Complaints Against Landlords Increasing

According to an investigation carried out by the housing charity, Shelter, complaints against landlords have increased by 27% over the last three years. Shelter submitted freedom of information requests to 326 English councils and the responses from 310 local authorities have shown that complaints rose from 67,283 to over 85,500 since 2008.

From the more than 85,500 complaints, 62% regarded serious and life-threatening hazards, and health services had to be involved in over 780 cases. The number of successful prosecutions against landlords was 487 last year, which is a 77% increase and reflects that local councils are being more pro-active in following up on complaints against landlords.
 
Chief Executive of Shelter, Campbell Robb added that there could potentially be many more living in homes that are not safe and commented: “Some local authorities don’t keep records of complaints and tenants often hold back from complaining out of fear of the consequences or because they don’t believe their voices will be heard, even though such a high proportion of complaints is about life-threatening issues.”
 
Chris Norris from the National Landlords Association expressed his support for Shelter’s campaign against unlawful landlords and emphasised that local authorities should concentrate on targeting landlords who exploit tenants and the important role tenants can play by seeking out professional landlords who provide good quality accommodation.

What Can You Do If You Are A Tenant?

  • Try to make sure, in the first place, that the property you are planning to rent is in good condition that your landlord is professional, honest and upfront about all aspects of the property rental and is a participant in a professional landlords’ accreditation scheme. We are aware, however that this is not possible in every situation. 
  • If a problem comes up, try to talk to your landlord first.
  • If the problem persists and your landlord hasn’t been able or willing to help you, you should contact your local council.
  • It is a good idea to seek professional help from a solicitor if the problem persists.

What Can You Do If You Are A Landlord?

Ensure that you maintain the property in a good condition and make repairs when necessary. You will also have to pay attention to the safety of gas and electrical appliances and provide smoke alarms. If the tenant has a reasonable request for repairs, you should take the necessary steps. Find out more about your rights and obligations as a landlord.
 
If you need residential conveyancing or legal advice about renting a property, tenancy agreements, mortgages or commercial property, contact Sarah Edmunds Legal to find out more about our legal services.

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