Whether you decide to let through a landlord or agent, your deposit (usually equivalent to six weeks' rent) should be held in a Tenancy Deposit Scheme. This came into force in 2007. It requires landlords, within 14 days of taking a deposit, to provide tenants with details of how the deposit is being protected. It is also standard practice to offer tenants in the private sector, who do not share facilities with their landlords, an Assured Shorthold Tenancy agreement (AST). These usually apply for either six months or a year. After this time, they can be renewed, ended (with the correct notice) or left to run into what is called a statutory periodic agreement.

Statutory periodic means that as a tenant you need to give the landlord one month's notice from a rent due date if you want to leave. Your landlord must give you two month's notice from a rent due date to evict you.  If this happens, seek immediate advice from our Housing Interventions team.

As a tenant, you have certain rights to your property. For example, your landlord must give you reasonable notice if they require access (unless there is an emergency) and must not harass you.  If you feel your basic rights are not being observed, please contact us for further advice. In some circumstances you may qualify for help from us for your rent in advance and deposit.  There are only limited funds available. To find out if you qualify for the scheme, please contact the Customer Service Centre.