Wednesday, 6 July 2022

What Are Tenants Responsible For?

Tenants are very used to the long list of don’ts that they are given when they first rent a property. Don’t redecorate. Don’t hang pictures. Don’t cause any damage. The list goes on.

Tenancy agreements also contain a list of must dos but, the focus on the don’ts can often overshadow them leaving tenants with the impression that as the property is very clearly not theirs, any problems to do with the property is for their landlord to sort out.

However, not all problems are the responsibility of the landlord. Some of them are for the tenant to sort out. So if you are a tenant what is it that you are responsible for?

The first thing is obvious. You must pay your rent.

The second is one that tenants often think is the responsibility of their landlord but is in fact yours. You must look after the drains. If you block them then it is your responsibility to unblock them. Most tenancy agreements stipulate that no cooking oils or fats are to be put down the drains as that will increase the likelihood of them being blocked.

Yet another thing that often catches tenants out. Tenants are responsible for replacing any blown lightbulbs. Lightbulbs are usually itemised in the check-in inventory and if when you hand the keys back you have failed to replace any blown bulbs the cost of them can be deducted from your deposit.

Tenants are responsible for handing back the garden in the state that it was in at the beginning of their tenancy. Even if you don’t use it you will still need to make sure that you look after it. Deductions can be made from your deposit if the landlord needs to hire a gardener to bring it back up to scratch at the end of your tenancy.

You are responsible for paying your utility bills unless your tenancy agreement explicitly states that these are included in your rent. Failing to pay these can not only result in large amounts of debt owing to the utility companies but can also result in the utilities to the property being cut off.

If there is an issue with your property then you need to report it promptly. Most repairs are easier, quicker and cheaper to fix if they are attended to promptly. If left many issues become worse, especially if the issue is a leak as there is the potential for the water to cause a great deal of damage to the property.

It is the responsibility of the tenant to make sure that the property is kept safe and secure.

It is also your responsibility to pay to insure the contents of the property as landlord insurance does not cover the tenant’s belongings. It is not uncommon for it to be written into the tenancy agreement that you must not leave the property unoccupied for a period of more than 14 days. If you do go away for a prolonged period of time you will need to inform your landlord and insurance company.

If ever you are unsure as to whether you should report an issue or deal with it yourself please give our expert lettings team a call on 01925 235 338 and we will be happy to give you our advice.

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