Tips When Dealing with Rogue Landlords
Article provided by DisrepairClaim.co.uk:
A "rogue landlord" is a widely used term in the letting industry to describe a landlord who knowingly ignores their legal obligations by renting out unsafe and inhabitable accommodation to their tenants. Unfortunately, these landlords often take advantage of tenants who are vulnerable and in desperate need of a home. The situation in the UK appears to be getting worse with the pandemic affecting many people's living conditions.
Over the years, the number of rogue landlords in the UK has significantly increased. These landlords are a growing problem in the housing and rentals communities. They knowingly place tenants in poorly-maintained, overcrowded homes that are in a state of disrepair. Most tenants who fall prey to these landlords' illegal schemes are often resigned to their fate because they have limited housing options. Others are simple unaware that landlords are breaching their tenant rights according to UK law.
While the Government and local authorities have come up with actions and programs that prevent rouge landlords from victimising more tenants, there are other factors that have yet to be addressed for any solution to fully work. One of these is the lack of information about rogue landlords, especially on the part of tenants.
This short guide gives tenants information surrounding rogue landlords and tips on how to deal with one.
What tenants need to know about rogue landlords
For most tenants, the ideal landlord is one who readily acts on their requests, fixes any disrepair, and can be easily approached when a problem arises. If all landlords were this reasonable, the housing industry wouldn't be plagued with complaints from tenants.
Unfortunately, rogue landlords are all across the UK. You may have already encountered one, you just didn't know it. Spotting a rogue landlord can sometimes be tricky, but you should pay attention to what they say and do. You should also ask questions before finalising your tenancy agreement.
- Ask about where your rental deposit will go. Landlords are required by law to keep tenants' rental deposit safe in any of the government-recommended deposit protection schemes. Beware of landlords who avoid this question, or those who are unable to confidently answer this.
- Ask the landlord when the property was last cleaned, renovated, or fixed. If it hasn't been refurbished in years, you may be better off looking for another property to rent.
- Ask for the property's Energy Performance Certificate or EPC and gas safety certificate. These certificates are required by law, so you're probably dealing with a rogue landlord if they cannot produce these documents.
If it's too late to exit the house because your tenancy has started, don't worry. There are actions you can take to deal with your rogue landlord.
1. Know your tenant rights.
Your greatest weapon against rogue landlords are your legal rights as a tenant. These rights will protect you from them in case of disputes. If you understand your legal rights and act accordingly, you are much more likely to win any potential claim against your landlord. The following are your tenant rights:
- You have the right to live in a property or accommodation that is safe and in a good state or repair.
- You have the right to ensure that your rental deposit is protected in a government-approved TDS or Tenant Deposit Scheme.
- You have the right to ask for an EPC and gas certificate for the property.
- You have the right to be protected from unfair rent and unjust eviction.
- You have the right to reside in the property undisturbed.
- You have the right to know who your landlord is.
2. Keep a record of all documents, agreements, and actions.
Starting from the day your tenancy commences and every day thereafter, record or document everything that happens, including agreements, communication, payments, and repair requests. Take photos of every area or room in the property. Take videos as well. Take down notes of repairs and maintenance work, if there are any. Keeping a record of everything that happens within the property you are renting, and every time you communicate with your landlord, is good preparation in case you need to file a housing disrepair claim against your landlord.
3. Avoiding arguments is your best defence.
If your rogue landlord is ignoring repair requests, despite numerous fair attempts from you to inform them of it, avoid acting hastily and refrain from getting into an argument with them. If you stay calm, composed, and focused, you'll have a greater chance of getting a reply or action from the landlord. If the matter goes to court later down the line, the courts will look favourably on you and your behaviour.
Never give your landlord a reason to evict or initiate action against you. This includes always paying your rent on time, as if you withhold rent you will give your landlord grounds to evict you – no matter how unfair that might seem.
4. Work with a reputable letting agency.
Renting a property through a professional and reputable letting agency gives you the assurance that the accommodation provided to you is properly managed because they follow tenancy and property laws. Letting agencies manage rental properties owned by a landlord. They work with a team tasked to keep properties in liveable conditions, and they fix disrepair in home issues right away.
5. Get expert professional advice.
Aside from the suggestions listed above, you can also bring your rogue landlord to justice by working with a team of solicitors or disrepair compensation claims experts. You are liable to receive compensation for the inconveniences and health risks caused by poor living conditions and disrepair.
It can be a long and tedious process, but working with housing disrepair solicitors that are dedicated to helping tenants like you can make the process easier. An expert housing disrepair lawyer should be prepared to guide you every step of the way through any of the pitfalls your rogue landlord throws at you.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
DisrepairClaim.co.uk specialise in helping people obtain the compensation they're entitled to when a landlord fails to carry out repairs. They work with expert surveyors from across the country to inspect your home. This ensures repairs are carried out properly and that you receive the maximum amount of compensation possible. They operate on a no win, no fee basis and can provide a no obligation review of your case. Contact:
9 Portland Street
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