Majority of tenants append their signature on their tenancy lease agreement without fully understanding the content and obligations spelt out for each of the concerned parties.
This could lead to possible conflict between the tenant and the landlord whenever a challenge arises.
Understanding of one’s rights as a tenant not only ensures cohesion but also provides a level ground for parties to engage and live harmoniously.
We explore some of the basic rights one is supposed to enjoy as a tenant:
- Right to a habitable environment
It is the responsibility of a landlord to ensure that the space being rented out is in a habitable condition. A pre-occupation inspection is always necessary so as to identify areas that might need to be fixed before occupation.
As a tenant, ensure the status of the house is well documented prior to entry as the landlord will expect you to leave the space in its original condition. The landlord should also ensure common areas are kept clean at all times.
- Privacy Rights
It is important to have your privacy rights respected at all times since you are living in someone else’s space. The property owner is not expected to enter into your rented space any time they wish to, unless they communicate prior to entry at a time of your convenience. Ensure this is clearly captured in the tenancy agreement before appending your signature. The only exception would be if there is an emergency such as a fire.
- Repairs and Maintenance Rights
It is the duty of the landlord to make sure that your repair and maintenance requests are met within the shortest time possible to avoid inconveniences. However, it is important to distinguish between repair costs to be met by the landlord and the ones to be met by the tenant. It is the responsibility of the tenant to meet costs that are associated with breakage caused during the tenancy period. For instance, you should meet the cost of repairing a broken lock resulting from your usage
Nevertheless, a tenant should avoid undertaking major repairs on their own because the landlord may not want any major changes done on their property.
4. Security Rights
As a tenant, you have a right to a safe and secure environment. The rented space should also be properly secured through doors and windows. This is so especially for multi-storey buildings belonging to the same owner where in this case security guards would be necessary. You should feel secure as a tenant.
- Right to Tenancy Agreement Termination
The tenancy agreement should provide an exit clause. If you no longer want to continue residing in your house, you have the right to serve a notice and move out. You can terminate the lease based on the terms agreed upon during entry. Usually, a termination notice ranges between 1 to 3 months.
- Right to Security Deposit refund
During exit, you have the right to a full refund of your security deposit. This, however, comes after conducting an exit inspection with the landlord and to the satisfaction of both parties to ensure that the house or space rented has been restored to its original form before entry of a new tenant.
To ensure your rights as a tenant are respected and protected, have them clearly incorporated in the tenancy agreement before signing, read and understand as this will ensure a smooth stay.
Get in touch with PMC Estates:
Phone: 0700 350 350 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org