If you're a private tenant or are considering renting from a private landlord, the government's booklet 'How to Rent: the checklist for renting in England' outlines your rights and responsibilities.
This guide covers each stage of the rental process, including:
- what to look out for before renting
- living in a rented home
- if you're asked to leave
- what happens at the end of a tenancy
- what to do if things go wrong
View our short video for helpful advice about renting safely.
See further information about:
- Legal requirements for tenancies
- Rent repayment orders
- Habitable homes
- Reporting concerns about private rented accommodation
Legal requirements for tenancies
For tenancies issued after 1 October 2015, your landlord must provide:
- an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)
- a gas safety certificate for the property
- a copy of the government booklet 'How to Rent'
Landlords will not be able to ask you leave their property under the Section 21 procedure ('Notice to quit') if they fail to comply with these requirements.
Landlords must also have registered deposits with a tenancy deposit protection scheme.
If you share part of your landlord's home, your rights will be different; see further information on renting rooms in someone's home on GOV.UK.
Rent repayment orders
A Rent Repayment Order (RRO) requires repayment of rent, housing benefit or the housing costs element of universal credit to be paid by a landlord or agent who has committed certain housing related offences.
It is not necessary that the landlord or agent has actually been convicted, but in order to grant an RRO, a tribunal considering the case must be satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that a relevant offence has been committed.
An RRO can require the repayment of a sum of up to a maximum of 12 months’ rent.
On 20 March 2019 a new law came into force to make sure that rented houses and flats are ‘fit for human habitation’, which means that they are safe, healthy and free from things that could cause serious harm.
Reporting concerns about private rented accommodation
We recommend that you report any concerns about the health and safety of your private rented accommodation to your landlord or agent in the first instance.
Use our online form to report concerns about your rented home if you continue to have problems.