Responsibilities as a private tenant

If you have an assured or short assured tenancy, you have many rights as a tenant. However, you also have responsibilities. It is important that you keep to the terms of your tenancy agreement or your landlord may be able to evict you.

Keep up to date with the rent

It is important that you pay your rent on time. If you do not, your landlord may try to evict you. If you are having problems paying your rent, please see the section on rent arrears.

Remember, if you are renting from a private landlord, they may be relying on your rent to pay the mortgage.

Keep the house in good repair

You, anyone in your household, or your guests, must not cause any deliberate damage to the property. If you damage the property or notice that something is faulty, you should report it to your landlord immediately to prevent it getting worse. If you caused the damage, you will be responsible for repairing it. Don't try to repair anything yourself unless you know what you are doing. A poorly-done repair job could land you in just as much trouble.

If you go away during winter make sure you take measures to stop your pipes from freezing.

See our sections on repairs in private rented accommodation and safety.

Keep the contents of the house in good repair

If you damage the contents of the property or notice that something is faulty, you should report it to your landlord immediately to prevent it getting worse. If you caused the damage, you must repair it.

Be nice to your neighbours

You, anyone living with you and anyone visiting you, should take care to behave in a way that will not cause nuisance or annoyance to your neighbours. This includes:

  • not having the stereo or TV on too loud
  • entering and leaving your house quietly
  • disposing of rubbish carefully
  • not using your house for illegal purposes.

If you behave in a way that is antisocial, your landlord may have grounds to evict you.

Give proper notice if you want to leave

If you want to leave, you must give proper notice or you could end up with rent arrears and paying any legal costs that your landlord ends up with.

See 'I want to leave' in the section on assured tenants rights, or 'I want to leave' in the section on short assured tenants rights.

Seek permission from the landlord

You should seek permission from the landlord if you want to:

  • sublet your home or take in a lodger
  • pass your tenancy on to someone else
  • do any decorating.

The important points

  • It is important that you pay your rent on time.
  • You, anyone in your household, or your guests, must not cause any deliberate damage to the property.
  • If you want to leave, you must give proper notice or you could end up with rent arrears and paying your landlord's legal costs.

Speak to a Shelter Scotland adviser

Call Shelter Scotland's free housing advice helpline

0808 800 4444
9am-5pm, Monday to Friday

Email an adviser

You can also email a housing adviser. We aim to respond within three working days.

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