I’m under no illusion, Landlords have a bad reputation; real bad reputation, and much of the bad press is justified. Unfortunately, it’s a difficult stain to wipe away while so many rogue Landlords continue to operate.
Over the years I’ve encountered some shady landlords do the most bizarre shit, either because they’re too lazy to do a proper job, or because they want to cut corners in order to save money. From my experience, most of the wrong doings have been health and safety related e.g. neglecting to get a Annual Gas Safety check.
I don’t claim to be the best Landlord, I make mistakes, but I try my best, and I do stick to the law by complying with all landlord legal obligations.
I think a major problem is that tenants aren’t always fully aware of their statutory rights, and consequently have no idea if they’re “legally” being mistreated or not. That unfortunately works in the favour of the rogue landlord. However, I’d like to think that the majority of sane tenants are aware of their most basic rights- because most of it really is common sense. For example, ALL tenants are entitled to flowing hot/cold water and working heating- the landlord has to provide that by law.
Report your bad landlord
If you’re a tenant and you’re fully aware that your landlord is breaking health and safety laws, or you have a very strong suspicion he/she is, you should do the following:
1) Contact your local Citizen’s Advice Bureau
Before reporting your landlord, you may wish to seek legal advise first.
I would recommend contacting your local Citizen’s Advice Bureau for free legal advice. They should make you fully aware of your rights and clarify whether you have a case or not.
2) Report your landlord to Health and Safety Executive
If you believe your landlord is neglecting their health and safety obligations, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is the place to visit. There is an option to report a landlord online either via the website or via email. Alternatively, a designated team member will call you back within 1 hour (tested, and it works).
Bear in mind, HSE will only deal with the current problems. For example, if you have a mould manifestation that your landlord won’t address.
Once your complaint is lodged, and assuming it’s legitimate and meets the HSE guidelines, they should take immediate action by writing a letter to your landlord. If they receive no response from the landlord, they will send a second. If your landlord fails to respond and take reasonable actions to resolve the problem, court proceedings may commence by the HSE.
So, if you’re a tenant that is at the mercy of a rogue landlord that isn’t complying with their health & Safety legal obligations, report him/her. Remember, if you let your landlord get away with it now, they will continue to get away with it!
Out of curiosity, any tenants ever had a Landlord that neglected their legal obligations in any shape or form?