Renting a property

Tenancy guidance, support and advice

We are currently only able to offer you basic support, guidance and advice. For support and detailed information please visit the following websites

Portsmouth and District Private Landlords Association

Residential Landlord Association

National Landlords Association

Shelter - Private Renting

Citizens Advice

Gov.UK Private Renting

Tenancy Rights

Rent it Right is here to provide you with information about everything you need to know to get the most out of your rented property. Here you can find a host of information from your rights as a tenant to how to report a problem of disrepair.

Your rights as a tenant

  • To know and be aware of the full terms of the tenancy agreement
  • To know the name and address of the landlord
  • To reside in a property that is in adequate condition for rental purposes, free from defects
  • To receive reasonably prompt repairs and maintenance to damaged items
  • To live in safe accommodation, with all equipment, gas and electrical systems meeting the required safety standards
  • To have a Gas Safe Inspection Certificate produced annually and at the start of each tenancy
  • To have quiet enjoyment of the property, free from demands for access without prior notification, or interference with utilities or other supplies to the property
  • To have a rent book, if the rent is payable on a weekly basis
  • A reasonable (statutory) period of notice if the landlord wants the agreement to end
  • To have the security deposit returned within a reasonable period of time subject to the necessary checks on the property and up-to-date rental payments

If you do not know who your landlord is, write to the person or company you pay rent to. Your landlord can be fined if they do not give you this information within 21 days.

Your responsibilities as a tenant

  • Pay the agreed rent in full and on time
  • Make sure no damage is caused to the property or its contents, whether by yourself or members of the household or visitors
  • Consult your landlord about making any alterations to the property, requesting written permission
  • Report any damage or need for repairs to the landlord
  • Not to cause disturbance, nuisance or annoyance to neighbours
  • Provide the landlord with access to the property for the purpose of inspection, or to carry out repairs, as long as sufficient notice has been provided (24 hours)
  • Obtain written permission from your landlord if you want to sub-let or take in a lodger
  • Give the agreed amount of notice to your landlord if you wish to terminate the agreement and leave the property
  • Not to leave the property unoccupied for longer than 14 days without informing the landlord or managing agent.

If you don’t fulfil your responsibilities your landlord has the right to take legal action to evict you.

Deposits

A deposit is a sum of money that a landlord or the agent can request at the beginning of a tenancy to act as security against incidences such as non-payment of rent or damage to property.

For the purposes of the tenancy deposit protection schemes, a deposit is defined as money held, by the landlord or other, as security for:

  • the performance of any obligations of the tenant, or
  • the discharge of any liability of the tenant arising out of the tenancy

With effect from 6 April 2007, a deposit paid in relation to an assured shorthold tenancy must be protected in a government-approved scheme. A tenancy deposit taken from an assured shorthold tenant can only consist of money.

The tenancy deposit protection rules have been amended several times since they were first introduced in 2007. A landlord/agent who fails to comply within the relevant time limit is liable to financial sanctions and restrictions on the use of a section 21 notice to end the tenancy.

There are set time limits within which a landlord should comply with the requirements of the tenancy deposit scheme. These will depend on when the tenancy deposit was received by the landlord. For further information about deposits, please follow this link.

Getting a deposit back at the end of a tenancy

Your landlord must return your deposit within 10 days of you both agreeing how much you will get back. Contact a tenancy deposit scheme (TDP) if you’re not sure whether your deposit has been protected.

The three tenancy deposit schemes are:

If you are in a dispute with your landlord, then your deposit will be protected in the deposit scheme until the issue is sorted out.

If you think that your landlord hasn't used a TDP scheme when they should have, you can apply to your local county court.

If the court finds your landlord hasn’t protected your deposit, it can order the person holding the deposit to either:

  • repay it to you
  • pay it into a custodial TDP scheme’s bank account within 14 days

The court may also order the landlord to pay you up to 3 times the deposit within 14 days of making the order.

Tenancy Agreements

A tenancy agreement is a contract between you and your tenants. It sets out the legal terms and conditions of the tenancy. It can be written down or oral. For further information visit our Tenancy Agreements section.

Making a complaint

If you are having problems with your landlord, you should first try to resolve them between yourselves.

If you can’t resolve your problems, for example, repairs are not being done you should contact the Private Sector Housing team at Portsmouth City Council on 02392 848369 or email [email protected].