COMMONS

Private rented sector web forum

The Communities and Local Government (CLG) Committee is holding an inquiry into the Private Rented Sector, focusing on the powers local authorities have to deal with 'rogue' landlords.

Your experience of 'rogue landlords'

The Committee set up this web forum to hear directly from people who have been affected by such landlords in the private rented sector and would like to share their stories. This will give us a good understanding of the challenges people face in the private rented sector and help us to focus our recommendations on the key issues.

If you have recently been affected by a 'rogue' landlord in the private rented sector and sought support from your local authority, we want to hear from you.

Send us your views

Specifically, we were interested in your answers to any of the following questions that apply to you:

  • Have you been affected by a 'rogue’ landlord? If so, what happened?
  • Did your letting agent deal with your complaint effectively?
  • Did your local authority support you effectively?
  • How could your local authority have supported you better?
  • If you could make one change to provide better protection for tenants in the private rented sector, what would it be?

For your information  

Please note that the CLG Committee is unable to provide direct support to individuals facing ongoing problems with their landlord and this forum should not be used to report urgent defects in your home.

If you require assistance in dealing with your landlord or in raising any issues that of are concern to you regarding your home, please contact your letting agent, local authority, or the Citizens Advice Bureau.

Your local MP may also be able to assist you or make representations on your behalf in some cases. You can find your local MP on our website.

How we use and publish this information

Your personal data will be processed in accordance with the provisions of the Data Protection Act 1998 and the Clerk of the House of Commons is the data controller for the purposes of the Act. The data you supply in this forum will be processed for the purpose of informing the committee's inquiry and contributing to a report.

The information will be archived as part of official record. If you have any questions or concerns about the collection and use of your information please contact the Committee Clerk at clgcom@parliament.uk.

If you would like more information about your Data Protection rights, please contact the House of Commons Information Rights and Information Security (IRIS) Service on 020 7219 2559 or the Information Commissioner's Office at www.ico.org.uk, tel. 0303 123 1113.

Comment moderation

This forum is pre-moderated and comments that breach the online discussion rules will not be posted. Any allegations made against specific individuals or companies may be edited to remove identifying information before being posted.

117 Responses to Private rented sector

Ben wayles says:
January 30, 2018 at 12:05 PM
Lived in a flat in Stretford with damp and cracked windows upon moving in. They promised to fix the window before we were in but after 5 months had done nothing. The boiler broke and we were left for 3 weeks without heating or hot water after an extremely rude plumber came and merely said it's broken, and left rubbish and water strewn across the floor. Luckily we were in a position to pack up and leave the flat demanding the deposit back, but it was back on the market 1 week later for more money. It's a shame there is no kind of liveability check in-between tenants, that'd would create jobs for inspectors and enforce better standards for landlords

Regards
Ben
Conor Johnson says:
January 29, 2018 at 04:09 PM
In my personal experience, ‘rouge landlords’ are part of a wider issue within the private rented sector. Issues include exorbitant rents versus quality of housing, lack of communication between tenants and letting agents acting on behalf of property owners and tenants having little to no legal representation in the private sector. I grew up in local authority and private rented housing, and since the age of eighteen have privately rented in various locations across the U.K. I am submitting evidence on behalf of myself, and others who I have previously rented accommodation with, as we believe private tenants do not have equal standing with private landlords. Many landlords also fail to understand that these properties are also people’s homes, and should be treated as such.
Dangerous and negligent behaviour:
• August 2014: Moved into a property in North London, which did not have fire alarms correctly fitted, without batteries and disconnected.
• March 2015: Leak in property in North London was wilfully ignored after several emails and communication with the letting agent. Subsequently ceiling collapsed in my bedroom due to leak from radiator in flat above (also managed by same letting agent and owned by same landlord) leaving me unable to use my room for over a week.
• July 2015: No out of hours number in case of emergencies, subsequently was locked in flat after letting agents did not correctly lock shared front door causing myself and others to be locked in the building over the weekend, as they used a dead lock which no-one had keys for.
• November 2016: Property in Leeds, window in my bedroom was smashed during a burglary; this was subsequently boarded up but not replaced for four weeks during a cold snap, leaving my remaining possessions and myself vulnerable. I had to use old clothes and blankets to keep out the draft.
Exorbitant rents versus the standard of the property:
• Flat in London over £1450 PCM, property was decent in standard but letting agents were unable to keep up to upkeep and placed others and myself tenants in a dangerous position.
• A flat in Leeds £700 PCM per person for a property that needs repainting, has had a new kitchen fitted but has not been finished. Other issues include old dirty carpets that do not clean even with a carpet cleaner, torn and stained lino and underfloor insulation made from Styrofoam, packing foam and other unsafe materials, initially this property also had faulty electrics.
Poor conditions of housing:
• Consistently having mould painted over, rather than being treated. This is commonplace and is something I have been aware of since I was a child.
• Poorly locking doors and windows undermining security of properties and personal possessions.
• Consistently being promised homes will be re-touched, deep cleaned and in some instances redecorated prior to moving in only to find properties have been left untouched since the previous tenants moved out.
• Landlords disregard for faulty appliances, such a washing machines and other whitegoods. On one instance, the washing machine in one property flashed blue light, and was not replaced for over a week leaving a house of five adults without the means to wash our clothes, other than resorting to washing our clothes in the bathtub or taking larger items to the laundrette.
Sian Evans says:
January 29, 2018 at 12:08 PM
My old flat experienced ongoing problems with ingress of water through cracked render for my entire tenancy. I asked and asked for something to be done. At one point there were mushrooms growing in my bedroom. My letting agent refused to act, saying that it wasn't that bad, and refused to give me details to contact my landlord. When the landlord attempted to remortgage, the property surveyor reported back on the damp and suddenly the agents were willing to act. Their proposed solution was for workmen to have full access into and out of my property while I was not home for 4 months while they repaired the render, with no compensation for the fact that I would have to move elsewhere. I refused and fortunately the tenant in the lower flat left, so they accessed the rear through the vacant flat, however I cam home to find that the workmen had forced open a window which I had nailed closed when they refused to repair the locks. When I complained, the head of my letting agency told me that as I had been there 4 years they could get a lot more rent if I left, so if I didn't keep quiet they would make my tenancy so unpleasant that I would be forced to leave. I was 8 months pregnant at the time.
Private renter says:
January 29, 2018 at 09:35 AM
Being left without heating or hot water for weeks at a time with young children.
Water leaking into electric light fittings.
Damp.
Mice.
A ceiling that collapsed and fell through and was left leaking continually with a gaping hole in the ceiling for a year-by which point I left.
All in the same property.
Donna reid says:
January 29, 2018 at 09:34 AM
Yeah I have a rougue landlord.
Took him to a tribunal at the prhp
Still no repairs done!
2 year no heating or hot water was n still am living below tolerable standards
Christopher Smith says:
January 29, 2018 at 08:45 AM
Landlords hold all the cards. A signed contract means they can enforce it upon you but you can not do the same in reverse. When I signed a tenancy agreement the renewal fee clause was stated to be £50. However 3 months before renewal they emailed to tell us that they were changing the clause to state the fee was £75. I had to go to serious lengths to explain to them that even thought they may *wish* to change clause I was under no obligation to comply with it.

Trying to get them to understand that you can not change clauses in a contract AFTER it has been signed is as ridiculous as it is hard.
CJ says:
January 29, 2018 at 08:28 AM
I have been affected by this. Me moving in only to find my bed was broken and I had to sleep on it with half the slats missing or broken, staying in a certain position all night so I wouldn't fall through and hurt myself, for about four months into a six month tenancy before it was fixed, with piles of bin bags heaped up outside the house from the previous tenants that again weren't removed for a good 4 months, and a whole room (downstairs bathroom) that was unusable due to mould, damp and slugs everywhere (issues that were never fixed in my time there).

This is just the worst house. The houses I've actually liked have almost all had issues with mould, leaks and currently I live in a flat with potentially unsafe structure (cracks in the walls etc) as well as being absolutely freezing due to poor heating and single-glazing which puts our costs up enormously if we want to keep warm in the winter.

And I am lucky. I've known friends to be kicked out of their houses when they've asked for repairs. Thankfully we just get ignored for a few months until someone finally does something (often without giving us the required notice).

I will be very much relieved when the government decides to finally regulate this sector. I will sleep much easier at night knowing my house isn't about to fall down around me.
Oliver Lycett says:
January 29, 2018 at 08:25 AM
We have seen it all over the last decade. No heating or hot water, poor carpets, mould painted over. Layers of lino stick on top of the old mouldy flooring and trapping in water. We've had rent increases with little warning. Our deposits have been taken. Our dogs have nearly rendered us homeless because so few allow pets. Zero hour contracts have left is with no sick pay, going off sick has meant missing rent payments and councol tax payments. I have been summoned to court for not having any sick pay to cover my bills. Our rent is more than a mortgage would cost, how are we ever meant to save for our own place when we are already paying someones mortgage for them. I only stand to own a share of a house when my parents die.
Rachel Nall says:
January 29, 2018 at 07:11 AM
A few years ago we were served an eviction notice as the property was being repossessed. We had only started renting the property 3 months earlier, so I strongly believe this could have been avoided had the estate agent conducted proper checks (including financial) on the landlord. Agents charge a fortune to check us as proposed tenants, but nothing at all on the landlord!

Also mandatory for landlords to change the locks after a tenant leaves. After an item was found broken in our living room one day, we asked the landlord to change the locks, however they would not do so. They said if we changed them, we would have to change them back to the original locks again before we leave or be charged from our deposit.
Gustavo Noffal says:
January 28, 2018 at 09:44 PM
Had landlord that didn’t fix boiler for 3 months on winter time, one window was also leaking water from outside when it was rainy. Walls were mouldy and only after a lot of pressure, landlord agreed to have them repainted. Poor living conditions reignited my asthma. Another landlord refused to pay me my deposit back unfairly.