A great piece from The Independent yesterday. Shelter have published statistics showing that 125,000 people have fallen victim to abusive landlord relationships in the past year, with abuse ranging from the unlawful removal of utilities, unlawful entry, unlawful eviction and actual property damage. There are a range of statutory and common law protections against this kind of behaviour.
Tenants seeking to resolve an issue with their landlord should first make a complaint to the landlord before taking any other action. Should that not resolve the dispute, further action will involve local authorities and eventually the Housing Ombudsman Service.
(I write this just as I head to meet with my landlord after receiving a rather confusing letter in the post stating their desire to double our rent. . .)
Moving into a new flat should be an exciting time, especially for a couple who have just married. But for 42-year-old Chris the new flat rent in south-west London turned into a nightmare. “It seemed nice at first,” he says. “It was a top floor conversion and we could sit on the sofa in the lounge and see the River Wandle.” But problems quickly arose and ended with the sports development consultant being pelted with stones by his landlord. Troubles began when the couple spotted damp in the bedroom and then discovered there was a leaking roof. There was no gas safety certificate and lots of other little things, recalls Chris. “The kettle would sometimes blow up because there was an issue with the wiring. The sink leaked into the flat below so badly that it damaged their television and ruined their baby photos.” The couple counted 18 things wrong with the place so, when it came to renew their contract, they tackled the landlord. Despite promising to make repairs, the work was shoddy and useless and when he was contacted again, the landlord turned to intimidation.