an anti-social way that could upset your neighbours (as well as making sure any family members or visitors to your home also behave appropriately).
You also have a responsibility to use the property in a responsible way and take care of it, this includes:
- making sure you, your family or any visitors do not damage the property in any way (except through fair wear and tear)
- telling your landlord about repairs that are needed, and providing access to have any repair work done (if you have been given reasonable notice)
- removing rubbish regularly and not allowing it to build up
- unblocking a clogged up sink
- using any fixtures and fittings properly (for example avoid flushing unsuitable items down a toilet as this can cause blockages)
- minimising the risk of burst pipes from cold weather when you go away
What could happen if I do not meet my responsibilities as a tenant?
If you abuse the responsibilities then you could be evicted from your home.
You should not abuse any fair term of your tenancy agreement (for example terms set out about keeping pets, smoking in the property, damage or use of a garage).
If the property is not looked after, the landlord may be able to seek possession of the property and you might have to pay for the cost of any disrepair (either by deducting money from your deposit or via the court system).
If you do not behave in a reasonable manner you could find yourself evicted and you may have an anti-social behaviour order made against you.
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.