A Guide to Renting: Your Responsibilities as a Tenant

A Tenant Guide To Renting In Edinburgh

Now that you’ve found a flat that you love, how do you make sure you keep it for as long as you’d like? Well, doing the following is certainly going to endear you to your landlord and/or letting agents. And it’s no hardship, really:

Pay your rent on time.

The number one ‘essential duty’ for a tenant. Not paying on time messes with the landlord’s mortgage payments and you can be sure he or she will be straight on the phone to find out what’s happened if it doesn’t go in on the due date. It’s also in breach of your tenancy agreement.

Report any maintenance issues ASAP.

Your landlord hopes you will treat their property as you would your own. This means, the minute you find a leaking pipe, damp patch on the ceiling or suspect the boiler is playing up then let him or her know. That way, you’ll be more comfortable and it means the landlord can get on to the problem before it gets any worse. And, on this note, make sure you have your landlord’s number or the letting agents to hand. It’s also a good idea to have the number of an emergency plumber in case you can’t get hold of the former. Make sure you know where the stop cock, fuse box and meters are.

Keep parties to a minimum.

It’s fine to have a big get-together with friends every now and again – but not every night or even on the weekend. And if you suspect your party may get a bit noisy then it’s only fair to let the neighbours know about the event a few days or a week, beforehand.

Being a good neighbour isn’t just handy for when you go off the weekend and want someone to keep an eye on the flat, it also means you are less likely to be reported to the council for Anti-Social Behaviour (which could even to eviction).

Landlord duties in looking after tenants

Meanwhile, what can you expect from your landlord in return? Well, for starters he or she should be making sure that any issues with electrical appliances not working property (such as lights, the washing machine, hoover etc) are fixed within a reasonable time scale.

Similarly, structural repairs (such as a draughty window panel, loose guttering etc) should also be carried out when reported.

The boiler should also be serviced every year and the gas checked on the same basis. In terms of your own welfare it’s necessary to have both a carbon monoxide detector fitted in a room where there is a gas or wood fire.

There should also be multiple smoke and heat alarms in the flat and, if you’re a tenant in an HMO then the means to deal with a fire too, such as a fire safety blanket, fire extinguisher and usually emergency lighting provision.

Finally, your landlord or letting agent is also responsible for banking your deposit with one of three tenancy deposit schemes:

  •  Letting Protection Service Scotland
  •  Safe Deposits Scotland
  •  my deposits Scotland

They should let you know in writing which scheme they have chosen and when the money was deposited within 30 days of your moving into their property.

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