How to deal with landlord harassment

Sometimes relationships go wrong. Whether it is a personal relationship, a friendship or a communication breakdown with your landlord, a sour relationship can be very stressful to deal with. As a tenant you need to know what your rights are when dealing with harassment from your landlord. There are a series of hoops you have to jump through and processes you have to follow to make sure you deal with landlord harassment correctly. Below you will find some of the top tips for coping with this situation.

First of all, you need to understand what it means to be harassed by your landlord. They may be behaving in a certain way that you don’t consider to be harassment but it does cross the lines of a professional landlord-tenant relationship. Make sure you follow this advice.

  1. Entering your property without permission. Even though the home legally belongs to the landlord, they still need to respect your privacy. Entering your home without permission from you in advance is not appropriate and you should immediately as them to stop. They should only visit at a time arranged in advance and keep a copy of all correspondence for future reference.
  2. Are you frightened? If you are a single female living alone and you feel threatened or scared by your landlord then your feelings prove you are being harassed. You should insist upon a time when your landlord can visit your home and arrange for someone to be there with you.
  3. Harassment can also include verbal abuse, disconnecting services in the home, failure to repair the property, any persuasive behaviour to make you move out and any behaviour that disrupts your use of the home.

What happens if they ignore?

If your landlord ignores your letter of complaint then you need to contact your local authority or the citizen’s advice bureau. They will write to your landlord on your behalf and bring them to prosecution if necessary.

If you think you have a case to make a complaint then begin to keep a diary of every event that takes place. You want to record the date, time and any specific words used in conversations. You will be able to use this later if you go through any court proceedings.

If you find yourself in a serious situation you should contact the police immediately and seek legal advice. You may be able to claim compensation in court and if you are on a low income you may be eligible for legal aid.

Situations where your landlord is entitled to enter your rental property

There are a couple of situations where your landlord is entitled to enter your property. This is to inspect it for repairs and to do the gas safety checks. You must arrange a convenient time for your landlord to come and carry out this maintenance otherwise you won’t be able to claim against them if you suffer any injury in the home. Your landlord does need to arrange a time to carry out these checks. They cannot just show up out of the blue.

Changing the locks

Many tenancy agreements do not allow tenants to change the locks on a home however if you are doing it because you are frightened of your landlord’s behaviour then it would be very difficult for your landlord to complain about this in court proceedings.

What if it is your landlord’s agents who are harassing you?

You first port of call is to contact your landlord and draw his/her attention to the issue as they may have been unaware of their behaviour. If contacting your landlord doesn’t bring you any success then you can you can contact their professional body and report them for misconduct.

Landlord harassment can be very scary and worrying, especially if you are living alone. If you ever feel in any danger then don’t hesitate. Call a friend or the police and put your safety first. In every case it is a good idea to get previous tenant feedback on all landlords before you sign a contract.

Have you experienced any issues with a landlord/lady? How was the issue resolved? How has it made you feel about renting a home?

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