A Westmorland and Furness Council Project

Advice For Tenants

As a tenant, you have an important role to play within your rented home.

How you treat your home and report problems to your landlord directly affects your health, wellbeing, and the property conditions you live in.

Making your landlord aware of problems early means repairs are quicker and simpler to make, preventing your home falling into disrepair or having to move out because it is no longer habitable.

Your Responsibilities As A Tenant

  • Your landlord will need access to your home to make sure it is safe and healthy, and to make repairs. They need to give you at least 24 hours’ notice beforehand, unless there is an emergency.  
    If you don’t provide your landlord access to your home for inspections or repair works, the condition of your property may get worse.
  • You must take care of your home, keeping it reasonably clean, including any outside areas.
  • Ventilate your home to curb condensation and avoid mould growth
  • Let your landlord know of any problems that need repair as soon as you are aware of them.
  • You are responsible for repairing furniture or appliances you own, any damage caused by you or your guests, and any repairs that are stated in your tenancy agreement.
  • If repairs are needed or you’re having disagreements with your landlord, you should not stop paying your rent, as this puts you at risk of eviction.

See also Private renting: repairs - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

For more on your responsibilities as a tenant, see also Landlord and tenant responsibilities for repairs - Shelter England (www.england.shelter.org.uk)

Your Rights As A Tenant

As a tenant, you have certain rights. The home you live in must be safe, healthy, and well maintained.

You have a right to know the identity of your landlord. If you’re not entirely sure who your landlord is, write to the company or person who takes the rent. If this information isn’t provided within 21 days, your landlord can be fined.

You have a right to ‘quiet enjoyment’ of your home. This means that your landlord should not disturb you without a good reason, for example to fix anything you’ve reported as being broken, to check the gas, or to check the state of the property.

Documents Your Landlord Should Give You

Tenancy Deposit Protection

If your landlord has taken a deposit from you, and you have an assured shorthold tenancy, you have the right to have your tenancy deposit protected. Your deposit should also return to you when your tenancy ends.

Energy Performance Certificate

Your landlord should give you a copy of the Energy Performance Certificate (known as an EPC) associated with your home at the start of your tenancy. They should show you a copy before you take on the tenancy, too.

Electrical Safety

Your home’s electrical systems must be inspected and safe. They should be inspected at least every 5 years by someone qualified and competent. Your landlord should provide you with this document (known as an EICR) within 28 days of an inspection.

If you’re a new tenant, your landlord should give this to you before you move in. You can also request one as a prospective tenant, which they should give you within 28 days of receiving a request.

There must be at least one smoke alarm on every floor of the property. Carbon monoxide alarms must be present within 2 meters of any combustion appliance (such as a gas or oil boiler, coal/gas fire, or wood burning stove).

All alarms must be checked by your landlord on the day your tenancy starts, to ensure they are working. They must also keep a record of when these alarms are tested.

See also Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarms - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Gas Safety Certificate

Your landlord should also give you a Gas Safety Certificate if there are any gas appliances or flues in your home. This confirms that these appliances have been checked annually and are safe to use.

The Gas Safety Certificate should be available to you before you move in, or within 28 days of the check. 

You have a right to be protected from unfair rent and eviction, as well as the right to challenge very high rents.

Written Tenancy Agreement

If your tenancy is fixed-term, and it runs longer than 3 years, you should have a written agreement. It is strongly advisable that you have a written agreement no matter what type of tenancy you have.

How To Rent Booklet

At the start of an assured shorthold tenancy, your landlord or letting agent should give you a copy of the How To Rent Booklet

See also Private renting: Your rights and responsibilities - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Damp And Mould Guide

Damp and mould is everyone's problem. Learn how to identify different forms of damp, how to reduce condensation, and how to treat mould.


Do you know how safe your home is? There are 29 hazards under HHSRS that can harm your wellbeing and your home. 

What To Do If There's A Problem

If there is an issue with your property, you should make your landlord aware of the problem in writing and keep a record of all communication, just in case anything goes wrong. It's helpful to do this as soon as you notice the problem, as issues caught early are much easier to fix.

The Shelter website has letter templates for this. If you are able, take pictures of the problem, especially if it is likely to get worse. This will also help your landlord identify what's causing the issue.  

Contact Us

If you have any questions and would like to speak to the Healthy Homes Team, click the link and we’ll be in touch to help.

Report A Property

If a property has some disrepair that hasn't been sorted, the Healthy Homes Team are here to help you. Fill out the Report A Property form to let us know about the problem.

Helpful Links For Tenants