Someone who rents a property is called a tenant, and someone who owns a rented property is called a landlord.
If you agree to rent a house, a flat or a room, this creates a legal contract between you and the person who owns the property.
Before you move in, your landlord will ask you to sign a “tenancy agreement” – a document saying what your rights are and what your landlord’s rights are.
It is important you speak to a housing adviser before you sign this document, so you understand what it says.
You can find a housing advisor at Housing Options, or one of Leeds City Council’s One Stops.
Leeds Housing Options – City Centre Hub, Merrion House, 110 Merrion Centre, LS2 8BB
Monday – Thursday: 08.30 – 16:00 and Friday 09:30 – 16:00
Leeds Housing Options website is full of helpful information
You can also get housing advice online at places like:
You can telephone Leeds Council for Homelessness and Housing Advice on 0113 222 4412
Generally, as a tenant you must do things like:
- Pay your rent on time. Rent is usually paid in advance, weekly or monthly;
- Pay your bills for gas, water and electricity on time
- take care of the property you are staying in;
A landlord must:
- give you a rent book/receipt which confirms how much rent she/he has paid;
- give you a written Statement of Tenancy Terms within 28 days of the start of the tenancy;
- give you warning if they wish you to leave the property;
- maintain any gas and electrical appliances which come with the house e.g. the fridge, radiators;
- give you privacy.
The duties of a landlord (and your rights as a tenant) can vary, depending on the type of arrangement or “tenancy” you have.
Types of tenancy can be complicated, so it is important you know what kind you have, and what is expected of you before you sign up.
You can check the kinds of tenancy you have here:
Since May 2014, if a landlord wants money from you in advance (“a deposit”), they must use an approved tenancy deposit scheme.
This scheme makes sure tenants get their money back at the end of the tenancy.
You should check to make sure that the landlord is using this scheme.
You can find out more about protecting your deposit visit:
Living in a shared house
If you live in a house with 4 or more people who are not related to you and you share a kitchen, bathroom or lounge with them, then you live in a Licensable House in Multiple Occupation (HMO).
HMOs must be licensed by the Council, who make sure they are safe and secure.
If you live in a shared house like this, and have any concerns then contact the HMO team.
0113 378 4698