From our own experience, we want to help tenants who have issues with their landlord. Our Director had a rogue landlord, and we wanted to warn people who may come across one.
A rogue landlord is someone who deliberately violates their obligations by renting out hazardous and low-quality housing to tenants, many of whom are oblivious to the telltale signs. Tenant applicants need to be cautious when looking for a new home to rent. Here are the things to watch out for before signing your tenancy agreement:
A landlord is required to provide their tenants with a safe and secure home and must promptly respond to their requests for repairs. The Rogue Landlord and Agent Checker is available to tenants in London. It is a tool that renters can refer to for checking the credentials of potential landlords and letting agents to make sure they are trustworthy.
An unconcerned home manager is a huge sign you’ve signed up with a rogue landlord. Usually such individuals don’t care for their community of tenants and are just there for the funds they will siphon from their properties. Most will not even supply their contact information as they don’t want to be bothered with tenant concerns.
Using the checker will help protect tenants from rogue landlords.
Rogue landlords often ask you to sign on-the-spot rental agreements.
If you are a tenant looking to rent, make sure what the landlord is offering is actually legitimate. Never sign a tenancy agreement if you are yet to see the property. A rogue landlord will typically rush you into making the decision so you will not have the chance to ask them for documents.
If they cannot show you a sample or copy of the tenancy agreement, then maybe they do not have one for a reason. If they do show you one, ask questions and check all the clauses. Do not sign the contract without asking questions or clarifying whether you can make any changes. t. Ask the landlord to email you the final draft, and let them know you’ll have to go over each page and clause before signing.
No repair inventory
If you see some disrepair in your potential home during the house tour, ask the landlord for a complete inventory. If they do not have one, ask them why. If they do have a list, ask when the repairs will commence.
Studio or one-bedroom flats have, understandably, a limited capacity. Rogue landlords typically squeeze in more people into one shabby flat to maximise rent payment. Some tenants would be made to stay in the garage; some would share one tiny bedroom with some others sleeping on the couch or on the floor.
Unlawful rent increases
A rogue landlord does not care about the welfare of the tenant and charges a rent increase from time to time even while the fixed-term contract has not ended yet. If you tell the authorities and/or threaten not to pay, they usually retaliate by evicting you, with no warning or explanations given. Again, this sort of eviction would be unlawful.
Does not protect Tenancy Deposit
Your assured shorthold tenancy security deposit needs to be protected through government-authorised tenancy deposit protection schemes such as MyDeposits and Deposit Protection Service. Such a protection scheme ensures your landlord will not lose your security deposit and that, if no deductions are to be made, you will get the whole amount after your tenancy agreement expires.
Ignores disrepair requests
Rogue landlords prefer to leave their property unrepaired despite persistent requests from tenants. No matter how many times you submit a request and how frequently you ask for updates, they will not respond or act on your requests.
Harassment and trespassing
If you have reported to your landlord all the disrepair in your home but they do not respond right away, keep following up until they do. They are supposed to give you a response within 21 days, after which, you have the option to seek professional help or take the case to court.
However, do know that if they do respond, they’re obligated to issue you a notice that they intend to do so 24 hours before entering your home. If they don’t give you a heads-up in advance, you have the right to deny them entry. Ensure you do not fall victim to any harassment or trespassing.
If they force their entry, you can seek the assistance of a lawyer.
How to report the rogue landlord
Before attempting any legal action against your rogue landlord, you might want to discuss things with them to clarify things. Do not go alone though. Have someone with you to witness the exchange.
Note down everything that you want to discuss with them then send them a transcript of your notes and your meeting through email.
Start your notes by indicating the reason you are filing the complaint and what you want to happen, date and time the problem occurred/you’ve noticed the disrepair, and the details of your conversation and agreement with them. Also provide:
- photos and videos of any disrepair as evidence;
- receipts, if you had to buy materials to implement a stopgap solution; and
- if you can, present a medical certificate if you somehow developed health problems because of the dilapidated state of your home.
PDFBox are happy to direct you to some experts should you need to any help with a rogue landlord. Should you need assistance to get your case started, contact the housing disrepair experts at disrepairclaim.co.uk to get you compensated for your landlord’s negligence.