A landlord has many responsibilities to a tenant, not all of which are explicitly stated. 'Implied terms' are part of a tenancy agreement even though they are not written down in the document. Here are some of the main implied terms which you should be aware of:
The right of a tenant to quiet enjoyment of a rented property without intrusion or disturbance by a landlord
While this might sound like common sense, a breach can result in serious legal consequences. For example, a landlord does not generally have the right to turn up unannounced to check on a property or tenant. In most cases, if a landlord wishes to visit a property, they must give at least 24 hours’ notice. A right of 'quiet enjoyment' is often written into the tenancy agreement itself. This allows the landlord to limit or widen the scope of the implied obligation.
This can be a tricky one, as a landlord and a tenant’s interpretation of what this means might be different. However, a ‘tenant-like manner’ has been defined in case law as ‘to do the little jobs about the place which a reasonable tenant would do.’ These jobs might include emptying the bins on a regular basis, keeping toilets clear, as well as unblocking sinks and drains. It's important to make sure that both the landlord and the tenant are clear on who is responsible for repairs and maintenance right from the start of the tenancy.
The tenant shall not permit waste
In this instance, ‘waste’ is defined as general property negligence by a tenant. As such, the tenant has a responsibility to ensure the property is not damaged deliberately, and remains free from rubbish throughout the course of the tenancy. What’s more, come the end of a tenancy, the property should be returned to the landlord in a clean and habitable condition.
Fair wear and tear
As mentioned above, the tenant should ensure the property is in good condition when their tenancy finishes. Exceptions can be made for ‘fair wear and tear’, but what does this mean? When assessing the condition of a property, think about whether something has been damaged through everyday activity or a deliberate act of negligence.
The tenant must not use the rent to pay for repairs
Except in very limited circumstances, all repairs must be reported to the landlord or letting agent. A tenant cannot, for example, withhold rent in order to fund repairs on a property. The use of rent for any other purpose could result in eviction from the property.