The landscape for renting can be a bumpy one, indeed. If you’re lucky, you’ll find a place that has a decent landlord who respects your rights and maintains the property. On the other hand, If you’re not so lucky, you could find yourself in a situation of having a landlord that is absent, doesn’t respect your rights, and is neglectful of the property. Using a letting agency to find you a home is your best bet for avoiding the latter.
First, do you know your rights as a tenant? They can be pretty complex under the Private Tenancies (NI) Order 2006 that came into effect in April 2007. You do, though, have six basic rights that you should know about right now. You have the right to:
1 – a rent book
2 – the right to claim Housing Benefits
3 – freedom from harassment and illegal eviction
4 – adequate notice to quit
5 – due process of law
6 – a statement of tenancy terms or agreement
A rent book is free of charge and should include the name and address of the landlord, the rent (and rates if applicable) payable and when it is due and details of any other payments you should make. The landlord must provide this within 28 days of the start date of your tenancy.
All landlords must inform tenants of the right to claim Housing Benefit in the rent book. The Housing Benefit for people who rent in the private sector is known as the Local Housing Allowance (LHA).
Freedom from harassment and illegal eviction could include things such as changing the locks, cutting off your water or electricity supply, interfering with your possessions or threatening verbal or physical behaviour.
Adequate notice to quit is your right to a minimum of 28 days written notice. If a landlord terminates a tenancy but the tenant refuses to move out, the landlord can only recover possession through court proceedings – that’s due process. As well, a statement or tenancy agreement is your right.
There are many other rights, along with responsibilities you have as a tenant and the best way to ensure you are being treated fairly is to rent through a letting agency. Now Rooms Liverpool offers tenants access to a large selection of properties that they have vetted and, often, they manage. Now Rooms is always up to date on the rights and responsibilities of tenants and landlords and ensure that any problems are dealt with quickly and easily. Give them a call and see what they can offer you. You’ll be thankful you did.