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Private tenants

As a tenant you have rights;  these vary depending on the type of tenancy you have.  Most new private tenancies created after 27 February 1997 are usually assured shorthold tenancies.  You will normally be given a fixed term tenancy, generally for 6 months or 12 months. As a tenant you have responsibilities, such as adhering to the rules of your tenancy agreement, failure to do so could result in you losing your home.    The general principals of a tenancy are that you pay your rent when your rent is due, you take care of the property and you do not cause a nuisance to your neighbours.

If you do not have a formal tenancy agreement with your landlord as you have entered into a verbal agreement with your landlord the agreement you have is as legally binding as a written tenancy agreement.  However, verbal agreements can be more difficult to enforce if there are any disputes.

After the period of your tenancy expires, the tenancy can be renewed.  If it is not and you do not have to leave, your tenancy will automatically continue on the same basis as before, but will roll from month to month or week to week rather than being for a fixed period.

If you wish to bring your tenancy to an end, you can do this by giving your landlord notice in writing to end the tenancy.  If you pay your rent weekly you should provide your landlord with a minimum of four weeks written notice.  If you pay your rent monthly you should provide your landlord with one month written notice.  The notice must also end on the first or last day of a period of your tenancy.  The first day of a period of the tenancy is usually the day rent is due. Once the notice expires to end the tenancy you no longer have any rights to live at the property.   You should be mindful that if you have a fixed term tenancy you cannot give notice during the fixed term, unless your tenancy agreement allows for this.

If your tenancy started before 27 February 1997 or your landlord lives at the same address as you, your rights may be very different.  In which case you should make contact with this Council's Housing Options Team, who will be able to provide you with further advice and assistance in respect of your housing rights.

In order for your landlord to evict you s/he first has to give you written notice.  Generally this should be a minimum of two months notice in writing. If you receive a notice from your landlord this Council's Housing Options Team will be able to provide you with further advice and assistance regarding its validity.

Advice on becoming a private tenant

Advice on landlord and tenant issues

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