Advice for private tenants

It’s useful to know the rights and responsibilities you and your landlord (or managing agent) have when you move into a privately rented home. Make sure you have a tenancy agreement and you understand the terms. For example, your landlord has a legal obligation to put your deposit into a protection scheme.

It’s the landlord’s responsibility to maintain the property and carry out repairs, and you should speak to them when you have a problem. It’s also their responsibility to make sure the property meets safety standards. You’re entitled to 24 hours’ notice from your landlord before they visit the property.

We run a landlord accreditation scheme to help promote good practice and standards. You can find a full list of the landlord and agents who’ve signed up here.

Have a look at the government’s website, as well as Shelter’s website for detailed information.

Keeping your home warm - know your rights

As a private tenant you have a right to live in a home that is adequately heated. All rooms (including kitchens and bathrooms) should have fixed heating which is capable of achieving an internal temperature of 18C when it is freezing outside.

The heating in a property should be affordable; if not you can ask that effective energy efficiency measures are carried out, this includes providing heating that is cheaper to run as well as insulation measures to make your home warmer. For more information visit the GOV.UK website.

If your home is excessively cold, or if your landlord is refusing to carry out heating repairs, you can make a complaint to your landlord or to us.

Your landlord may be able to get a grant to install gas central heating in your home. We have grants available through the Better Homes Barnsley energy efficiency scheme towards new, first-time gas central heating systems. If you have gas fires, electric heating or coal fires as your main heating and you have a low income, your landlord could qualify for funding towards a new gas central heating system to keep you warm. To find out more visit Better Homes Barnsley or call 0800 597 1500.

Dealing with issues

If you want to make a complaint about a private landlord or agent, get in touch with them directly first.

If your landlord refuses to do a repair for you, get in touch with us by using our online enquiry form above. If informal action doesn’t resolve the issue we can escalate the complaint by using enforcement procedures.

If your landlord is bothering you at home or harassing you check the Shelter website for guidance or consider contacting the police.

If you’re being threatened with eviction you may also want to have a look at Shelter’s advice. They also have advice for people who have complained about the condition of their home and are subsequently being threatened with eviction.

If your house is overcrowded you may live in a House in Multiple Occupation, and we may be able to help with safety and maintenance issues.