When you’re living in rented accommodation, you have to abide by a series of rules. After all, this is someone else’s property! Some of these rules are set out explicitly in the tenancy agreement, which you should have signed at the outset of the tenancy. Others are unspoken rules or even courtesies which you might pay to remain on good terms with your landlord.
Image by Gerd Altmann
Let’s take a look at a few of the more common violations, and see how you can avoid a dispute. Note that many of the problems we’ll discuss can be avoided through the right tenant’s insurance, which will guard against damage to contents.
If your agreement expressly forbids smoking in the building, then there’s no real getting around it. Even if you hang out of the window, or spray air-freshener, you‘ll be in violation. If your home has a balcony or a garden, then you’ll probably be safe smoking there – but it’s worth clarifying this with your landlord.
If you smoke, or someone you’ve invited over smokes, then you might be handed a notice – or, more likely, given a warning. If your smoking has inflicted damage on the property, even if it’s just a persistent odor in the carpet, then you might be expected to pay to have it corrected.
Subletting might be forbidden by your tenancy agreement. Landlords tend to frown on the practice for several reasons: it introduces unknown third parties into the property, it creates the risk that the sub-tenant will remain in occupation should you leave, and it might create a licensing problem if the property has gone beyond its legal capacity.
If you’re deciding to leave the property, then you’ll need to give notice of your intention to leave, even if your contract is ending. Until you give notice, you’ll need to pay rent on the property. Landlords might issue deductions from your deposit depending on the state of the property, so make sure that you’ve paid attention, and that you’re aware of any potential problems.
Non-payment of Rent
If you haven’t paid the rent, then your landlord has grounds to eject you. If you’re in a shared house, and just one person isn’t paying, then you might think that you’re safe – but if you read the agreement, you might find that you’re jointly liable.
Here’s where you ideally need to build an understanding with your neighbors. If you’re persistently creating an irritation, then you might find that they do something about it by complaining. Enough complaints and your landlord might have the problem recorded so that they can obtain grounds to eject you. Or, they might issue a section 21 notice – although in this case, you would have at least six months to find another place to live.