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

Orla O'Neill says:
January 28, 2018 at 09:06 PM
I was renting a student house (hmo) when the roof above my bedroom started leaking. After several half efforts to fix the problem, such as laying tarpulan over the roof, it became unfit to live in the room. It was my first year at university and the first time I moved away from my family. My depression and anxiety sky rocketed from not having my own space. I slept on the sofa in the communal living room for over a month as water poured into my room. The landlord booked it to be fixed and a repairman left me with several buckets to collect the water.


The problem repeatedly occurred for four months. I was given a good will fee of just under two months rent. I spoke to both my university and my SU and there was very little advice given.
Lynn Rough says:
January 28, 2018 at 08:02 PM
Boiler was repeatedly not working and never replaced, was accused of breaking appliances I had never used, the lights were a fire hazard, there was birds nesting in the walls and attic. The agents did try to help but ultimately if they don't side with the landlord they lose business. Anything they can say to keep your deposit is thrown at you in the hope you will just relent and move on. Despite being disabled the council never once offered to help me in any way. Rents are sky high for very little. Would never rent again.
Fay says:
January 28, 2018 at 06:58 PM
I had carbon monoxide poisoning leading to chemical related pneumonia and had to recover in a cold house as the condemned boiler was not replaced for weeks as they said I must realise they must cost over £500. A month before all this I was told by an electrician that my house could have burned down at any time due to overloading of a badly wired fuseboard without trips. This was [redacted] who although a social landlord, behave no better than some rouguenprivate ones
Katie Davies says:
January 28, 2018 at 06:48 PM
I have been renting in Cardiff and Bristol for over 13 years. I have had a problem with every single landlord - and I haven't been renting at rock bottom prices either! Most landlords have withheld much more than is reasonable from the deposits whenever I have moved out. Problems I have encountered include: not providing a working shower for the first 7 months, not fixing a hole in the ceiling of the kitchen which has been there since before I moved in 15 months ago, not finishing decorating the bathroom and making it watertight so the water leaks into the kitchen whenever I have a shower, the kitchen roof which is now rotten and in danger of falling on my head, not mending the leaky roof in the porch so all our coats and shoes get wet when it there is a storm, not sending a locksmith around whilst the door lock was faulty (for several months) until I got locked out the house a 3am. Fire alarms which don't work and were smashed in half on the floor the day we moved in. Whenever work has been agreed to be carried out before I've supposed to have moved it, it has not been done then I have to move into the house with the work not done and often it never gets done! Every letting agent I have had has been a total crook charging upwards of £300 + for me as a single person to rent a single room and then charged me extra to renew the contract. However they have never helped when I have needed their backup to get the landlords to do any basic maintenance or repairs. Damp houses, broken boilers, leaking roofs in the middle of winter.. These are for houses which costs more than £1,000 a month. On top of that I have never once paid my rent late in over 13 years of renting, however as I'm self employed have often been asked to pay up to 6 months rent in advance before moving in somewhere which is absolutely financially crippling. Just a thought, but why don't landlords have to pay a desposit when they enter into a rental agreement contract just like tenants do? Then you as a tenant could dip into this landlord deposit, get some money out of it and pay for the things the landlord is legally obligated to fix but doesn't care about / can't afford to / isn't answering their phone. I've previously spent months waiting for a reply from a landlord. The amount of money I have spent on rent I could have afforded to buy a house by now! But the rent is so high often more than 50% of my income I can't afford to save for my own house. To add insult to injury when I spoke to a mortgage advisor they said I couldn't afford to buy a house for me to live in but could afford to buy a buy-to-let property - thus making me another part of the problem! Not something I want to do but does demonstrate part of the problem with housing people being allowed to buy-to-let properties when they don't have the financial security to fix and maintain said properties. Its not fair that as a tenant I am paying to buy someone else a house they can't afford to maintain, but I can't buy and live in my own house! If I can pay rent for 13 years surely I should be allowed to get a mortgage for the same amount as surely this proves I can afford it. The system is broken.
Becka says:
January 28, 2018 at 06:41 PM
The horrid experiences I've had with London landlords are too many to pick a specific. Landlords need to be held far more accountable for their actions by the local authority. Having poor living conditions impacts other areas- the NHS for illness given that most jobs require a drs note and you WILL get sick a lot more living in damp, cold or generally poor conditions.
Lettings Agents are the devils work (especially [redacted]) they are aware that they are basically untouchable regardless of what they do as complaints go through an ombudsman and takes a lot of time and paperwork- something most people paying over 80% of their monthly income to live don't have time to do. They need proper regulating from the local and government authorities and strict consequences for taking advantage of people who NEED their services as they need somewhere to live.

If there was some way of stopping landlords etc using the contract length to ensure they can hike their prices each year- effectively forcing people to keep increasing the amount they pay for their accommodation or to move incredibly frequently that would also help.
Kirsten Simpson says:
January 28, 2018 at 06:13 PM
Our last landlord wouldn’t answer our calls and messages leaving us with no oven for almost 2 years before I got the PRHP on board. Took a while to find him as his registered asdrsss in the Kabdloed Eegisyer was not his actual permanent address and was his timeshare in Spain. After being forced to do repairs in the flat, he gave us notice to quit and then illegally evicted us before we were due to be out resulting in us paying for a locksmith and police time to get back into the flat. Then our deposit wasn’t in a scheme so had to go through the courts to get money back and this again took a lot of time as his timeshare address was still up as his main address so I had to spend a lot more money finding him to serve him papers. We won at the end of the day but he is still a landlord with no blemish on his account and I’m flabbergasted at this!
Jack Smith says:
January 28, 2018 at 05:33 PM
I’m a student and I have just put money down for a house for 2nd year and it cost me £950. That’s including deposit and £200 agency fees. Then they have the cheek to ask for a guarantor who owns a home and I am not fortunate to know anyone in that position. My options are to pay the entire rent up front (£6000) or pay £3500 more deposit. I’m a student? What the flying [redacted]. Government need to regulate them soon or ill have no place to live during my second year of education. The young generation are the future and you need to protect us!!!
Charlie says:
January 28, 2018 at 05:30 PM
Lived for four years in a private rented flat with my two young children. Bathroom had been fitted by landlord, and poorly; within a couple of weeks the shower enclosure door fell off on its own and shattered into pieces, towel rail fell off for no reason, and the light cover was removed to discover it was full of water, which at least explained why the electrics kept shorting out. Landlord refused to fix any of the problems for the duration of the tenancy, which was of great concern seeing as the light at very least needed a new cover for safety reasons, so I had no choice but to not use the bathroom light and be very, very careful when cleaning my children. In addition, the front door became brittle due to age and Landlord refused to fix despite it making the property insecure, forcing me to offer to pay myself, which he later tried to use as evidence that I had damaged it. During the whole tenancy, the Landlord visited twice: once when I took possession of the property and once to change my rent payment date. He never spent a penny on the property or did any maintenance during the entire tenancy, and the decor and fittings were already very dated. I learned the property was purchased by the Landlord in 2011, but fittings, carpets, wallpaper etc were all at least 20 years old - the only new addition was the bathroom, which as previously mentioned, started falling apart almost straight away. When I moved out my Landlord tried to retain the deposit, citing unfair wear and tear, tried to charge me for redecoration, new bathroom, new front door - the lot. Unfortunately at this point it became clear my Landlord wasn't even aware of basic tenancy law, and when I pointed out that he should not receive betterment and I would need to see a) details of when carpets etc were fitted, details of bathroom fitter etc, as well as receipts, not just quotes he'd pulled from thin air, it went to ADR. He even went as far as trying to claim for items that weren't even on the inventory. ADR decided resoundingly in my favour, and my full deposit was returned. The Aadjudicator stated clearly that their decision was binding, but former Landlord then proceeded to initiate a county court claim, which is still being processed. I expect the county court to adhere to the ADR's decision but this process has understandably, and will still be, very stressful. Former Landlord received approximately £20k in rent during the tenancy, without any investment on his part. He left myself and two small children in hazardous conditions and STILL has the power to drag me through the small claims court in defiance of the rule of law simply because he's never made himself aware of the law. In my opinion Landlord's should need education and certification before they're even allowed to take tenants on, so that they're aware of their responsibilities and obligations, because far too many families have suffered as mine have, and for far too long.
Chantelle Charnley says:
January 28, 2018 at 05:29 PM
I rented a flat in Blackpool for 18 months. The day I moved in (March 2015) the boiler did not work, and it took 2 weeks for the letting agents to send someone to get it turned on- not to mend it, just to get it to ignite; it had been previously condemned by the British Gas engineer who came out to see it. [A letting agency] told me that it would be replaced; it never was. The bathroom light was in front of the shower head, above the bath, and had clearly been on fire at some point in the past. The living room windows were badly fitted and didn't close, so that room was about 10° colder than the rest of the flat. Electric sockets hung from the wall in the bedroom and living room. After I'd been there three weeks the electric oven and hob blew up and it took nearly a month to be replaced, despite daily emails and phone calls. After I'd been there just over a year, the boiler was condemned by the gas fitter doing the annual check- the letting agent ([redacted name of letting agent]) asked me to remove the condemned notice so they could get their handyman to 'fix' it. I refused, and was left without heating or hot water for THREE MONTHS. Because of the fault with the boiler, my gas bill for the quarter was £700. [The letting agency] refused to approach the landlord to ask for a contribution to this, and I ended up paying the entire amount. I am a professional person working in a very responsible job; I am articulate and able to stand up for myself, and I still found myself hundreds of pounds out of pocket, living in a dangerous flat, being scammed by rogue agents (I'm not convinced that the landlord was even made aware of the problems I encountered). No maintenance to the outside of the building was ever done while I lived there; no maintenance to the inside of the building was ever done while I lived there.
Elena Hristova says:
January 28, 2018 at 03:32 PM
My partner and I lived in a basement flat in Brighton for a few years. On the day we moved in, we spent the day cleaning the place - clearly no one thought it appropriate to clean beforehand - before unpacking. After that long day, it was time to shower. I went into the shower cubicle and had a great shower only to come out into an inch of water on the floor. For some reason the shower cubicle was not water proof and all the water came out the sides as I showered. I then noticed that there was a gap in the floor where you could see earth.

We immediately called the landlord to inform her of the situation. She sent her builder to take a look. He said it need replacing and then promptly went on holiday for a month. Without ordering any of the parts. All in all we spent about two months unable to shower in our flat. My partner and I would literally go to friend's houses to shower! Because the flooring was not properly done we would regularly get woodlice in the flat.

We moved to a flat in Hove where the windows were rotting and one of them had a big crack, which I taped in the hope that it won't break. Despite living there for a few years and constantly informing the landlord about the windows, nothing changed; yet the windows did not hut properly.

As a student in Brighton I saw many houses let out to Sussex and Brighton Uni students that were in terrible state. One house had a whole in the living room ceiling from the upstairs bathroom. Black mold would grow on the walls.