As a tenant there are certain responsibilities which fall on you, much like there is with your landlord or letting agent.
During your tenancy
It is important to understand that your time living in your accommodation should be as enjoyable as possible.
The way in which you treat your landlord/agency during your time at the property will play a part in deciding whether they allow you renew your tenancy, provide you with a reference or even the speed at which they return your deposit. Always act friendly, polite and professional.
Living with a resident landlord
If you are living with a resident landlord, you are a lodger and not a tenant. Therefore a very different set of rules apply.
We strongly advisable that you understand what your rights and responsibilities are as a lodger. Please be aware that a resident landlord does not need to protect any deposit monies you pay.
A resident landlord does not require a possession order to evict you and can give you as little as 24 hours' notice to vacate your accommodation. Make sure that you have a signed agreement in place with the landlord to offer you a level of protection and that you have discussed all the house rules before you sign up and move in.
Ending your tenancy
You should notify your agency or landlord at least two months before your contract is due to end that you will not be staying on. Good practice would suggest that you notify them at least three months in advance.
Preparing to move out
- Notify your utility providers (including the council) about your vacating date: you must provide final meter readings and a forwarding address
- Read your inventory/check in as you must leave the property and items in the same condition
- Agree cleaning arrangements, the whole house is responsible to ensure that all rooms and communal areas are cleaned, don’t forget about the garden
- Agree with the landlord/agency who will represent the household regarding the deposit return
The household most likely paid a six-week deposit at the start of the tenancy and no doubt you will be keen to have the amount returned in full. Ensure you are proactive and have a good understanding of the timeframe and process involved with getting your money back.
There are three government-approved tenancy deposit schemes:
Each of these schemes have their own processes and prescribed information which outlines how deposit disputes are dealt with. You should always try to resolve any disputes with your landlord/agent first as the scheme may not rule in your favour and therefore leave you out of pocket if they find you are in the wrong.
Landlord ending your tenancy
If you want to stay on but your landlord does not wish to renew your tenancy they must issue notice in the form of a Section 21 notice. If you receive one of these, you may contact the Student's Union to ensure it has been issued correctly as there are certain legal requirements for this document.
A landlord cannot evict you from a property nor are they allowed to change the locks without a possession order. Bailiffs (enforcement officers) are the only ones who should execute this order.