For some the most affordable way of living is through renting, however although there can be a lot of pros to renting, there are also a few cons as well. We take a look into some of the issues some tenants face when renting.
One common issue when renting is deposits. According to the Government website, all landlords must place their tenants’ deposit in a tenancy deposit protection (TDP) scheme if you rent out your home on an assured shorthold tenancy, which came into force in April 2007.
Between the period of (2008-2017) the size of deposit protection funds in England and Wales has increased dramatically by over 350% with the number of protected households increasing by around 300%. This is the result of new renters entering the market, and existing renters starting new tenancies that fell under the new regime. The extent of this growth can be seen below with deposit protection funds totalling around £4 billion as of March of 2017.
These government-backed schemes ensure that will get their deposit back if you:
- Meet the terms of your tenancy agreement
- Do not damage the property
- Pay the rent and bills
Your tenancy deposit must be protected with an approved tenancy deposit protection scheme if you are an assured shorthold tenant. As well as this your landlord has 30 days from when you pay to protect it and provide you with information about the scheme used. You could take your landlord to court to claim compensation if they don’t.
How do I check if my deposit has been protected?
You can actually check whether your tenancy deposit has been protected, through three deposit protection scheme providers. Your landlord or agent chooses which scheme to use and they must give you certain written information about where your deposit is protected.
These are the three scheme websites where you can go and check whether or mot your deposit is being protected:
- Depost Protection Service (DPS)
- Tennacy Depost Scheme (TDS)
All you need is a postcode, surname, tenancy start date and deposit amount to search. If you are having problems accessing your online account you can call your scheme on the following numbers:
- Depost Protection Service (DPS) – 0330 303 0030
- Tennacy Depost Scheme (TDS) – 0300 037 1000
- Mydeposits – 0333 321 9401
If you can’t find your deposit, search again if it is a joint tenancy by using the other tenant’s surname. At the end of the tenancy, the deposit must be returned to you within 10 days of you both agreeing how much they’ll get back.
If the deposit is made by a third party, then the landlord must use a TDP scheme even if the deposit is paid by someone else, like a rent deposit scheme or a tenant’s parents.
If you would like to know some more information regarding your deposit and whether or not it is protected and how to go about getting your deposit back, then you can visit https://www.thetenantsvoice.co.uk/.
The Tenants’ Voice is one of the biggest tenant communities in the UK. They publish guides and content that help tenants learn their rights and responsibilities when renting a property. To more about The Tenants’ Voice and the work that they do you can visit their website by clicking here.
The Cost to Tenants
A challenge for many tenants is the need to provide a large sum of cash to secure a tenancy, often before receiving a deposit back from a previous tenancy. For tenants who have little savings and may be forced to move for reasons outside their control – the tenancy might have been ended by the landlord, or prompted by the end of a relationship – taking out an interest – bearing short – term loan may be the only option.
Information the landlord must give to you
Within 30 days of the landlord getting the deposit, they must tell you:
- The address of the rented property.
- How much deposit you have paid.
- How the deposit is protected
- The name and contact details of the tenancy deposit protection (TDP) scheme and it’s dispute resolution service.
- Your landlord (or your letting agency’s) name and contact details, why your landlord would keep some or all of the deposit – for example, because you have damaged the property and the landlord needs to fix it.
- How to apply to get the deposit back at the end of the tenancy, what to do if you cannot get hold of them at the end of the tenancy and what to do if there’s a dispute over the amount of deposit to be returned at the end of the tenancy.
If your landlord doesn’t protect your deposit you can apply to a county court if they did not use a tenancy deposit protection (TDP) scheme when they have to. As well as this if the court finds that the landlord has not protected your deposit, it can order the landlord to either:
Another common issue
Another common problem when renting privately is the home leaking or squeaking. From roofs to rodents, the things that can go wrong in a rented home can seem endless. So what happens if something does go wrong and who is actually responsible for fixing the issue? According to Shelter it is the landlord who is ultimately responsible for most repairs in your home. This not only applies to private landlords, but to councils and housing associations too.
Landlord and tenant responsibilities for repairs
Their responsibilities include repairs to:
- Electrical wiring
- Gas pipes and boilers
- Heating and hot water
- Chimneys and ventilation
- Sinks, baths, toilets, pipes and drains
- Common areas including entrance halls and stairways
- The structure and exterior of the building, including walls, stairs and bannister, roof, external doors and windows.
Your landlord should also redecorate if needed once the problem is fixed. Your landlord is always responsible for these repairs even if your tenancy agreement says something different.
However during the coronavirus outbreak, guidance on timescales and access to your home for repairs may vary depending on lockdown rules. If you have any questions then visit the GOV.UK website.
Check your contract for extra responsibilities
Your tenancy agreement might give your landlord additional responsibilities for repairs.
For example, there could be a term stating that the landlord is responsible for repairing faulty appliances such as a fridge or washing machine.
Landlord’s responsibility for health and safety
Your landlord should make sure that your home is safe and free from any hazards.
Unless you have a fixed term tenancy which began before 20 March 2019, your landlord must make sure your home is fit to live in throughout your tenancy.
What other things is my landlord responsible for?
Your landlord must deal with damp and mould problems that are caused by disrepair or make the property unfit to live in. Your landlord must also carry out any repairs needed to stop pests getting in your home. As well as this, they must also arrange gas safety checks every year and they must make sure that wiring, plug sockets and any electrical appliances they provide are safe and in addition to all of this they must also install smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms where needed.
Your landlord asks you to leave talk to someone, we’ll do our best
Your landlord can give you a section 21 notice if they want to end your tenancy. You don’t have to leave at the end of the notice. Your landlord must apply to court for a possession order.
Eviction of assured shorthold tenants
From June 1st 2021 bailiffs can carry out section 21 evictions again. The process still takes time and notice from your landlord is only the start of the process.
How you can be evicted
Most private renters are assured shorthold tenants.
There are two different processes your landlord could use to end your tenancy.
These start with giving you either a:
- Section 21 notice.
- Section 8 notice.
Your landlord might give both types of eviction notice at the same time.
When the notice period ends your landlord can apply to court for an eviction order.
According to the Government website, https://www.gov.uk/private-renting, you
must prove that you have a right to rent property in England if you’re:
- Starting a tenancy on or after 1 February 2016.
- Renting it as your main home.
You will not have to prove your right to rent if you live in:
- Student accommodation, for example halls of residence.
- Accommodation provided by your employer as part of your job or training.
- Social housing.
- Accommodation provided by the council.
- Hostels and refuges.
- A care home, hospital or hospice.
- Accommodation with a lease of 7 or more years.
Whatever you problem or issues with regards to renting Ministry of rooms is always here to try and help guide you in the right way. If you would like any more information then please go to the Tenants’ Voice website or the Government website and as always if you are looking to find a London spare room, studio flats to rent in London, rooms for rent, student accommodation or a flat for sharing on Ministryofrooms.com.