As a tenant, both you and your landlord are responsible for different things in your home. It is important that you are well aware of what responsibilities fall to you so you can get them repaired as soon as possible. Likewise, you need to know precisely which responsibilities lie with your landlord so you can report them when a repair is necessary. Let’s take a look at what your responsibilities as a renter are.
Firstly, you must ensure that you have the correct types of insurance to protect you at your property. Your landlord will have special insurance that protects their physical property, but you need a minimum of contents insurance to make sure that your belongings inside are protected.
It is possible to get specific tenant insurance policies which are constructed specially for people who are renting from others. These policies cover not just contents insurance but can also include personal liability insurance.
This might seem like an unusual policy to have in a private residence, but it is very important. Explained simply – personal liability insurance refers to bodily injury or property damage to other people (or their stuff) as a result of your actions, at your home, and anywhere else. While it is important to protect your loved ones when they come to stay, the more critical part of this equation is the protection against property damage. This will help cover any bills your landlord may serve you in the event that one of your friends causes damage to the flat.
Speaking of repairs, it is vital that you know what is to be repaired by you and what constitutes a job for the landlord.
It is relatively simple; most of the simple jobs such as changing light bulbs and fuses will be yours to do. You may also have to conduct minor safety checks like ensuring that the smoke alarms still work. Anything more substantial like structural damage within the property (for example, a leaky roof) will need to be handled by the landlord.
It is crucial that you submit any requests for repair as early as possible and apply polite but persistent pressure if they take a while to get the repairs organised. Do not withhold rent if they are failing to do so as this can give them grounds to evict you.
If you live in a partly or fully furnished apartment or house, you need to know which furniture the landlord will replace and which is your responsibility. This is quite easy to manage; any furniture or appliances brought by you to the flat will be yours to maintain.
Report wear and tear to your landlord for any of the furniture which is supplied by them. In the event that you cause intentional damage to internal furnishings, your landlord may ask you to cover the cost of a replacement. However, if an appliance or piece of furniture reaches the end of its natural life, your landlord should be the one who replaces it.
When it comes to appliances that use gas or electricity, you also need to make sure that such appliances are meeting health and safety standards. If you are unsure about the safety of any of the devices in your rented space, do not use them and bring them to the attention of your landlord immediately.
It is essential to know where you and your landlord stand regarding rights and responsibilities. Without adequately knowing where you stand, you open yourself up to misdirection and potentially paying money that you don’t have to. Always know your rights and responsibilities!