Rented Accommodation

If you live in rented accommodation, then it’s important that you have an idea of your rights as a tenant. Even though you don’t own the property, if you live as a tenant then you have a number of useful rights given to you by law.

One of the most important rights you have is not to be evicted without good reason, and even if the landlord has a good reason they will need to get a court order before you can be evicted. If a landlord evicts you without a court order then they may be committing a criminal offence. A court must first make an order for possession against you, and then if you do not leave by the date ordered, the landlord must apply to bailiffs for a warrant of eviction.

There are certain occasions when a court must make an order for possession against you. These include:

  • If the owner wants to come back into the house to live in it;
  • If the house is being repossessed (for example by the landlord’s mortgage company);
  • You delay or refuse essential works or maintenance;
  • You are behind with your rent by a certain amount (if your rent is payable monthly then the amount is two months’ rent);
  • The tenancy has come to the end of its agreed length and the landlord has served notice on you that they want you to leave.

There are other occasions when the landlord can ask a court for an order for possession to be made, and the court will use its discretion to decide whether or not it considers it reasonable to grant an order. These include:

  • If you are in breach of the terms of the tenancy agreement;
  • If you are often late with rent payments (even if your payments are up to date).

An eviction should never come as a surprise to you – you shouldn’t wake up one day to find bailiffs or your landlord banging on the door requiring you to leave. If that does happen, there is a good chance that the eviction is unlawful.

Because the landlord needs a court order, they are required to go through formal court proceedings. That requires either the landlord or the court to send to you a copy of the landlord’s possession claim against you. You will then have the opportunity to respond to that claim – for example to dispute any facts or to put forward reasons why you think it would be unreasonable to grant an order against you.

In many cases the court will also require there to be a formal hearing to decide whether or not a possession order should be granted. The court will send you notice of when this hearing will take place so that you can attend if you want to.

If a possession order is then granted, the court will send a copy of this to you so that you know when you are required to leave.

If you don’t leave by the date you are ordered to, then bailiffs can issue a warrant of eviction. Again, you will be sent a copy of this and it will set out the date on which the eviction will take place. If you still don’t leave by that date then bailiffs can use reasonable force to remove you from the premises, and they may be assisted by the police.

In addition to the right not to be evicted, you have other general rights as a tenant. For example:

  • The landlord cannot turn up uninvited to inspect the property – reasonable notice must be given;
  • The landlord cannot prevent you from having visitors to the property;
  • The landlord cannot tell you to leave or make threats against you if you don’t (they must go through the courts, as above);
  • The landlord cannot remove access to gas, electricity or water.

Always make sure you agree a signed Tenancy Agreement with the landlord and keep a copy of it for your own records. It will have many details about the obligations of both you and your landlord and can be very useful in the event of later disputes.

If you live in rented accommodation, then it’s important that you have an idea of your rights as a tenant. Even though you don’t own the property, if you live as a tenant then you have a number of useful rights given to you by law.

One of the most important rights you have is not to be evicted without good reason, and even if the landlord has a good reason they will need to get a court order before you can be evicted. If a landlord evicts you without a court order then they may be committing a criminal offence. A court must first make an order for possession against you, and then if you do not leave by the date ordered, the landlord must apply to bailiffs for a warrant of eviction.

There are certain occasions when a court must make an order for possession against you. These include:

  • If the owner wants to come back into the house to live in it;
  • If the house is being repossessed (for example by the landlord’s mortgage company);
  • You delay or refuse essential works or maintenance;
  • You are behind with your rent by a certain amount (if your rent is payable monthly then the amount is two months’ rent);
  • The tenancy has come to the end of its agreed length and the landlord has served notice on you that they want you to leave.

There are other occasions when the landlord can ask a court for an order for possession to be made, and the court will use its discretion to decide whether or not it considers it reasonable to grant an order. These include:

  • If you are in breach of the terms of the tenancy agreement;
  • If you are often late with rent payments (even if your payments are up to date).

An eviction should never come as a surprise to you – you shouldn’t wake up one day to find bailiffs or your landlord banging on the door requiring you to leave. If that does happen, there is a good chance that the eviction is unlawful.

Because the landlord needs a court order, they are required to go through formal court proceedings. That requires either the landlord or the court to send to you a copy of the landlord’s possession claim against you. You will then have the opportunity to respond to that claim – for example to dispute any facts or to put forward reasons why you think it would be unreasonable to grant an order against you.

In many cases the court will also require there to be a formal hearing to decide whether or not a possession order should be granted. The court will send you notice of when this hearing will take place so that you can attend if you want to.

If a possession order is then granted, the court will send a copy of this to you so that you know when you are required to leave.

If you don’t leave by the date you are ordered to, then bailiffs can issue a warrant of eviction. Again, you will be sent a copy of this and it will set out the date on which the eviction will take place. If you still don’t leave by that date then bailiffs can use reasonable force to remove you from the premises, and they may be assisted by the police.

In addition to the right not to be evicted, you have other general rights as a tenant. For example:

  • The landlord cannot turn up uninvited to inspect the property – reasonable notice must be given;
  • The landlord cannot prevent you from having visitors to the property;
  • The landlord cannot tell you to leave or make threats against you if you don’t (they must go through the courts, as above);
  • The landlord cannot remove access to gas, electricity or water.

Always make sure you agree a signed Tenancy Agreement with the landlord and keep a copy of it for your own records. It will have many details about the obligations of both you and your landlord and can be very useful in the event of later disputes.

Get in contact with us today...
Hill & Abbott will not pass your details on to any third party company or organisation.

Burgundy Court
64-66 Springfield Rd
Chelmsford
CM2 6JY

01245 258 892

enquiries@hill-abbott.co.uk

Connect with us.