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Home-Options is about choices: it's about where you live, work, train and how you live your life.

Home-Options give you the information you need so you can make the right choices. If you're looking for information on homes to rent from councils and housing associations in Derbyshire, you've come to the right place.

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Renting a home in the private sector

Disclaimer: The following page represents a brief overview of the law relating to landlords and tenants. It cannot cover every eventuality and you are advised to seek legal advice if you are unsure of your rights and responsibilities.

Rights and responsibilities of landlords and tenants

Both landlords and tenants have rights and responsibilities when renting a home. The extent of those rights and responsibilities depends upon whether you have sole use of the property you rent or whether you share with a landlord.

Generally speaking the tenant is entitled to what is often referred to as ‘quiet enjoyment’ of his home; to have repairs done and not to be asked to leave without the proper legal processes being followed. In return the landlord is entitled to receive the rent on time, have the property looked after by the tenant and returned in a reasonable condition at the end of the tenancy.

Having a written tenancy agreement can to clarify who is responsible for repairs and maintenance, how long the tenancy will last and how much rent should be paid.

We recommend that landlords read the landlords’ responsibilities page on the website of Shelter, the homelessness charity. Their website also provides information on tenants’ responsibilities.

The Residential Landlords Association also has a downloadable landlord development manual with useful information for landlords.

Types of tenancy

The type of tenancy will determine how much security of tenure a tenant has.

If a tenancy began before 15 January 1989, it will most likely be a regulated tenancy. Tenancies granted after this date will be an assured or assured shorthold tenancy.

Most tenancies granted after 28 February 1997 are assured shorthold tenancies, unless the landlord has specified it is to be an assured tenancy (an assured tenancy gives more rights than an assured shorthold tenancy).

The Department of Communities and Local Government produce guides on both regulated tenancies and assured and assured shorthold tenancies.

Claiming help with your rent
If you are on a low income or on state benefits, you may be eligible to receive help with your rent.

To find out about the help you may receive, you should contact your local housing benefit department. We recommend that you always check your benefit entitlement before you agree to take on a tenancy.

Follow these links for further information:

Amber Valley
Derbyshire Dales
Erewash
High Peak

Please note that housing benefit is usually paid four weeks in arrears. If you have a monthly tenancy, the dates you receive your housing benefit and the dates you have to pay your rent may not coincide, so make sure you talk to your landlord about this.

Do not forget that if you are a tenant, it is your responsibility to pay the rent, and that includes claiming your benefits on time and providing any information you are asked to supply.

If you have problems paying your rent, you could ask your local housing benefit team about a discretionary housing payment – additional benefit you may be entitled to for a short time to help you resolve your problems.

If you need help with any part of your benefit claim, you can contact your local housing benefit following the links above, or click here to see what other local services are available.

Protection against harassment & illegal eviction

Tenants are entitled to ‘quiet enjoyment’ and in the majority of circumstances, a landlord should give a minimum of 24 hours notice if he wants to inspect the property or carry out repairs (emergency repairs are treated differently).

Under the Protection from Eviction Act 1977, it is an offence to:
• carry out acts likely to interfere with the peace or comfort of a tenant or anyone living with them; or
• persistently withdraw or withhold services (such as electricity. gas or water) for which the tenant has a reasonable need to live in their home.

There is a legal process to follow if a landlord wants to bring the tenancy to an end and if the process is not followed properly, the landlord could be ordered by the courts to let a tenant who has been illegally evicted return to the property.

Tenants can download a guide from the Department of Communities and Local Government website, which explains their rights in more details. We recommend landlords seek legal advice if they have any concerns about the proper procedures to follow.

For further help, you can contact:

Amber Valley Borough Council - 01773 570222
Derbyshire Dales District Council - 01629 761 100
Erewash Borough Council - 0115 907 2244
High Peak Borough Council - 0845 129 7777

Alternatively, you can also contact your local Citizen’s Advice Bureau or DHA (formerly Derbyshire Housing Aid).

Repairs & maintenance

Generally speaking, it is the landlord’s responsibility to maintain the rented property. A landlord may ask the tenant to take on some of this responsibility, although this should be proportional i.e. the tenant cannot be asked to take responsibility for all repairs to the structure of the house, for example.

If the landlord refuses to carry out repairs, a tenant can ask the local authority’s environmental health department for help. The environmental health department can also provide landlords with help and advice about maintaining their property.

For further help, contact:

Amber Valley Borough Council - 01773 570222
Derbyshire Dales District Council - 01629 761 100
Erewash Borough Council - 0115 907 2244
High Peak Borough Council - 0845 129 7777

Additional support

From time to time you may need extra help to maintain your tenancy. There are a number of organisations who may be able to help by providing what is known as ‘floating support’.

Click here to find out about an organisation near you.