Rights, Responsibilities and Repairs
Your Agent/Landlord is responsible for...
- Keeping in repair: the structure and exterior of the dwelling house, including drains, gutters and external pipes.
- Keeping in repair and proper working order: the installations for the supply of water, gas and electricity, sanitation (including basins, sinks, baths and sanitary conveniences), heating rooms and heating water.
- There is a recommended procedure for reporting repairs. Click here for further details.
- Providing you with the agents/landlords full name and address. The address must be in England or Wales.
- Providing you with a copy of the valid current Gas Safety Certificate and HMO Licence (where applicable). (For further information see our Code of Standards)
- Allowing you to 'peacefully enjoy' your accommodation (unless there is an emergency).
- Agents/Landlords have the right to enter the property at reasonable times to carry out the repairs for which they are responsible and to inspect the condition and the state of repair of the property. They must give at least 24 hour notice in writing of an inspection. It would be helpful to set out the arrangements for access and procedures for getting repairs done in the tenancy agreement.
- Providing you with an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC).
You are responsible for...
- Acting in a 'Tenant-like manner'. This means you should perform the smaller tasks around the house such as: changing a light bulb; unblocking sinks when clogged with waste; and cleaning the windows when necessary.
- Not damaging the house, if you do then you and your guests are responsible for the repairs.
- Refuse collections. Remember to find out the collection days from your local council. Put the wheelie bins out - and bring it back in again, it's illegal to leave them on the street.
- Securing the property when you go away; lock all the doors and windows!
- Being aware of the impact of noise and parties.
- Reporting all repairs needed to the agent/landlord (preferably in writing). The landlord's/agent's responsibility to repair begins only when they are aware of the problem. If the fault is not corrected within a reasonable period of time (dependant upon the nature of the disrepair) then seek advice from Manchester Student Homes, the Students' Union Advice Centre, Accommodation Office or Citizen's Advice.
Being a Good Neighbour
Meet your neighbours. Living in an off-campus area means you are now part of a vibrant and diverse local community which extends further than your immediate neighbours. Take the time to get to know your area and introduce yourself to the people who live near you. It may be worth exchanging numbers should you need to contact each other in case of an emergency.
You can see look at our 'Welcome to the Community' guide for more information.
Safety and Security
Burglars don't work to a schedule - if they see an open door or window they're likely to jump through it, whatever the time of day or night.
- Make sure that window lock keys are supplied.
- Make sure windows and doors are locked, even when you're at home. 1 in 3 burglaries are a result of an unlocked door or window. In the summer ground floor windows and doors can be a point of entry.
- Check with the landlord if contractors show up to ‘repair’ something.
- Register any valuable property (eg. laptops, tablets, smart phones) on Immobilise free of charge. This will assist the police to return lost or stolen items to their rightful owners and also acts as a deterrent to offenders.
- ID Image
- Let contractors, or anyone else, in without seeing some ID.
- Leave your house unsecured - this can invalidate your insurance and your landlord's. You might then face a claim for items that are stolen or damaged.
- Leave your windows and doors unlock when you're at home. Lock windows and doors when you're in another room, and don't leave laptops, valuables etc on display.
You must remember:
…to turn off the gas supply to the property if you suspect a leak of gas or carbon monoxide fumes.
…to report gas leaks to National Grid on 0800 111 999.
…not use a gas appliance if you think it's unsafe.
- Make sure the gas meter and cut-off valve are easily accessible.
- Make sure you get instructions on how to use appliances, particularly gas boilers.
- Report any problems with a gas appliance immediately to your landlord, in writing.
- Do your own DIY repairs on any gas appliance.
- Leave anything cooking whilst you are out of the room.
Please be Aware. The obligations on you and your landlord are statutory. To fail to meet them would be a criminal offence
Did you know that…
…your landlord has to make sure the electrical installation in the house is safe.
…any electrical appliances supplied by your landlord have to be safe to use.
…there should be user guides in the house for each appliance.
- Let your landlord have access to your house to test the electrical installation (with 24 hours written notice).
- Report any appliances that don't work straight away to your landlord, in writing.
- Use appliances according to the user instructions.
- Plug too many appliances into one socket.
- Ignore worn flexes on appliances.
- Do your own DIY repairs on appliances or sockets.
Your landlord has to provide adequate fire precautions and means of escape from fire. Manchester Student Homes works closely with accredited landlords, Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue, and Manchester City Council to ensure fire safety requirements are met in accredited properties. However, not all landlords are accredited with Manchester Student Homes. If you are considering renting accommodation that isn’t accredited, please also note the “Non-Accredited Landlords” section below.
What to look for:
- Smoke detectors should be in the hall and on the landing. They may also be in other rooms.
- If there are locks on the bedroom doors, there should be no keyhole on the bedroom side (so you don’t need to use a key to escape if there’s a fire).
- The front door lock should have no keyhole on the inside (so you don’t need to use a key to escape if there’s a fire).
- A fire blanket in the kitchen (there may be others elsewhere in the house but it’s important to have them in the kitchen).
- Make sure the house has all of the above. If not, move on to the next one and let us know.
- Get together with your housemates to come up with an escape plan in case of an incident.
- Battery fire/smoke alarms are tested on a weekly basis.
- Disconnect smoke alarms - this not only puts your life at risk but also invalidates the landlord's insurance.
- Prevent your landlord from entering your house (with 24 hours written notice) to service extinguishers or the fire detection system.
- Tamper with the smoke detector heads – they are wired to the mains.
- Block any passageways, the landing, hallway etc., with bikes, furniture, plants, traffic cones, etc.
- Prop your bedroom door open or disconnect the door closer.
The safety of all of our students is paramount. However and in respect of fire safety, the law requires the “responsible person” (landlords) to make adequate fire safety provisions but outside of the accreditation scheme, we have no way of checking the adequacy of the provisions that such landlords have in place. It is therefore very important that when choosing a place to rent, you check the arrangements by asking the following questions:
- Has a Fire Risk Assessment (FRA) been completed by an accredited Fire Risk Assessor? You are entitled to ask to see a copy.
- When was it done and what significant findings were identified? (Note The FRA should be done annually).
- Have the significant findings been rectified?
In addition to these questions you should check:
- All four points listed in “What to look for” above.
- Ask to see the testing records for the fire alarm (they should be tested weekly).
- Check that fire extinguishers are tested (there should be a test date panel on all extinguishers and they should be tested annually).
- Check the escape route from your potential rooms and the outside. There should be no obstructions or combustible materials on staircases, landings or corridors.
- Are the exit signs clear and obvious?
If you are unsure of the answers to any of these questions or can see no evidence of fire safety being properly managed, do not entertain living there and find somewhere else that satisfies these requirements.