In addition to the information on this page you can get upto date information about being a private tenant and your landlords responsibilities on GOV.UK Being a landlord and renting out a room.

Information for private tenants

Tenants Responsibilities

As a tenant in a privately rented property you will generally have the following responsibilities:

  • Take care of the property.
  • Report all repairs issues to your landlord as they arise. It is advisable to do this in writing and to keep copies of any communication.
  • Allow the landlord reasonable time to carry out repairs.
  • Provide your landlord access to the property if a reasonable period of notice has been given (your landlord must give you 24 hours written notice, unless you agree otherwise or it is an emergency).
  • Abide by all anti-social behaviour laws and do not create a nuisance (e.g. excess noise).
  • Bills for gas, electricity, telephone etc. are the tenant’s responsibility (unless specified otherwise in your tenancy agreement).

Fire, Electrical, Gas and Carbon Monoxide Safety

Smoke Alarms

All landlords are legally required to have at least one smoke alarm installed on every floor of their rental properties which are used as living accommodation. The landlord must make sure the alarms are in working order at the start of each new tenancy and are repaired or replaced once informed and found that they are faulty. It is for the tenant to ensure that the alarms are maintained by regularly testing and replacing batteries. If the alarm does not work after replacing batteries, or if tenants are unable to replace the batteries themselves, they should report this to the relevant landlord.

Landlords of Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs)  require a specified level of fire precautions which may include mains wired interlinked fire alarm system, emergency lighting, fire doors and a fully protected means of escape.  If you are unsure whether the HMO that you live in has the appropriate fire safety measures you can contact the private Sector Housing Service Team for advice.

For further information, please see Gov.UK Fire Safety in the Home Guidance and Fire Safety in Shared or Rented Accommodation..

Electrical Safety

Your landlord is required to ensure that the electrical installations are safe when you move in and are maintained in a safe condition throughout the duration of your tenancy.

The Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020 apply to all new specified tenancies from 1st July 2020, and existing specified tenancies from 1st April 2021. Under the regulations landlords have a legal duty to have all electrical installations within a rented property inspected and tested by a competent person at least every 5 years

On completion of the inspection and testing, your landlord will receive an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR). Your landlord must supply you with a copy of the most recent report before you move into the property or within 28 days of the date that the inspection and testing was completed.

Where the report shows that further investigation or remedial works are required, these must be carried out within the time specified by the report and within 28 days from the date of the test. On completion of the further investigation or remedial works, your landlord must supply you with written confirmation along with a copy of the original report within 28 days of the date the works was completed.

For more information please refer to Electrical Safety First.

If you believe that your landlord is in breach of their duties under the Electrical Safety Standards, please contact the Private Sector Housing Team.

Electrical Appliances

If your landlord has provided you with electrical appliances it is their responsibility to ensure that these are safe to use and Portable Appliance Testing (PAT) should be carried out. For more information please refer to Electrical Safety First

If you have purchased your own electrical appliances, then it will be your own responsibility to ensure that these are safe.

Gas Safety

If your rental accommodation has gas appliances, your landlord must provide you with a current copy of the Landlords Gas Safety Certificate. The gas safety check must be carried out by a gas safe registered engineer. If you are unsure if the engineer is registered you can check on the gas safe register

If your landlord won’t provide you with a copy of the certificate  or for further advice on your landlords responsibilities for gas safety refer to the Health and Safety Executive.

Carbon Monoxide

Your landlord is required to provide a carbon monoxide alarms in any room used as living accommodation where a fixed combustion appliance is used (e.g. boiler, log burner, fireplace etc. but excluding gas cookers). The landlord must make sure that the alarms are in working order at the start of each new tenancy and are repaired or replaced once informed and found that they are faulty. It is for the tenant to ensure that the alarms are maintained by regularly testing and replacing batteries. If the alarm does not work after replacing batteries, or if tenants are unable to replace the batteries themselves, they should report this to the relevant landlord.

Energy Performance and Efficiency

If your rental property is cold, draughty or hard to heat, you should first contact your landlord. You have the right to request certain basic energy efficiency measures, and consent should not be unreasonably refused. However if this is unsuccessful, please contact the Private Sector Housing Team. 

Energy Performance Certificates (EPC)

When an agent or owner advertises a property to let, they are required to have an EPC. This gives a property a score based on how energy efficient it is. The average score in the area is around 55. A score below 37 will indicate that the property may be cold and difficult to heat. EPCs are valid for ten years.

Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard (MEES)

Since April 2018, new tenancies in England and Wales have had to meet the Government's minimum energy efficiency standard (MEES). Properties which require an energy performance certificate (EPC) must reach a minimum ‘E' rating on their EPC assessment, or have a valid exemption registered. From 1 April 2020, this requirement has extended to all existing tenancies.

Energy Efficiency Advice


Please be advised that by reporting your repair issues to Private Sector Housing, we will be required to contact your landlord to discuss and resolve the issues. Therefore we are unable to keep your requests confidential from your landlord in the majority of cases.

It is your landlord’s responsibility to make sure that any property they let is safe and free from serious hazards and that all repairs and maintenance are carried out within a reasonable time period. 

Repairs that your landlord is responsible for include the property’s structure and exterior, basins, sinks, baths and other sanitary fittings including pipes and drains, heating and hot water, gas appliances, pipes, flues and ventilation and electrical wiring. For a full description refer to your tenancy agreement. 

Your tenancy agreement should provide information about your landlords repair and maintenance responsibilities and also your responsibilities as a tenant. Your landlord should also provide you with clear guidelines on how to report repairs. It is advisable that any reports are also confirmed in writing.  

If you have reported a repair you will need to give your landlord a reasonable amount of time to carry out the work, which may include your landlord visiting the property to assess the issues and they may also send a tradesman to provide estimates for the repairs.

If the repairs are not carried out in a reasonable amount of time and your landlord will not give an indication when they will be carried out you can contact the Private Sector Housing Service for help and advice.

If the required works are not completed, the property may be assessed under the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) the assessment will show whether any serious (category 1) hazards and other less serious (category 2) hazard exist. Where improvements are not made within a reasonable time period the council may take action against the landlord. 

If you are experiencing persistent condensation and mould problems in the home that you rent you should contact your landlord for assistance. If your landlord fails to remedy the problem, you can contact the Private Sector Housing team for advice.

Dampness and mould growth

Damp properties can lead to mould growth, which if left untreated can cause damage to properties and lead to serious health risks. The information sheet provided is designed to provide you with useful information on how to prevent and treat dampness and mould.

On 7th September 2023, new guidance was published by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities, the Department of Health & Social Care, and the UK Health Security Agency. The guidance is primarily aimed at landlords, however there is useful information for tenants too. See Annex C (energy support for households) and Annex E (tenant guidance on damp and mould). The full guidance is available here

Additional Information

Please be advised that the following sections are for information only. If you require any further guidance please contact Shelter or Citizens Advice. For Eviction advice, you may also contact our Housing Solutions Service.

Right to Rent

Your landlord is responsible for checking all new and existing tenants have the right to rent accommodation in the UK.  You should provide your original identity documents to your landlord or any prospective landlord / letting agency for checking. Your landlord will take a copy of the documents for their records and they may need to check these again during the course of your tenancy. For further information on Right to Rent

Tenants Fees and Deposits (Tenancy Deposit Protection - TDP)

Tenants Fees

The Tenants Fees Act came into force on 1 June 2019 and prohibits landlords and agents from charging any fees to tenants other than those permitted under the act. The only payments in connection with a tenancy that a tenant can be asked to make are:

  • rent
  • a refundable tenancy deposit capped at no more than 5 weeks’ rent where the total annual rent is less than £50,000, or 6 weeks’ rent where the total annual rent is £50,000 or above
  • a refundable holding deposit (to reserve a property) capped at no more than 1 week’s rent
  • payments associated with early termination of the tenancy, when requested by the tenant
  • payments for the variation, assignment or novation of a tenancy, capped at £50 (or reasonably incurred costs, if higher)
  • payments in respect of utilities, communication services, TV licence and Council Tax
  • payments in the event of a default, such as for late payment of rent and replacement of a lost key/security device giving access to the housing, where required under a tenancy agreement

If the payment a landlord or agent is charging is not on this list then it is not lawful, and a landlord or agent should not ask the tenant to pay it.


If you have paid a deposit to your landlord it should have been paid into an approved government scheme. There are three schemes available:

  • Deposit Protection Service
  • My Deposits
  • Tenancy Deposit Scheme

If your deposit has not been protected, you may be able to take action against your landlord.  For more information or advice contact Shelter.

If you need assistance with a deposit and your move is essential, you may be eligible for a Discretionary Housing Payment.


Please see Eviction

Contact us for help

The Private Sector Housing Team offers advice and assistance to all private tenants who rent properties within Milton Keynes

Housing - Private Sector Housing

Private Sector Housing contact information

Postal Address: Civic Offices, 1 Saxon Gate East, Central Milton Keynes, MK9 3EJ