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Find out your legal rights as a private tenant, and other organisations who can help the GRT community.

These legal rights apply to all assured shorthold tenancies, most private lettings arrangements will be in this category.

Written contract

Your landlord should provide a written contract for you to sign.

You should be provided with the following information when you start your tenancy:

  • how to rent guide
  • gas safety and energy performance certificate

If these were not given to you, your landlord may not be able to take possession of your property.


You have the right to have the accommodation kept in a reasonable state of repair by your landlord.


If you are paying a deposit, by law and as part of your landlord's initial requirements, it should be protected by a deposit scheme backed by government, and information on where it is held should be given to you.

Fair treatment

You have the right to be treated fairly regardless of your age, race, religion, culture, gender, sexual orientation or disability.

Enforcing your rights

You can enforce your rights, for instance to get repairs done, without fear of eviction, though your landlord may decide not to renew the tenancy agreement at the end of the fixed term.

Right to stay in accommodation

You have the right to stay in the accommodation until the fixed term ends unless your landlord can convince the court there are reasons for eviction, for example:

  • rent arrears
  • damage to property
  • any of the terms of the agreement have been broken

Your landlord has to serve you a legal notice and take it to court for an eviction to take place.


Your landlord can't evict you unless there are good reasons for eviction. For example:

  • rent arrears
  • damage to the property
  • you have broken one of the terms of the rent agreement  and you have been served a valid legal notice to ask you to leave. 

To avoid eviction make sure you do not have rent arrears, damage the property or breach other parts of your tenancy agreements.  If you do get served notice seek assistance to check that it is legal.

Death of the tenant

You may have the right of a spouse, civil partner, or other partner to take over the tenancy on your death , this called the ‘right of succession. If you think this could apply to you seek advice.

Get help

If you think you're being harassed or your landlord is trying to evict you can call Bristol City Council: 0117 352 1600 or 0117 352 5010 or email tenancy.relations@bristol.gov.uk

If it's outside office hours (after 17.00 or on a Saturday or Sunday) you can contact the police. Non-emergency call: 101 or emergencies call: 999

Other organisations who can help

If you are having trouble with your landlord or think you are being treated unfairly you can get advice about renting from a private landlord from Citizens Advice Go to http://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/housing/renting-a-home/renting-from-a-private-landlord/ (opens new window)  or call: 03444 111 444

Avon and Bristol Law Centre Go to https://www.ablc.org.uk (opens new window) call: 0117 924 8662

Stand Against Racism and Inequality (SARI) Go to https://saricharity.org.uk/ (opens new window) call: 0117 942 0060

The Networks' Romanian-speaking Roma Support Service for help with housing, education, money matters, health or about Roma community activities and events in Bristol.
Ramona Amuza, Community Engagement Officer, call: 07956 409 982 or email ramona.amuza@wellspringhlc.org Go to mailto:ramona.amuza@wellspringhlc.org (opens new window)

If you are homeless, contact St. Mungo's Go to https://www.mungos.org/ (opens new window), call: 0117 944 0581 or 0117 987 2055

Acorn the union Go to https://acorntheunion.org.uk/ (opens new window) If you are living in poor quality private rented accommodation

Shelter Go to http://england.shelter.org.uk (opens new window) call: 0344 515 1430