Tower Hamlets Private Renters' Charter
This charter sets out standards the law demands from all private landlords and agents. If you rent a room, a flat or a house in Tower Hamlets, the council and every organisation signed up to the charter aims to make sure that your landlord meets those standards.
The Private Renter's Charter can be read in:
If your landlord lives in the same flat or house as you, and shares a bathroom, kitchen or living room with you, then you are a lodger instead of a tenant. Lodgers have fewer rights than tenants, and the information on this page does not apply to you.
Please visit the Shelter website for more information.
Get advice if you are not sure whether or not you are a lodger. For example, you are not a lodger if:
- you live with a “head tenant” who collects the rent; or
- your landlord moved in after you first moved in; or
- your lanllord keeps a room for themselves but does not live there
If you are a lodger, the links below will let you know if the statement does not apply to you
You must be treated fairly
- No discrimination It is against the law to discriminate against your nationality, race, religion, sexuality, disability or gender. However, you have to give your agent or landlord proof of your legal right to live in the UK.
- Letting Agency fees At the moment, letting agents may charge you a fee. But if they do, their fees including tax must be displayed clearly in their offices and on their website. You shouldn’t need to ask to see them.
- Money protection Ask whether your letting agent belongs to a client money protection scheme. These schemes protect any money you pay to the agent as deposit and rent - even if the agent closes down.
- Complaints Agents must be registered with an independent organisation for dealing with complaints. The logo of the complaints redress scheme they belong to must be displayed
- Permission to rent Your landlord must have the necessary permission to rent.
- Legal information Your landlord or agent must give you the government’s ‘How to Rent’ booklet when you move in.
- Rent increases Your rent should not go up during the fixed period of your tenancy.
- Deposit protection Within 30 days of taking your deposit, your landlord must prove to you that they have protected it with one of the three authorised schemes.
- Fair tenancy Your tenancy must be fair and understandable. You shouldn’t be hit with surprise fees.
- Tenancy agreement Good landlords and agents give you a written tenancy agreement. The law says they must put in writing the address of your room or flat, the length of the agreement, the rent, and the landlord’s name and contact address.
- Moving out Your landlord must follow a strict legal process if they want you to move out. That process takes time. If your landlord or agent wants you to move out, get immediate advice.
Your home must be safe and secure
- It’s your home! Your landlord or agent must not disturb or harass you. Your landlord can only visit when it is convenient for you, unless it’s an emergency. They must give you at least 24 hours’ notice.
- Reasonable repair Your home must be safe, and your landlord must make repairs to its structure in reasonable time.
- Damp and mould Your home should be free from damp and mould problems.
- Alarms Your home must have a working smoke alarm on every floor. If you have solid fuel heating, your landlord must also fit a carbon monoxide detector.
- Electrical safety The wiring and any electrical items supplied with your home must be safe.
- Gas safety If you have a gas supply, your landlord must give you a valid gas safety certificate when you move in. Every 12 months, a certified Gas Safe engineer must check your appliances.
Most landlords and agents in Tower Hamlets already meet these legal standards. If your landlord or agent does not, you can contact any of the organisations signed up to the Charter. We all promise to find the best way to improve your situation - and the most effective action to take against landlords or agents who break the rules.
- Account 3
- Bromley By Bow Centre
- Citizen's Advice East End
- Legal Advice Centre
- Praxis Community Projects
- Tower Hamlets Law Centrre
- Toynbee Hall
Tower Hamlets Private Renters’ Charter is endorsed and backed by the following organisations. They all are committed to making sure that private renters live in homes that are safe and secure, and that landlords and agents treat tenants fairly under the law.
- ARLA Property
- Deposit Protection Scheme
- Generation Rent
- My Deposit
- Ombudsman Services
- Renters' Rights
- Residential Landlords Association
- Tenancy Deposit Scheme
- The Property Ombudsman