Private tenants rights: summary

Summary document explaining tenants' private rental rights.

Know your renting rights

Private tenants have rights that are protected by the law and knowing your rental rights can help you be more confident in communicating with your landlord or letting agent.

Check before you rent

Landlords and letting agents must be registered to let out property to comply with the law.

Only use a registered landlord and letting agent and report any that aren’t.

You can’t be asked to move out of your home without notice

Landlords can’t evict a tenant without giving notice and following a strict legal process. The amount of notice required will depend on the type of tenancy you have. If you aren’t sure what type of tenancy you have, you should check your tenancy agreement. Illegal eviction is a criminal offence and can take a number of forms. These include intimidation and harassment, lock changes or not following legal procedures and notice periods.

Your home must be maintained and repaired by your landlord

Landlords have a responsibility to carry out a pre-tenancy check to identify any work required and must notify tenants. They must also repair and maintain their property throughout the tenancy and carry out any necessary work within reasonable time. They must ensure the property is wind and watertight and that installations for the supply of utilities, fixtures, fittings and any appliances and furniture they provide are safe, in working order and in a reasonable state of repair. Landlords must also make sure that fire and carbon monoxide detection meet the latest regulations.

Your landlord must give you notice if they wish to access the property

Landlords have a right to enter the property to inspect its condition or to carry out repairs, and tenants are required to give the landlord reasonable access to do this. For an emergency repair the landlord can claim immediate access. Otherwise, the landlord, or their agent, should normally arrange a suitable time with the tenant, but can enter the property at a reasonable time of day, by giving the relevant notice.

For example, under a Private Residential Tenancy (i.e. for those tenancies that began on, or after, the 1 December 2017), a landlord or agent must give you at least 48 hours’ notice.

Rent increases

If your tenancy began on or after 1 December 2017, landlords must give you three months’ notice of any rent increase. They can only increase rent once every 12 months. You’ve the right to challenge an unfair rent increase through a Rent Officer.

To find out more about your tenancy rights and support that’s available, go to

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