Private tenant rights and responsibilities

You have certain rights and responsibilities if you’re a tenant in privately rented property.

As a tenant, you have the right to:

  • live in a property that’s safe and in a good state of repair
  • have your deposit returned when the tenancy ends and in some circumstances have it protected
  • challenge excessively high charges
  • know who your landlord is
  • live in the property undisturbed
  • see an Energy Performance Certificate for the property
  • be protected from unfair eviction and unfair rent
  • have a written agreement if you have a fixed-term tenancy of more than three years
If you have a tenancy agreement, it should be fair and comply with the law

If you don’t know who your landlord is, write to the person or company you pay rent to. Your landlord can be fined if they don’t give you this information within 21 days.

The Government's How to Rent Guide for tenants in private rented housing is available to help better understand rights and responsibilities. It provides a checklist along with more detailed information on each stage of the process, including what to look out for before renting, living in a rented home and what happens at the end of a tenancy.

Your responsibilities

You must give your landlord access to the property to inspect it or carry out repairs. Your landlord has to give you at least 24 hours’ notice and visit at a reasonable time of day, unless it’s an emergency and they need immediate access.

You must also:

  • take good care of the property, e.g. turn off the water at the mains if you’re away in cold weather and prevent condensation
  • pay the agreed rent, even if repairs are needed or you’re in dispute with your landlord
  • pay other charges as agreed with the landlord, e.g. Council Tax or utility bills
  • repair or pay for any damage caused by you, your family or friends
  • only sublet a property if the tenancy agreement or your landlord allows it
Your landlord has the right to take legal action to evict you if you don’t meet your responsibilities