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Information for Private Tenants

Information for private tenants regarding all aspects of living in private rented accommodation

Devon minimum property standards

This document lists the minimum standards that a property should meet in order to be fit for renting out privately.

Devon minimum property standards (PDF) [18KB] (opens in new tab)

Tenancy Agreements

Click here (opens in new tab) to go to GOV.UK Private renting for tenants: tenancy agreements.

This will give you full details of all aspects of tenancy agreements.


Tenancy Deposit Protection Schemes have been set up to help protect tenants and their deposits.  All deposits taken for an assured shorthold tenancy must be protected by a Government authorised scheme.  The schemes can also help to resolve disputes about deposits between tenants and landlords.

For more information visit GOV.UK Deposit protection schemes (opens in new tab)

Who should do repairs

The landlord (or owner) is responsible for making sure the property can be occupied safely and healthily.  They must make sure the property is dry and structurally stable, and keep in proper working order the heating and hot/cold water supplies, lighting, ventilation, gas and electricity supplies, bathrooms, kitchens and drainage.

As a tenant you are responsible for carrying out minor repairs such as replacing light bulbs and any damage you (or a visitor) has caused to the property such as a broken window.

What the landlord can do;

  • they have the right to come into the property to check what repairs are needed; but
  • they must give you 24 hours notice and agree a suitable time with you;
  • they should arrange for certain jobs to be carried out more quickly than others e.g. a toilet should be unblocked within 24 hours whereas a dripping tap may be repaired within a longer timescale;

What the Council can do;

If your landlord fails to maintain the property and meet the legal standards we can, if necessary, serve notices requiring work to be carried out within a given period.  If they fail to carry out repairs, or fail to ensure the property meets minimum requirements then we have the powers to hire contractors to carry out works in default and/or prosecute the landlord.

Shelter - Responsibility for repairs (opens in new tab)

Click here for guidance on damp, condensation and mould plus how to report a property in poor condition.

Your rights if you are renting

You have certain rights and responsibilities if you are a tenant in a privately rented property.

Click here (opens in new tab) to go to GOV.UK Private renting - Your rights and responsibilities

Help with your rent

You could be entitled to housing benefit if you are in receipt of:

  • Income support
  • Employment Support Allowance
  • Job Seekers Allowance
  • Working, but on a low income

There are certain restrictions on housing benefit for people under the age of 35.  Housing Benefit does not cover any bills, such as water rates.

To find out if you might entitled or for more information go to .

Worried about losing your home?

You may also find this section useful Homeless or threatened with homelessness?

Contact Us


Phone: 01237 428700

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