Treating A Property as If It’s Your Home
When moving into a rented property there are a few tenant responsibilities to consider and uphold your end of the agreement. More obvious responsibilities like paying rent on time, paying utility bills (unless agreed with landlord), and council tax (unless exempt) are equally important as the smaller responsibilities. This article is to ensure tenants are aware of their responsibilities when living in a rented property.
You must dispose of any household waste properly and regularly. You can check your bin collection day on the council website (click here) and ensure that your waste is only brought out on collection day or after 4:30pm the day before. You should try your best to keep recycling and general waste separate to ensure a successful collection. If general waste is placed in a recycling bag with other recyclable items, the bag will not be taken. This also means you are doing your bit in helping the environment and reducing landfills. Cardiff council have launched a pink sticker scheme to improve Cardiff’s recycling and achieve better recycling rates by 2025, you can read more on this by clicking here. Furthermore, use your brown curb side caddies! This allows for a cleaner community and less pests. If you require more bin bags, please click here to order more.
Doing Your Bit:
When it comes to maintaining a property, it is split between landlord and tenant. The landlord must ensure that a property is habitable and carry out maintenance of the property and the tenant must undertake small tasks to ensure that the property stays this way.
Minor maintenance is required of every tenant including, lightbulb changes, drain blockages, mould removal, washing machine filters, and regular cleaning. Regular tasks like these can prevent larger problems from happening. It is also a tenant’s responsibility to report any other repairs to your landlord as soon as possible. Doing this can prevent a bigger problem and limit damage. It must be noted that reasonable timescales are allowed for landlords to complete some repairs as some parts may have to be ordered.
Health and Safety:
Although by law it is your landlord’s responsibility to have up to date records of gas and electrical safety certificates, you have a part to play in health and safety too. You must make sure all communal areas are not cluttered and remain tidy, including hallways, stairs, and landings. Even if you are renting as a family, you should take note of this as it is extremely dangerous in the event of a fire. As well as this, turn your electrical appliances off if you’re not using them. Not only will this reduce your energy consumption, saving you money and helping the environment, but it will also decrease the chances and risk of a fire.
If you smell gas, it is important to act quickly in order to stay safe. If it is safe to do so, you should immediately turn off the emergency valve on your gas meter, open all windows and step outside to get fresh air. You should contact your National Gas Emergency Service number and report a gas leak or gas emergency and they will send out a Gas Safe engineer. Do not turn any light switches on or off or light any flames inside the property as doing this can put you at further risk.
0800111999 – 24-hour Gas Emergency Helpline for England, Wales, and Scotland.
Carbon Monoxide cannot be detected by smell making it harder to know whether you have a leak. Being able to spot the physical signs of a leak and having a carbon monoxide alarm will limit the risks to both you and your property. You should seek medical help if you think you’ve been exposed to a gas leak and are feeling generally unwell. Note, it is the tenant’s responsibility to regularly test the alarms to make sure that they are working properly. Read more on spotting physical signs here and here.
[note: exposure doesn’t always result in symptoms. It is advised you use a carbon monoxide alarm and test it is working regularly just to be on the safe side].
Get Winter Ready.
- Check your boiler is working
- Check your extractor fans are working in both kitchen and bathroom. This will get rid of moist air that may cause damp or mould.
- Do not leave your home for long periods of time.
- Use draft excluders
- Leave oven door open after cooking to allow extra heat
- Keep lids on saucepans
- Only boil the water you need.
- Use LED lightbulbs
- Don’t leave lights on unnecessarily
- Turn appliances off by the switch.
Did you know?
- If everyone only boiled the amount of water they needed every time they used the kettle, we could save enough electricity in one year to power the UK’s Street lights for nearly seven months [energy saving trust]
Respect Your Neighbours.
- Be considerate and self-aware. Some people may not live their life like you and that must be respected. This includes noise and litter!
When it comes to the end of your tenancy there are a lot of things to consider. It is recommended that you start to think about these things at least a month before you leave the property.
- Are you considering renewing your contract?
If yes, then great! Speak to your landlord or their managing agent for following steps.
If not, the landlord or agency will begin the search for a new tenant.
Don’t worry, your landlord must give you 24hours notice before conducting any viewings.
- Take pictures of your meter readings and close your utility accounts.
- Landlords can charge you for waste removal or overflowing bins at the end of your tenancy. Consider this a few weeks before your tenancy end date to ensure rubbish goes out with the Council waste collection. If any rubbish is left over, it is the tenant’s responsibility to take it to the household waste recycling centre.
Cardiff Council. ‘Recycling and Waste Collections’. Accessed 27/10/2021
Cardiff Council. ‘When Are my Bins Collected’. Accessed 27/10/2021
Cardiff Council. ‘Resident’s Responsibility – Pink Sticker Scheme’. Accessed 27/10/2021
Cardiff Council. ‘Order More Bags’. Accessed 27/10/2021
Wales and West Utilities. ‘Gas Emergencies’. Accessed 27/10/2021
Healthline. ‘Gas Leak Symptoms – What to Do’. Accessed 27/10/2021
NI Direct. ‘Energy Efficiency’. nidirect.co.uk. Accessed 27/10/2021
Safewise. ‘Detect Poisonous Gas’. Accessed 27/102/2021
Energysavingtrust.co.uk. Accessed 12/11/2021