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Landlord and Tenant Rights

As dispute resolution solicitors, we often advise on landlord and tenant rights in relation to rental properties. Due to proposed changes in property law, there has been a lot of confusion around tenant and landlord responsibilities. Do you know your rights as a landlord or tenant?

Landlord and Tenant Rights

Renters Reform Bill

There has been widespread concerns about the Renters Reform Bill, which is due to come into force this year. Prompting panic amongst landlords in late 2023, many chose to sell their portfolios, flooding the housing market with ex-rental properties. However, in some cases, the new regulations have been designed to help landlords tackle antisocial behaviour. At the time of writing, the Bill is due to be read in the House of Lords and there have been amendments.

  • End to no-fault evictions – the abolition of no-fault Section 21 notices for evictions has been proposed. This would mean that a landlord would need a clear reason for evicting a tenant. However, due to the expected extra burden this would cause, there will now be a full review of the court system.

  • Greater rights for landlords – in theory, it should be easier to regain possession of a property from an antisocial tenant. It should also be easier to move into your rented property, if desired, or another family member, along with selling the property.

  • Greater rights for tenants - the abolition of no-fault evictions is a bid to protect tenants’ rights. There is a proposal to introduce a database to prove landlord compliance and a new Ombudsman, which all landlords must join. The Bill proposes to make it illegal to discriminate against renters on benefits or with children, and the right to request to own a pet. Rent increases would also be limited to only once a year.

There are various elements and amendments currently being debated with regards to the Renters Reform Bill. For more information, please see our blog, The Renters (Reform) Bill and possession proceedings for landlords.

Tenant and landlord responsibilities

As a landlord, your responsibilities begin from the moment a tenant agrees to live in your property. If the property is in England, landlords must provide a copy of the How to rent guide to the tenant. This applies to short-term and assured tenancies (where a tenant can live in a property for the rest of their life). Landlords must ensure the property is safe and free from any hazards, carrying out electrical and gas safety checks, and fitting smoke alarms.

As the tenant, you have a responsibility to look after the property, including any gardens and outside areas. Tenants are expected to ensure that properties are well ventilated to prevent condensation, which can cause mouldy conditions. Tenants are also responsible for small jobs such as changing light bulbs. Reasonable wear and tear is expected in a rental property.

Tenants must give landlords access to your rented property if they need to carry out any inspections or repairs. Landlords, however, must give tenants 24 hours’ notice and access needs to occur at a reasonable time of day (unless it’s an emergency).

When it comes to notice periods for ending a tenancy, these will vary depending on the tenancy agreement. Please speak to our solicitors for more guidance.

Tenancy rights explained…

The government website provides detailed guidance on tenancy rights, but we have summarised key ones below:

If you’re a tenant, you have the following rights:

  • To live in a safe property, which is in a good state of repair, and to live undisturbed. This includes not being threatened or having a landlord come into your home without your permission. Unless it’s an emergency, a landlord cannot just let themselves in.

  • To know who your landlord is and to have your deposit returned at the end of your tenancy. This also includes landlords entering your home for viewings because your tenancy is ending; they must agree a mutually agreeable time with you.

  • To be protected against unfair eviction and unfair levels of rent, which includes being able to challenge excessively high charges. Your landlord has the right to contact you about any missed payments and they can take court action. They are not allowed, however, to threaten you with illegal eviction.

There are other rights relating to having written agreements for fixed-term tenancies and to see a property’s Energy Performance Certificate. There may also be different rights if you live in a shared house or HMO (house in multiple occupation). As a tenant, you still have rights even if you do not have a written agreement or when a fixed-term tenancy ends.

Dispute resolution advice for landlords

In the year ahead, the expected changes to regulation such as the Renters Reform Bill are likely to cause confusion for both landlords and tenants. It’s important to understand your rights and responsibilities before escalating a dispute relating to a rental property. Always speak to a specialist dispute resolution solicitor with experience in property law.


At Salusbury Harding & Barlow, we regularly advise landlords and tenants, helping them to navigate and resolve tenancy disputes. Our team offer sympathetic, expert advice to keep you on the right side of the law. If you are a landlord with one or more properties, our residential property team are on hand to explain any legislative changes.


If you’re a landlord or tenant in dispute over a rental property, please get in touch. Email: to arrange a face-to-face or telephone appointment.




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