When the shoe is on the other foot – Bad Landlords

When the shoe is on the other foot – Bad Landlords

At #TeamCES, we work with a diverse collection of landlords, who all share the same ethics and values as us.

Yes, many of them became landlords for investment purposes (and there’s nothing wrong with that!) but they also care about their tenants…

They genuinely care about providing safe, clean and comfortable housing for their private tenants.
When that falls down, and they end up with ‘bad’ tenants, those who refuse to pay or who cause damage, we help them get back what they’re owed and reclaim their properties.

We’re very good at helping them do that, too.

But, what about when the shoe is on the other foot?

What about when it’s the landlord who is breaking their side of the arrangement?

We appreciate that people out there could be put off from making a complaint, through fear of later being served with a Section 21 (no fault eviction) notice further down the line, but there are things tenants can do when faced with one of the following issues.

(We’ll cover those issues first, before exploring the options available to renters…)

Your landlord might not be carrying out necessary repairs, and remember, the property owner bears the responsibility to fix a wide range of issues, from walls, the roof, the foundations and the electric, through to boilers, pipes, drains, sinks and toilets.

Not only do they need to address these issues, but they need to do so within a reasonable time, to minimise disruption.

It could be that your home is unfit for habitation, due to issues like damp or mould. If it’s affecting your health, the landlord has a legal obligation to check these issues out and get them sorted. With the recent death of a young child in Rochdale, as a result of exposure to mould, this is a serious matter, now, more than ever.

Persistently avoiding necessary works, which then result in damage to property or illness could be classed as negligence by a landlord.

Moving away from issues with the property, you also have options open to you if your landlord raises the rent unfairly, or if you believe they’re harassing you.

So, those are examples of how we might define a ‘bad’ landlord, but what options are available for tenants faced with this challenge?

Check your rental agreement, that’s the first thing you should do.

Get familiar with everything you and your landlord signed up to, so that you know exactly what they should be doing and by when they should be doing it.

Next, you should record evidence of your issues, whether that’s through photographs, email chains, or receipts for work you’ve had to organise and pay for yourself.

You should talk to your landlord, as much as you are able to, giving them the chance to sort out your problems, although if you’re affected by a ‘bad’ landlord, chances are that you already have.

A formal complaint to your landlord (in writing), with full details and evidence where necessary, is a method of stepping up your concerns.

If this doesn’t start to influence change, you may need to go above your landlord and seek external advice. Writing a formal complaint to your Council or a local MP is the next option available to you.

For further assistance and advice on what options are available to tenants faced with a bad landlord, you can turn to Citizen’s Advice, or even the charities:

  1. Shelter
  2. Justice for Tenants
  3. Generation Rent
  4. Advice for Renters
  5. Complain to your local council or MP about your landlord.

    As we mentioned earlier, we fully understand that tenants may be fearful of ultimately being evicted by landlords whom they complain about, and that is a possibility (at least whilst Section 21 Notices remain) but change has to start with action, and as difficult as it may be, ‘bad’ landlords need to be evicted from the industry, just as bad tenants need to be evicted from their properties.

    TeamCES are fortunate to work with, and on behalf of, a group of landlords who really care about their tenants, and in turn, we really care about them. The rental market is in a bit of turmoil at the moment, and as a country, we have to weed out the ‘bad’ seeds, whichever side of the arrangement they’re on.

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