Renting property in East London – have you breached your tenancy agreement?
If one of your New Year’s Resolutions is to move home in 2019, you’re probably checking postcodes on property portals and doing your maths – both very important steps when you’re looking for a new rental. But it’s also important to understand the tenancy agreement you’re signing up to. Did you know that one in seven breach it at one time or another, running the risk of a bad reference or even eviction? So, at risk of sounding like your dad, I’m going to take you through some common oversights, consider the consequences and how to avoid them.
Most common breaches of tenancy agreements
Here are some of the top tenancy breaches, all of which you should be aware of before you sign up to a new tenancy agreement. If you’ve done any of them before and not been caught out, you’ve been lucky – please do remember that crossed fingers might not work next time.
- Non-payment of rent
- Failure to report damage
- Smoking inside the property
- Having an unauthorised pet on the premises
- Damaging or altering the property
- Changing the door locks
- Causing a disturbance to neighbours
- Subletting a room or the entire property without the landlord’s permission
- Failure to clean the windows
- Redecorating without the landlord’s permission
- Failure to check the carbon monoxide or smoke alarm
While the landlord is responsible for the repair and maintenance of the building itself, and fittings like the bathroom and kitchen, some responsibilities fall to the tenant too.
As part of your tenancy agreement, you must:
- Keep the property clean
- Not damage it
- Carry out minor maintenance e.g. replacing light bulbs and smoke alarm batteries
- Report more major maintenance needs, e.g. problems with the boiler or a blocked drain.
- Keep it ventilated
- Look after your own furniture and possessions
Landlords must make sure that the property has appropriate locks, alarm systems etc, and it is your responsibility as tenant to use them and keep the property secure.
Consequences of tenancy breaches
The terms of tenancy agreements are not unreasonable, and there’s no reason why anyone should break them. But for those that do, there are consequences.
Losing your deposit
The reason that tenants are asked to pay a deposit alongside the first month’s rent is to cover damage to the property beyond the expected wear and tear. After you move out, the property will be inspected and the cost of repairs calculated. This amount will be deducted from your deposit and the remainder given back to you. It’s in your interests to look after your rental property while you live there, otherwise you could end up out of pocket.
If you plan to rent again in the future, the last thing you want is a bad reference. Be a good tenant and look after the property and you won’t have to worry.
While eviction is usually a last resort, it does happen. Be a great tenant and you’ll never suffer eviction. Our pre-tenancy checks will have shown that you can cover the rent, but if your circumstances change, please, please talk to us as soon as you can.
Rent a home in East London
Most tenants stick to their tenancy agreements and get their deposits back at the end of the tenancy. If there’s anything in your Dockleys tenancy agreement that you’re not sure about, talk to me, Adam Dockley, on 020 3633 4440 – I’ll be able to explain it and keep you from unwittingly breaking your contract!