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Most private tenants have fixed-term tenancies that last for an agreed number of years, giving you stability and security.
Your tenancy agreement sets out your legal rights and responsibilities as a tenant.
You’ll receive a copy of the agreement when you sign up to your tenancy and you should check the rights and responsibilities specific to your tenancy agreement. As it’s a legal document, you should keep it safe for future reference.
A fixed-term tenancy lasts for an agreed number of years, usually one, two or three years. At the end of your tenancy, you’ll have the option to agree a new fixed-term tenancy, unless you’ve breached your tenancy agreement, or we need the property.
If a further fixed term isn’t agreed at the end of your tenancy, you’ll automatically move to a periodic tenancy. These are month-to-month contracts retaining the terms of your previous agreement, but without the security of a fixed-term tenancy.
A joint tenancy allows more than one person to rent a home. Under a joint tenancy, a single rent is paid for the property and all the named tenants hold the property equally with joint rights and responsibilities. As such, a tenancy breach by one person results in a breach by all the tenants.
Rights, repairs and responsibilities
Although the property is owned by us, it’s your home and you have the right to live in it without interruption from us, as long as you keep to the terms of your tenancy agreement.
We’re responsible for the structure of your property, communal areas and any fixtures and fittings we supplied. For example, we’ll look after:
- electric heating
- communal areas, like entrances or lifts
- roofs, gutters and drains
- keeping your home secure and weatherproof.
You’re responsible for interior decoration, looking after your garden and maintaining any goods you bring into your home. This means you have to look after things
- kitchen appliances, such as fridges and freezers
- door handles and locks
- blocked sinks
- paying your rent and service charges on time
- treating your neighbours with consideration and respect
- dealing with pests, such as mice or rats.
Ending your tenancy
Your individual tenancy agreement sets out how and when you can end your tenancy. Typically, you’ll have to send us written notice in line with your tenancy’s agreed notice period. You can’t end your tenancy during a fixed-term tenancy unless your agreement contains an agreed break clause.
After you give us notice, we’ll phone you to discuss your notice. We’ll then send you a written reply within three working days confirming the last day of your tenancy, and the date and time of your check-out inventory, which is usually on your last day.
Getting your deposit back
The check-out inventory compares the condition of the property with the inventory done when you moved in. If there are any issues, we’ll discuss them on the day and let you know of any potential deductions from your deposit. Any deductions will then be confirmed in writing within three days.
We then complete the landlord part of the deposit release process with the Deposit Protection Service (DPS), while you complete the tenant part on the DPS website. The DPS then releases your deposit. If there’s a disagreement over your deposit repayment, you should raise a dispute with the DPS.
Deposit Protection Service: www.depositprotection.com
Ending a joint tenancy
To end a fixed-term joint tenancy, all the named tenants must sign the written notice. If your fixed term has ended and your joint tenancy has become a periodic tenancy, one person can end the tenancy as a whole. Anyone wanting to remain in the property will need to complete a new application process before the end of the notice period.