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What if my landlord breaks the tenancy agreement?

Tenancy AgreementOnce a tenant has chosen a property to rent, they will be asked to sign a tenancy agreement, this is true whether they obtain the property through a letting agent (such as Capital Properties) or by renting a property directly from a landlord. This agreement sets out the conditions and regulations that the tenant must abide by, but also the conditions the landlord must adhere to. A tenancy agreement is crucial because it provides a legal foothold for both the tenant and the landlord.

However, every once in a while, a landlord or tenant may ignore the rules set out in this agreement, which will likely have a negative impact on the other party. If a property is rented through a lettings agent, they will be the first port of call should a landlord prove troublesome, but if a property is rented directly from the landlord it may be more difficult to resolve any issues. Here’s what to do if you find yourself with a troublesome landlord.

What does your landlord agree to?

It is important to remember that the tenancy agreement is a legally binding document, if a landlord breaches this agreement there could be legal consequences. When a landlord signs a tenancy agreement, he or she is allowing the tenants to enjoy their property in peace, and promises to ensure the property is in a liveable condition. They are also agreeing to make repairs as and when they are required. These are all things that landlords agree to when they sign the tenancy agreement that we use as standard here at Capital Properties. Our tenancy agreement is available online, so potential tenants can read it at their leisure before they even arrange viewings with us.

Tenants should always read through a tenancy agreement thoroughly, ensuring they know what they are agreeing to. The contract should not be signed if the tenant suspects that the terms set out are unfair or unlawful, for example if a tenancy agreement states that the landlord is legally able to hold a party in the occupier’s bedroom on the third Tuesday of each month, that’s probably not a contract worth signing; it’s unlikely that any unfair stipulations will be as brash as the example provided, but you never know!

Withholding rent

One way tenants often try to make amends for the trouble caused by landlords is through withholding rent; this is not a good idea. When a tenant signs a contract, they are agreeing to pay rent to the landlord on a stipulated date, and by refusing to do so, they too could be in breach of contract. It is very much a case of two wrongs not making a right.

However, there is one instance where a tenant may be legally able to withhold rent, but it is for a very specific circumstance. If a landlord does not fulfil their obligation to repair items when necessary, there is a common law in which the tenant can carry out repairs themselves and deduct the cost of doing so from their rental payment. There is a due process for this though, and the process should be researched beforehand.

If a landlord is breaching the tenancy agreement, advice should be sought from resources such as Shelter Cymru or the local council. They will be able to recommend the best course of action, be it ending a tenancy early or taking legal action against the offending landlord.

If you are looking for a student property in Cardiff, then why not rent with a local lettings agent you can trust! Capital Properties was established in 2004 and we have over 15 years of property management experience. We currently have a range of attractive properties available. For more information, email us at: or visit us in our office in Cathays.

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