Rights and Responsibilities in an Assured Shorthold Tenancy

When signing an assured shorthold tenancy, it is essential to know what your landlord’s and your rights and responsibilities are.

Landlord’s Responsibilities

    • Keeping in good repair the structure and exterior of the house, including drains, gutters, and external pipes.  
    • Keeping in good repair and proper working order, the installations for the supply of water, gas, electricity, sanitation (including basins, sinks, baths and sanitary conveniences), and for heating rooms and heating water.  
    • Undertaking repairs within a reasonable period. What constitutes as reasonable will depend on the nature of the repair.  
    • Giving you at least 24 hours’ notice to enter the property.  
    • Providing you with a copy of the valid current Gas Safety Certificate.  
    • Making sure furniture he/she supplied meets relevant safety regulations. (See Staying safe section).  
    • Protecting your deposit within 30 days of receiving it, and giving you the ‘prescribed information’. (See Deposits section).  
    • Providing an up to date copy of the ‘How to Rent’ booklet  
    • Providing a copy of the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). This will affect your bills as higher ratings lead to lower bills.  
    • Anything else you may have agreed in the contract.

Landlord of HMOs (Houses in Multiple Occupation)

Your landlord has some additional responsibilities if you live in a property of three or more unrelated individuals. These include responsibility for provision of bins, provision of shared facilities and maintenance of shared areas.

It is mandatory for all HMOs occupied by five or more people to have a licence issued by the local authority. Many local authorities, including Charnwood Borough Council, have introduced additional licensing schemes for HMOs of three or four occupants.

You can read more about the responsibilities of landlords of HMOs here.

Tenant’s Responsibilities

  • Providing the relevant documents such as your passport or BRP card to prove you have a Right to Rent.
  • Paying rent on time  
  • Using the premises as a private dwelling and not for business purposes  
  • Acting in a ‘tenant-like manner’.   
  • Taking reasonable steps to prevent the water pipes from freezing – if you leave the property unoccupied during cold weather keep the heating on low (e.g., over Christmas).  
  • Securing the property when you go away – lock all doors and windows.  
  • Informing the Council of your student status for council tax purposes.  
  • Your household and any visitors.  
  • Take care of the contents that have been provided.  
  • Reporting any repairs as required in the contract immediately. Follow this up in writing, email is acceptable and keep a copy. 
  • Informing the landlord immediately if you break or damage anything.  
  • Asking your landlord/agent’s permission when necessary (e.g. hanging pictures, painting walls).  
  • Ending the tenancy as outlined in the contract.  
  • Keeping to the terms and conditions of the contract and anything else you have agreed in the contract.

Tenant’s Rights

    • The name, address and contact details of the landlord. 
    • Stay in the property until the contract ends.  
    • Exclusive possession and your landlord should not disturb your right to quiet enjoyment.  
    • Your deposit being protected.  
    • Have certain repairs completed for you.  
    • Evidence that the property meets necessary safety standards (eg up to date gas safety certificate/HMO licence/electrical safety certificates as appropriate).  
    • Have the property in a habitable state. 

Most terms in the contract are likely to be legally binding and if you are in breach of an obligation your landlord may be able to take legal action against you. Some terms, however, will not be legally binding. For example, a term requiring the tenant to repair or replace all broken glass in windows is void, because Section 11 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 provides this is the landlord responsibility, unless the damage was caused by the tenant or the tenants’ guest(s). If you are in any doubt, seek advice from the Student Advice and Support Service. 

Last Updated: 28th September 2023