October 4, 2023


Advocacy. Mediation. Success.

Understanding your rights as a tenant

According to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), having a roof above your head is among the basic needs. Its importance is providing security, protecting us from weather conditions, for safety preventing us from diseases.  Another role shelter plays is, reducing vulnerability and increasing the dignity and quality of a person’s life. People own homes differently; some rent, others build their homes, others mortgage in a vision to make a homeownership journey a reality. A sad fact is that statistics according to The UK Charity Shelter estimates that homeless and people with temporary accommodation was  280,000 as of 2019, with some living in sheds, bins, night buses, and tents. It shows the housing crisis in the UK. If you decide to rent a house as your living arrangement, it is essential to; don’t have rent arrears with the landlord. It could subject you to the law based on the clauses in the constitution about the rent issues. Visit online personal services and tips to rent a house legally go-to real estate agencies for specialized attention. Some ways to help you deal with rent arrears include;

Know Your Rights as a Tenant

1. Rent arrears
If you owe the landlord rent, talk to them or the agent in charge immediately, significantly when your payment impedes.  Pay what you have, then pay the rest when your payment happens. Ignoring the situation could see you evicted. Eviction can occur when; you have been late in paying rent before, you already have pending arrears in your rent right now, and when the fixed term of your tenancy had ended when your tenancy was shorthand. In such cases, the court will grant the landlord a ‘possession order.’ The eviction notice is usually is 14days. Rules differ if your landlord is a housing association or a local authority.  These are reasons why you should communicate early.
2. Repayment plan
If you don’t have the money now, talk to your landlord and ask if spreading payment across a period is possible to have more in the future. It is easier to negotiate than experience the eviction process. It means that you’ll probably pay a particular amount weekly based on the agreement as part of the repayment plan. Talking to a specialist on money issues or using a budgeting tool is a great way to account for the money you have paid and the balance remaining. Both you and the landlord should sign the plan to ensure that you both agree to it. Suppose the landlord does not consent to the repayment plan, pay the amount you have offered anyway and record each through receipts or bank statements. Keeping a record of how much you have tried to pay and the same duration could help you if the landlord takes you to court. If you are struggling to get a regular income, ask the landlord if you can use third-party deductions as a means of payment. It might take longer to pay through these benefits, but worthwhile.
3. Eviction
If the landlord chooses to evict you, they cannot go straight away; they should give a notice. It is, however, not too late to reach an agreement. The landlord should follow specific directives; section8 or section 21 notice that they will also follow the rules based on the type of tenancy; a private landlord or social housing landlord. The eviction process is sometimes called seeking possession. Get a court order, it is against the law for the landlord to forcefully evict you.  If going to court to evict a tenant is what a landlord decides,  they might allow you to stay in their property as long as you promise to pay the rent arrears. There are several stages a landlord should follow before eviction include;
a) A social housing landlord should follow the pre-action protocol for rent arrears for guidance.
b) A landlord must give you a notice before eviction called a statement to quit or a notice of seeking possession.
c)If you do not leave the premises within the lapse of the eviction notice, the land can get a court order for the same. You will end up with court papers.
d)In court, the landlord will ask for a possession order from the judge.
e)If the possession order indicates you should leave the house within a specific date and you have not left, the landlord can ask for a warrant of possession from the court.
f) A notice of eviction will be finally sent to you by an officer indicating the day to move.
The landlord can only apply for a court order upon the lapse of the notice to quit meaning you can still negotiate or pay all your arrears before then. You should also check whether the notice meets all the legal requirements. An incorrect statement could help delay the landlord from taking further action.
In conclusion, understanding your rights as a tenant is very key to a successful tenancy. However, paying the rent as going to court also incurs many costs to pay the debt in question.