Private tenants

Private renting has become the main housing option for many households. Our officers can help you you budget and plan to save for a deposit in the private rented sector.

Find out more about your housing options.

You would usually be responsible for paying the Council Tax on your rented home. You may also be entitled to housing benefit, even if you live in a private home. Find out more about Housing Benefit.

How to Rent

The Government has published a checklist for tenants in privately rented accommodation and people looking to rent in the private sector. Read the How to Rent checklist on the Government website.

Rights and responsibilities

You can find out more about your rights and responsibilities in our frequently asked questions for tenants in the private rented sector. 

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  • What is the deposit process?

    Once you've paid your deposit for a property, landlords are required to join a statutory tenancy deposit scheme. This will mean your deposit is protected. If tenants keep their property in good condition they should receive all or part of the deposit at the end of the tenancy.

    For more information, please visit www.gov.uk/tenancy-deposit-protection.

  • What are my rights as a tenant?

    As a tenant, you have the right to:

    • Live in a property that is safe and in a good state of repair.
    • Have your deposit returned at the end of the tenancy - provided you have met the terms of your tenancy agreement, haven’t damaged the property and have paid all your rent and bills.
    • Know who the landlord is of your rental property.
    • Live in the property with quiet enjoyment.
    • Be provided with the energy performance certificate for the property.
    • If applicable, be provided with a gas safety certificate. 
  • What information should I be provided with at the start of the tenancy?

    When you start a new assured or assured shorthold tenancy, the landlord must provide you with a copy of the most up to date How to rent guide.

  • What are my responsibilities as a tenant?

    You must give your landlord access to the property to carry out inspections and repairs. Your landlord must give you at least 24 hours’ notice and visit at a reasonable time of day, unless it is an emergency or immediate access is required.

    You must also:

    • Take care of the property - for example, turning off the water at the mains if you’re away during cold weather.
    • Pay the rent as per your tenancy agreement, even if you’ve told your landlord about repairs that are needed or you’re in dispute with them.
    • Pay other charges as per the agreement, including Council Tax or utility bills.
    • Pay for or repair any damages caused by you, your family or friends.

    For more information about your responsibilities, please visit the Government website.

    Your landlord has the right to take legal action to evict you if you don’t meet your responsibilities. 

  • What are my landlord’s responsibilities for repairs?

    Your landlord is always responsible for repairs to:

    • the structure and exterior of the property.
    • basins, sinks, baths and other sanitary fittings (including pipes and drains).
    • heating and hot water.
    • gas appliances, pipes, flues and ventilation.
    • electrical wiring.
    • any damage they cause by attempting repairs.

    Your landlord is usually responsible for repairing common areas - for example, staircases in blocks of flats. You should check your tenancy agreement if you’re unsure.

  • What if my home needs repairs?

    Contact your landlord if you think repairs are needed. Do this straight away for faults that could damage health - for example, faulty electrical wiring.

    Your landlord should tell you when you can expect the repairs to be done. You should carry on paying rent while you’re waiting.

  • What if repairs are not carried out?

    Make contact with the landlord to check when repairs will be carried out. If possible, do this via written communication or keep a note of conversations.

    If the repairs are not carried out after contacting the landlord on numerous occasions, email our Private Sector Housing team at pshousing@dacorum.gov.uk.

    The team may take action if they believe it could harm you or cause nuisance to others.

  • What are my landlord’s safety responsibilities?

    Gas safety

    Your landlord must:

    • make sure gas equipment they supply is safely installed and maintained by a Gas Safe registered engineer.
    • have a registered engineer carry out an annual gas safety check on each appliance and flue.
    • give you a copy of the gas safety check record before you move in, or within 28 days of the check.

    Electrical safety

    Your landlord must make sure:

    • the electrical system is safe - for example, sockets and light fittings.
    • all appliances they supply are safe - for example, cookers and kettles.

    Fire safety

    Your landlord must:

    • follow safety regulations.
    • provide a smoke alarm on each storey and a carbon monoxide alarm in any room with a solid fuel burning appliance (for example, a coal fire or wood burning stove).
    • check that you have access to escape routes at all times.
    • make sure the furniture and furnishings they supply are fire safe.
    • provide fire alarms and extinguishers if the property is a large house in multiple occupation (HMO).

Money advice

If you're living in the private rented sector and are having trouble paying your rent, please see our Money Advice page for help on managing your money.

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