Tenants’ Charter

  • Introduction
  • Occupiers responsibilities
  • Ending the tenancy
  • Where to get help

Birmingham Property Services (BPS) is a part of the Economy Directorate of Birmingham City Council. We provide a property and valuation service to all City Council departments. Part of our responsibility is to manage and dispose of City-owned commercial land and property including shops, offices, industrial units, warehouses, business parks and development sites.

1. Introduction

This charter gives you a guide to your rights and responsibilities as a tenant of Birmingham Property Services. It is meant as a point of reference, not a complete statement of law. If any points are unclear, contact your Property Manager.

2. Occupiers responsibilities

2.1 Things to do straight away

Contact your chosen utility supplier to arrange supply and ensure that all meters are read on the first day of your tenancy, even if you are not moving in until later.

Speak to your insurance broker about the range of risks to insure against. Make sure you have the right cover for your needs.

Find out the position of:

  • The water stopcock
  • The mains electricity switch
  • The fusebox
  • The gas isolator valve

2.2 Your responsibilities as a tenant

You must:

  • Pay rent as set out in your agreement; immediately it becomes due (further details on how to pay your rent are set out in point 2.4).
  • Pay charges for all water, gas, electricity, telephone and similar services consumed on the premises, and business rates.
  • Put and keep the premises in good and substantial repair. Please refer to your lease or Tenancy Agreement for confirmation of what you are responsible for in your property. Inform the Council if repairs are needed for which we are responsible. Contacting us as soon as the problem arises will enable us to deal with the repair quickly.
  • Before making any alteration to the property, write to your Property Manager with details of your proposal.
  • Use the premises only for the permitted use and only during the hours of use specified in your agreement.
  • Allow the Council, or its authorised agents, to enter the premises to carry out repairs at all reasonable times after giving you reasonable prior notice except in an emergency.
  • Give the landlord proper notice if you wish to leave (as set out in point 3.1).

You must not:

  • Do anything which would be a nuisance or annoyance to others. This can include harassment relating to their race, disability, sexuality, gender, religion, age, or physical or mental health.
  • Use the premises for any illegal or immoral purpose.
  • Apply for, or implement, any planning permission in respect of the premises without the prior written consent of the Property Manager.
  • Assign the premises without first obtaining the Council’s consent or sublet the premises under any circumstances.

Tenants of multi-occupied office, retail or industrial premises may have to pay a variable service charge by way of additional rent for the maintenance and servicing of the common parts within the building. Further details are available from your Property Manager. This is only a broad outline of your responsibilities. You will have other responsibilities, and details will be shown in your lease or Tenancy Agreement.

2.3 The Council’s responsibilities

The Council will:

  • Respect your right to quiet enjoyment of the property and give you exclusive possession of the premises during the term.
  • Give you reasonable notice if the Council needs access to the premises to do repairs (except in the case of an emergency when notice may not be possible).
  • Usually be responsible for the repair of the main structure of the property and the roof. This may vary depending on the specific terms in your lease or Tenancy Agreement. Please refer to your lease or Tenancy Agreement for confirmation, or contact your Property Manager for advice if you are unsure. If you occupy a multi-tenanted property, the Council will keep its common parts in good repair.
  • Comply with the Council’s Harassment Policy and Procedure to ensure that if you experience and report harassment relating to your race, disability, etc, that it will be taken seriously.

2.4 Paying the rent

Rent is usually payable on the traditional quarter days which are 25 March, 24 June, 29 September and 25 December.

It is your responsibility to ensure the Council receives your payment, and failure to pay by the due date may result in recovery action being taken without further warning.

Please note that you should allow four working days for any payment made at the bank or post office to reach our account. If you do not receive an invoice one week before your payment is due, please telephone the Property Income Unit on 0121 303 3951. The available methods of payment and contact telephone numbers will be shown on each invoice and it is recommended that you ask about payment by way of direct debit.

If at any time you are unable to pay the full sum by the due date, you should contact the Property Income collection on 0121 303 3951 or email to edd_piu@birmingham.gov.uk for advice.

2.5 Getting repairs done

To find out who is responsible for a specific repair please refer to your lease or Tenancy Agreement. In most instances the Council is responsible for repairs to the structure of the building, with internal repairs being your responsibility. If you are unsure who is responsible, contact your Property Manager for advice.

If you are a tenant of a neighbourhood shop and have a Council flat above your property, then you should refer any problems, such as water leaks coming from the flat, to your local Neighbourhood Office. To find out the number of your nearest Neighbourhood Office, contact 0121 303 1111.

Let the Council know promptly when any repair for which we are responsible needs carrying out, either contact your Property Manager by phone or inform us in writing. If the repairs are not carried out promptly, please let us know so we can chase them up for you. Do not stop paying the rent as this could give the Council grounds for taking proceedings against you.

2.6 Safety in your property

  • Keep all your fire escape routes clear – don’t block them with furniture, bikes, rubbish, bags or stock.
  • Don’t overload your electric sockets and wiring.
  • If you go away for a long period, or during the winter, turn the water off and drain the tank to avoid frozen pipes.
  • Keep the premises secure.
  • If you experience harassment because of your race, disability, sexuality, gender, religion, age, or physical or mental health, report all incidents to your local Neighbourhood Office. To find out the number of your nearest Neighbourhood office, contact 0121 303 1111.

3. Ending the tenancy

3.1 If you want to leave you will need to give the Council written notice of your intention to leave as set out in your Tenancy Agreement.

Notice of termination must be given in writing and served on the Council, specifying the address and giving the notice period to end on a specific date.

The rent will need to be paid up to and including the last day of the term. If your departure date is not a rent day, the Council will refund any overpayment of rent. You will also need to pay any service charge for which you are responsible.

If you have a lease, please refer to your Property Manager for advice as to whether you are allowed to leave before the end of the contractual term.

If you wish to assign your tenancy or lease, please contact us promptly for our consent before proceeding.

Unless we are notified you will continue to be responsible for rent, service charge and rates.

3.2 Repair, decoration and condition

Before you leave the Council will arrange to inspect the premises to ensure you have met all your responsibilities.

You must give the Council full vacant possession and leave the premises in good and substantial repair. All tenants’ goods and fixtures and fittings must be removed from the premises and any damage caused to the premises by their removal must be made good. The property must be left clean and tidy and suitable for immediate reoccupation.

You must provide a completion certificate from a qualified electrician who confirms that the wiring complies with legislation and is safe to use.

3.3 When you leave

On the date you leave you will need to:

  • Read all supply meters and notify the suppliers of your departure.
  • Secure the property and return all keys to the Property Manager. Please note that returning the keys before the agreed vacation date will not terminate your liability unless previously agreed in writing by the Council.

4. Where to get help

Birmingham Property Services –

Email: bps@birmingham.gov.uk

New Premises To Let 0121 303 3935 email: bpslettings@birmingham.gov.uk

Property Income Collection 0121 303 3951 email: edd_piu@birmingham.gov.uk