Landlords Jargon Buster

See an explanation of words and phrases used when discussing matters relating to landlords.

Tenant’s Obligations

The tenancy agreement will include express terms that the tenant must abide by, but there are also implied terms provided by law which may not be set out in the tenancy agreement. It is important for a tenant to follow the tenancy agreement as the landlord could take the matter to Court should a tenant not follow the agreed terms of their tenancy agreement.

Tenant-Like Manner

This obligation has been defined in previous cases, as ‘to do the little jobs about the place which a reasonable tenant would do’ such as keeping toilets and drains clear, or putting refuse out for collection. The tenant should always look after the property and avoid causing damage to it. The tenant has the responsibility to ensure the property is not damaged on purpose, and is kept clean and free from rubbish during the course of the tenancy.  In general, the landlord is responsible for repairs and maintenance of the exterior and structure of the property. The tenant does have a duty to report any repairs to the landlord if the repair relates to the exterior or structure. If the tenant does intentionally damage the property, the landlord will be permitted to pass on the cost of works or repairs to the tenant.

Fair Wear And Tear

You will often come across this term in a tenancy agreement. It means that the tenants should leave the property in the same condition as when they began the tenancy agreement, but fair wear and tear (such as walls needing re-freshing) then this is excluded. The reasonable of this will usually depend on the length of time spent in the property.

Paying The Rent

It may be simple but there is an implied condition that the tenant must pay the rent (as agreed) to the landlord in exchange for temporary possession of the property. Rent is usually paid in advance and the tenant should check the tenancy agreement to clarify how much rent is to be paid and the day that it is due on. Should the tenant not pay the rent, then the landlord has permission to take the matter to a Court. The landlord could evict the tenant and claim back any outstanding rent that is due.


The tenant has an implied duty not to leave the property empty for long periods. In order for the tenancy agreement to be valid, the tenant must actually live in the property and use the property as their main home. The tenant should inform the landlord if they will be leaving the property for any length of time. This could be due to Hospital admission, serving a prison sentence or going on holiday. If the tenant does not keep the landlord informed, the landlord may well assume that the tenant has abandoned the property.

Asking Permission

The tenancy agreement will usually state what the tenant will require permission for. Most tenants have to ask permission from the landlord if they want to make improvements in the property, sublet, pass on the tenancy to someone else or run a business from the property. The tenant should check the tenancy agreement. Depending on the type of tenancy, the landlord may well refuse the request. To protect themselves, tenants should always make a request in writing and not carry out the ‘request’ until they have received the landlord’s written permission.

Carol O' Leary

Specialist Landlord Services In Corby & Kettering

My name is Carol O’ Leary. I am a lawyer who specialises in landlord and tenant legal services. We aim to provide our clients with an outstanding legal service.

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