January 24, 2024 3:26 pm

Insert Lead Generation
Nikka Sulton

Renting has become more commonplace over the past 20 years or so, with 4.4 million households (18.7% of dwellings in England) occupied by private renters in 2020. A further 16.7% of dwellings were occupied by social renters (who rent their home from a housing association or council).


Additional research shows:

  • Renters in Britain spend 30.93% of their income on rent.
  • UK rent prices rose by 1.2% in the 12 months between July 2020 and July 2021. They’ve increased by 10.7% since January 2015.
  • The average rental price for a new tenancy in the UK was £1,029 per calendar month, as of July 2021.

There is a lot of information about tenant rights in the UK, so we’ve compiled everything you need to know in this guide. With a lot of money changing hands, it’s important to know what you are entitled to as a tenant.


What is a tenant?

A tenant is an individual who rents and occupies property owned by another person. The tenancy refers to the duration for which they will rent and occupy the property, either for a fixed term (like six months) or on a periodic basis (running from month to month, for instance). When multiple individuals are renting the same property, it is termed a joint tenancy, as seen in examples like a houseshare.


What Is The Maximum Number of Tenants In The UK?

A house in multiple occupation (HMO), also referred to as a house share, occurs when you rent a room in a property with at least two other tenants, sharing facilities like toilets, bathrooms, or kitchens.

Your landlord should have registered the property as an HMO with the local council, a detail you can verify by contacting the council. Beyond their regular responsibilities, landlords of an HMO must ensure:

  1. Communal areas and shared facilities are clean and well-maintained.
  2. Adequate cooking and bathroom facilities, as well as bins, are available for the number of tenants.
  3. Implementation of fire safety measures, including working smoke alarms and fire-safe furniture.
  4. Prevention of illegal overcrowding (statutory overcrowding) in the property.
  5. Annual gas safety checks are conducted.
  6. Electricity safety checks are carried out every five years.


Overcrowding can be assessed using two standards: room standard and space standard.


Room standard considers the number and gender of individuals sharing the same room (bedrooms, living rooms, dining rooms, and studies). A property is legally overcrowded if two individuals who are a) of different genders, b) not a couple, and c) aged 10 or over must share the same room.

Space standard involves counting the number of people in the property, with individuals aged 10 or over counted as one, those aged one to nine counted as 0.5, and children under one not counted. Additionally, count the number of rooms or measure the floor space of each room, excluding any room smaller than 50 square feet or 4.6 square metres or rooms that aren’t bedrooms or living rooms.


Number of rooms Maximum number of people allowed
1 2
2 3
3 5
4 7.5
5 10


Room’s floor space in square feet Room’s floor space in square metres Maximum number of people allowed
50-69 4.6-6.4 0.5
70-89 6.5-8.3 1
90-109 8.4-10.1 1.5
110 10.2 2


Approximately 3.5% of households were overcrowded in the period between 2017 and 2020. If your privately rented property is overcrowded by law, you can contact your local authority, who will act against the landlord on your behalf



Your landlord is expected to charge you market rent, determined by factors such as the property’s location, number of bedrooms, and available outdoor space. This valuation serves as the basis for setting the rent, and during a fixed-term tenancy, rent cannot be increased.

If your landlord resides outside the UK and charges £100 or more per week, paid directly to them, it’s necessary to contact HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC). The Non-Resident Landlord Scheme may require you to deduct tax from your rent. Challenging excessive charges, especially if they significantly exceed market value, can be done by applying to the tenancy tribunal for a rent reduction. However, this process may be more challenging in a periodic (rolling) tenancy.


Repairs and maintenance

Tenants are entitled to decent living conditions, including functional appliances such as an oven, hot water, and phone ports.


1. Landlord Responsibility for Major Repairs:

  • Broken boiler
  • Broken doors and windows
  • Damp
  • Exposed or faulty wiring
  • Gas leak
  • Leaking pipes
  • Pest infestations


2. Utilities Maintenance:

  • Landlord must ensure availability of working water, gas, and electricity.


3. Repair Request Process:

  • Communicate repair needs to the landlord in writing.
  • Utilize a customizable template from Which? to formalize the request.


4. Repair Speed:

  • The speed of repair depends on the severity of the issue.


5. Distinguishing Repairs and Improvements:

  • Repairs: Restore existing fixtures to work or safety.
  • Improvements: Upgrades considered better than previous fixtures.
  • Landlords are obligated to perform repairs, not necessarily improvements.


Challenging a Section 21 notice

Appealing a Section 21 Notice:

You have the right to appeal a Section 21 notice if:

  1. Your landlord hasn’t provided a minimum of six months’ notice.
  2. The notice isn’t served in accordance with your tenancy agreement.
  3. Your deposit isn’t placed within a deposit protection scheme within the required limit.

If you choose to challenge the notice, the court will provide information on the process, known as ‘defending possession.’ It’s advisable to seek legal advice before taking any legal action against your landlord.



More Property Blogs HERE:

Can you make money investing in property?

Section 24 Effect on BTL Property

How do you calculate BRRRR?

How do I start a property rental business in the UK?

How to add value to your rental property

What are the requirements for a HMO UK?

How to convert a property into an HMO in 2023

Is refinancing the same as restructuring?

What is Refinancing? How does it Work?

BRR Property Deals: Buy Refurb Refinance in the UK

Should You Give Up on Buy-to-let?

A Guide to Section 24 Tax Change For Buy-to-Let Investors

Do I need a Licence to rent out my property UK?

Property Investing Strategies Using BRRR

What is the criteria for HMO in the UK?


{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}