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Advice about your tenancy

Most tenancies will run trouble free, however occasionally problems can occur. This section provides advice to private housing tenants on what to do when things go wrong.

What are my landlord's responsibilities?

A landlord must:
  • give the tenant their name and address
  • keep a rented property safe and free from health and safety hazards 
  • make sure all gas appliances and fittings are safe to use and provide the tenant with a copy of the annual gas safety record
  • make sure electrical equipment is safely installed and maintained
  • ensure smoke alarms and if needed carbon monoxide alarms are fitted and working at the start of the tenancy
  • give 24 hours notice if they want to visit a property
  • give correct notice if they want a tenant to leave the property
  • provide the tenant with an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) for the property
  • protect a tenant’s deposit in a government approved scheme
  • give a tenant a copy of the 'How to rent' checklist at the start of the tenancy.

GOV.UK - How to rent checklist (external website)

Further information on how to rent a property can be found on the GOV.UK website:

GOV.UK - Private renting (external website)

Some rented houses and flats need a licence from the council. This is to make sure they meet the required standards of health, safety and welfare for the people living there.  If you think the property you live in should have a licence, but doesn’t, you should contact the council. The following pdf document provides a list of all HMO licenses issued by the council:

Register of licensed houses in multiple occupation (pdf 36kb opens in new window)

You can report an issue with your landlord online or call (01482) 396301 (choose option 2).

What are a tenant's responsibilities?

A tenant has certain responsibilities while living in a rented property to:

  • pay the rent on time
  • look after the property and to not deliberately cause damage
  • report repairs to the landlord as soon as possible
  • get the landlord’s permission before decorating or making changes to the property
  • not take a lodger or sub-let the property without your landlord's permission
  • ensure you or guests do not cause anti-social behaviour.

A tenant can be evicted if they break the conditions of their tenancy agreement.

The government have produced a guide to renting privately:

GOV.UK - How to rent checklist (external website)

Further information on how to rent a property can be found on the GOV.UK website:  

GOV.UK - Private renting (external website)

You can get advice if you are in rent arrears or having difficulty in paying your rent from:

Shelter - Rent arrears (external website)

Citizens Advice - Rent arrears (external website)

Money Advice Service - Help with rent arrears (external website)

What is a tenancy agreement?

A tenancy agreement is a contract between a tenant and a landlord which allows the tenant to live in the property as long as they pay the rent and follow the rules of the agreement. It may be a written or spoken agreement and gives certain rights to both a tenant and a landlord. 

There are different types of tenancy which give different rights. The most common type of tenancy for private rented housing is the assured shorthold tenancy (AST) which is usually given for 6 or 12 months. A landlord has to follow certain rules to end an AST.

Shelter offer a useful guide to find out what type of tenancy you have:

Shelter - tenancy rights checker (external website)

You can get more information about tenancy agreements from:

GOV.UK - Private renting for tenants: tenancy agreements (external website)

Shelter - Types of renting agreement (external website)

Can my landlord increase my rent?

You should always agree with your landlord the rent and the arrangements of paying it before you start your tenancy.

How often and when your landlord can increase your rent depends on the type of tenancy you have and whether your tenancy is ‘fixed-term’ for a period of time such as 6 months or rolling ‘periodic’ from week to week or month to month.

If your tenancy is fixed-term, your landlord cannot increase your rent unless you agree to it or it is in your agreement. If there is no fixed-term, or the fixed-term has run out and at least 12 months have passed since the last rent increase, your landlord can increase your rent in 2 ways:

  • you and your landlord agree to a new rent amount

  • by giving you a written notice proposing a rent increase.

If you are given a notice telling you of a proposed new rent, it must be on a special form and you can appeal against the increase if you think it is unfair, before the proposed date of the rent increase.

You can appeal to the First Tier Tribunal (Property Chamber - Residential Property) using their website.

First Tier Tribunal (external website)

More information on rent increases can be found from:

GOV.UK - Rent increases (external website)

Shelter - Rent increase when renting privately (external website)

You can get advice if you are in rent arrears or having difficulty in paying your rent from:

Shelter - Rent arrears (external website)

Citizens Advice - Rent arrears (external website)

Money Advice Service - Help with rent arrears (external website)

Does my landlord have to provide my rented house with smoke alarms?

The law requires landlords of private rented houses to ensure:

  • a smoke alarm is fitted on each storey of the property where there is a room which is wholly or partly used as living accommodation
  • a carbon monoxide alarm is fitted in any room which is used wholly or partly as living accommodation which contains a solid fuel burning appliance, for example coal fire or wood burner
  • each alarm is working on the day a new tenancy begins.

Tenants are required to check the alarms are in working order during the tenancy and notify the landlord if they identify any problems.

Landlords can face potential penalties of up to £5,000 if they don’t comply.

The government has produced a question and answer guide for tenants and landlords.

Smoke and carbon monoxide alarms: explanatory booklet (external website)

You can find advice about fire safety in the home by visiting Humberside Fire and Rescue Service's website:

Fire Safety in the Home (external website)

If the property is a house in multiple occupation the level of fire detection as described above will not be sufficient and a  combination of automatic fire detection and structural fire precautions will be necessary. Some rented houses and flats also need a licence from the council. This is to make sure they meet the required standards of health, safety and welfare for the people living there.  If you think the property you live in should have a licence, but doesn’t, you should contact the council. The following pdf document provides a list of all HMO licences issued by the council:     

Register of licensed houses in multiple occupation (pdf 36kb opens in new window) 

What is the deposit protection scheme?

Since April 2007, the law has required landlords who let their properties using Assured Shorthold Tenancies in England and Wales and who take deposits from tenants, to place or register the deposit with one of the three statutory tenancy deposit schemes (TDP). The government introduced the scheme to make sure a tenancy deposit is protected so that a tenant gets all or part of their deposit back, when they are entitled to it and that any disputes between tenant and landlord or agent will be easier to resolve.

Landlords who fail to use a tenancy deposit scheme not only lose the right to automatically regain possession of the property at the end of a tenancy but may also face a financial penalty.

At the beginning of a new tenancy agreement, a landlord or agent must within 30 days give the tenant details about how the deposit is protected. If you are a tenant and starting a new tenancy and don’t get this information, ask your landlord or agent the simple question – ‘how is my deposit protected?’

There are three authorised schemes which are available for landlords to use:

Deposit Protection Service (DPS) (external website) 

Tel: (0844) 472 7000

MyDeposits (external website) 

Tel: (0844) 980 0290

Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS) (external website)

Tel:  (0845) 226 7837

When you move out, if you and your landlord or agent can’t agree how much of your deposit should be returned, each TDP scheme operates a free alternative dispute resolution (ADR) service.

If your landlord hasn't protected your deposit or refuses to give details of the scheme he or she has used, you can apply to a county court for an order to either pay back your deposit or to protect it in one of the TDP schemes.

Further information on the tenancy deposit scheme can be found on the GOV.UK website:

GOV.UK - Tenancy deposit protection (external website) 

Does the council have a list of letting and managing agents in the East Riding?

The following document provides a list of letting and managing agents who operate within the East Riding and surrounding area.

Landlords and Letting Agents (pdf 195kb opens in new window)

Last Updated: Wednesday, 11 April 2018