Written by Becca Green

8 most common rental property questions answered

We’ve got the answers to the top 8 most asked questions from private renters, so that you know your rights…

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If you’re a renter, there are a few questions about your home and your landlord to which you should know the answers to ensure you’re getting a fair deal. The home experts at Boiler Plan who have sourced the answers to all these common questions, so that you can get to know your rights as a tenant.

Can landlords increase rent?

If you are currently in a fixed-term contract, your landlord or letting agent cannot increase rent without following certain rules – unless you agree to it or you have a clause in your tenancy agreement that allows it. However, you can find more information on negotiating with your landlord at Citizens Advice.

Can a landlord evict me?

As a private tenant, there are strict procedures your landlord must follow if they are looking to evict you. However, this is dependent on the tenancy agreement you have, and you can seek more reassurance and further answers on the GOV website.

What are my responsibilites as a tenant?

First and foremost, you should understand your responsibilities as a tenant. Staggeringly, however, this is the third most searched for question, suggesting that renters could be risking their home by not understanding the guidelines. The main ones are paying your rent on time, looking after the property, allowing your landlord access for any repairs and reporting any safety issues.

Can letting agents charge fees?

The ban on tenant fees came into force on 1 June 2019, applying to new or renewed tenancy agreements from that date. The legislation aims to reduce the costs that tenants face at the outset. More information on what fees they can charge can be found on the Gov website.

Can landlords keep a deposit?

A deposit is, essentially, insurance against something going wrong in the property. Your landlord is within reason to keep the deposit if they have suffered financial loss due to the following reasons: the rental property has been damaged; the rent hasn’t been paid; items are missing; the property needs to be cleaned; and if you left before the end of your tenancy agreement.

Can you paint a rented house?

Brits are embracing DIY more than ever so it’s little surprise that ‘can you paint a rented house’ has seen a 36% increase in searches between March and April 2020, and is the 8th most searched for rental question in the UK

You certainly can paint your rented property, but you will need to ask the letting agent or landlord first. The landlord should be redecorating and touching up the paint every three years, so if you intend to be there for that amount of time, suggest you could do the painting for them if they purchased the equipment needed – saving them the time and hassle

Does the landlord have to fix the boiler?

Landlords absolutely have a responsibility to repair the boiler if the tenant hasn’t damaged it purposely. It’s important that you have complete access to heating and hot water.

The minimum heating standard is 18°C for the living room and 21°C for the bedroom. In the colder months, you shouldn’t be left without heating for 24 hours. If this extends past two days, it is considered a health hazard and a serious breach of the tenancy agreement.

What is the landlord responsible to repair?

It is generally the structure and exterior of your home. This would include the roof and walls, for instance. They should also maintain the pipework, toilets, water, boilers, wiring, radiators, fitted fires and other heaters.

 

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