Your Rights as a Renter for a Comfortable Home
When renting a property, there is a certain amount of maintenance that is the responsibility for the tenant, however, your landlord is also required to keep the property maintained to a certain standard to ensure you and your family to live comfortably. With the colder weather on its way, make sure you are aware of your rents as a renter and where necessary, get your home brought up to standard before the temperatures drop.
By law, the landlord must ensure the property is in good condition before their tenant occupies the space. After the tenant has moved in, the landlord is legally required to keep your home in a comfortable living condition, this includes; safe operation of all heating, electrical and plumbing systems, running hot and cold water, no leaks in the roof and regularly checking the building is structurally sound.
If your property suffers from some kind of affliction, like pests or damp, and the problem is not a fault of your own doing or caused by an unhygienic lifestyle, the landlord must pay to have these problems fixed.
There are of course ways to prevent these problems in your home before they become out of control and require costly repairs, like never leaving out food, keeping on top of small holes and gaps that open to the outside and living cleanly to keep pests away. Keeping damp at bay can be more difficult, but keeping an eye out for leaks, keeping gutters cleared and reducing humidity across your home to prevent condensation. Click here for more information regarding damp proofing in old buildings.
While a lot of people have a good relationship with their landlord and can simply call them up and the repair will be carried out swiftly. It’s always advantageous to go through the correct processes of requesting a repair in your home. First, you should put something in writing to your landlord, stating what the problem is and how you would like it amended, detail the benefit of making the change or repair and give your landlord time to respond.
If they fail to respond to a reasonable request or refuse your repair request, you can take them to mediation, there are plenty of services available that deal with landlord-tenant communication and help you come to a resolution. Should the repair be a safety concern to you and your family or is in violation of a building or housing code, you can skip mediation and report your landlord to the appropriate authorities. While this can stress a relationship between a tenant and their landlord, it is required by law to provide rental accommodation that doesn’t break health violations or building regulations.
Right to Privacy
If your landlord requires entry to your property, whether to carry out repairs, perform a survey or show a potential tenant, they are required to give you twenty-four hours’ notice at minimum. Your rental agreement may detail a longer notice period and it is worth checking your state law as well as it may require the landlord to give notice of the time they expect to enter and a reason for entering your home.
Returning Your Deposit
When you have moved out and require a return of your deposit, whether housing or security deposit, you cannot be charged or docked the cost of typical wear and tear costs for the time lived in your property. You can, however, be charged for damages so inspect your property carefully before leaving for the last time and ensure everything is taken care of and removed, your landlord can charge you for anything left in the property that requires disposing of.
It’s always good practice to do a walkthrough with your landlord before officially moving into any property and documenting marks and scuffs or potential futures areas for repair. This ensures both of you can be covered when the tenant agreement comes to end. As long as you know your rights and live in the property respectfully and treat it like a home, you should have a long and comfortable tenancy.