All tenants have obligations to both their landlord and their neighbours during their tenancy at a property. These are outlined below.
Payment of Rent
A standing order must be set up for the monthly rent payments to be paid on or before the due date. It is the tenants responsibility to ensure that the standing order is set up correctly and that the rent reaches Islands & Highlands Lettings on time. The bank details can be found on your tenancy agreement. Please be aware that late payment of rent can lead to interest charges, be used as grounds for notice to leave and can eventually lead to the tenant being evicted from the property.
Utilities & Council Tax
Unless your tenancy agreement explicitly states otherwise, the tenant is responsible for paying all electricity, gas and oil bills. Tenants may change supplier but Islands & Highlands Lettings should be informed with the new details for their records.
All tenants are liable for council tax unless they are full time students. More details can be found with the Highland Council. The Landlord, or Islands & Highlands Lettings on their behalf, will notify the local authority regarding who is responsible for paying the council tax and any other associated charges.
All media services such as telephone, internet television licence and television packages are the tenant’s responsibility. If a tenant wishes to install a satellite dish or or any wiring, they must get permission in writing from the landlord.
Cleaning, Rubbish & Recycling
At the start of the tenancy, the property should be in a clean condition. If the tenant has any concerns regarding the initial cleanliness of the property, Islands & Highlands Lettings must be informed within 7 days of the start date. It is the tenant’s responsibility to maintain the cleanliness of the property and it’s carpets, curtains, appliances, furniture and other furnishings and fittings.
The tenant is responsible for the disposal of all refuse appropriately. Wheelie bins will be available at the property and other recycling facilities will be present in the area. To see which days of the week refuse collection happens for the property or for more information, please visit the Highland Council.
To reduce the build up of condensation and therefore mould in the property, it is important that the property is well ventilated with windows opened regularly and any extraction fans are used.
If a tenant wishes to re-decorate part of the property or hang / fix anything to the walls, they must first gain written permission from the landlord.
In the winter months it is important that the property is protected from any damage that could be caused by low temperatures such as burst pipes. Please ensure that the heating is maintained over the winter months to prevent this from happening.
Smoke Detectors and Carbon Monoxide Alarms
All alarms must be regularly checked and batteries replaced as necessary.
Instruction manuals for the various appliances can be found within the property and they should be referred to before using the relevant appliance. If there is a manual missing, copies can often be found online. If a tenant is still experiencing problems, please inform Islands & Highlands Lettings.
Legionnaires Disease is a bacterium, legionella, that can be found in water systems and cause health problems. Running taps and showers for a few minutes after the property has been empty for any length of time, will help to reduce the risk.
As we require an annual risk assessment to be undertaken at each property, access will be on an agreed time and date.
It is important to get on with and respect your neighbours. As Skye and Lochalsh have many crofting communities, all tenants should be aware of local practices such as communal grazing, keeping dogs on leads and leaving gates as you find them. More information can be found at Scottish Outdoor Access Code.
If the property has a communal area, they should be kept tidy and other disturbances to local residents should be kept to a minimum.
There will be more specific details within your tenancy agreement. However in general it is expected that if a property has a garden, it should be maintained by the tenant. The lawns should be mowed, hedges trimmed, paths and borders weeded and shrubs lightly pruned. The tenant may employ a gardener to carry out these tasks on behalf of the tenant. Any costs involved would be the tenant’s responsibility.
The tenant should not remove any shrubs or trees, nor heavily prune them. If the tenant wishes to do any landscaping of the gardening, they must gain permission in writing from the landlord.
During the tenancy, it is expected that tenants are responsible for looking after the property and any contents left by the landlord. It is the tenants responsibility to deal with minor maintenance issues and odd jobs such as changing light bulbs, tightening screws, replacing batteries. If a tenant breaks an item or something breaks down due to the way the tenant was using it, it is their responsibility to replace or fix it.
If more serious problems or issues arise, Islands & Highlands Lettings should be notified as soon as possible. If initial communication is made by telephone or in person, any details should be backed up in writing, ideally by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Islands & Highlands Lettings will then take any necessary measures to try and resolve the problems or issues. The landlord will also be informed and will be involved in any decisions that need to be made.
If a tenant notices an issue and does not inform Islands & Highlands Lettings, the tenant may be held liable for the cost of any damage caused by the issue.
It is the landlords responsibility to ensure that all boilers are maintained and serviced annually. If the property has an oil tank, it is tenant’s responsibility to ensure that the tank does not run out of oil and is regularly topped up. If this was to happen, any damage caused would be the tenant’s responsibility. If there is a chimney present, it is swept before the commencement of the tenancy. Thereafter it is the tenant’s responsibility to arrange this throughout their tenancy as per their tenancy agreement.
If the property has a septic tank, the tank should be emptied every 2 years though this can vary. If a septic tank is emptied, the tenant should inform Islands & Highlands Lettings so they can update their records for future tenancies. If you are not sure if your septic tank requires emptying or not, please contact Islands & Highlands Lettings.
All the appliances provided with the rental must be good in working order. To ensure this, an annual PAT is carried out at each property on behalf of the landlord. This will be at an agreed date and time. It is the tenant’s responsibility to ensure any appliances they bring into the property are in good working order.
The landlord is responsible for ensuring their property continuously meets the Repairing Standard. If the tenant believes that the landlord has
failed to ensure that the property meets the Repairing Standard at all times during the tenancy, he or she should discuss this with the landlord or Islands & Highlands Lettings in the first instance.
If the problem is not rectified within a reasonable time, the tenant has the right to apply to the First-tier Tribunal for Scotland Housing and Property Chamber (“the Tribunal”). The Tribunal may reject the application; consider whether the case can be resolved by the tenant and landlord (for example, by agreeing to mediation); consider the application; or reject the case. The Tribunal has power to require a landlord to carry out work necessary to meet the Repairing Standard.
The Repairing Standard does not cover work for which the tenant is responsible due to his or her duty to use the property in a proper manner; nor does it cover the repair or maintenance of anything that the tenant is entitled to remove from the property.
Periodically Islands & Highlands Lettings will carry out periodic visits of the rental properties. The main purpose of the visit is to ensure the property is in good order and well looked after. It also gives tenants an opportunity to raise any issues that they have. The date of the visit will be given by Islands & Highlands Lettings in writing. If this date is unsuitable, there will be time for the date to be changed. The tenant does not need to be present but as previously stated, it can be an opportunity to discuss anything that has arisen since the last visit or since the tenancy began.
If a tenant wishes to keep a pet at the property, written permission from the landlord must be gained first. Please contact Islands & Highlands Lettings to discuss the situation in the first instance.
If someone over the age of 18 years moves into the property and uses the property as their main residence, they must be included in your tenancy agreement. Please contact Islands & Highlands Lettings for more information.
Neither the property nor any part of the property may be sub-let without express permission from the landlord in writing.
Other relevant sections to read include: