Problems with private landlords
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The majority of landlords are responsible and fair. In the unlikely event that you are experiencing trouble with your landlord, the council may be able to help.
The council's powers under the Protection from Eviction Act 1977
Harassment and illegal eviction as defined in the Protection from Eviction Act 1977, are criminal offences.
We have powers to prosecute persons who commit offences under this Act. The council's housing officers investigate complaints and mediate between the parties wherever possible. The council will consider bringing a prosecution where the evidence is sufficient to indicate the likelihood of a successful prosecution and where it is in the public interest.
The council's powers under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985, as amended
We have powers to prosecute landlords who fail to fulfil their obligations under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985, as amended.
Such matters include the failure of landlords to provide rent books and the failure of freeholders to give long leasehold tenants information concerning service charges and insurance.
Where a complaint is received the council's housing officers will endeavour to secure that the required information is provided. However in the case of persistent failure to provide the information a prosecution will be considered.
The Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018
This means that with effect from 19 March 2019 all new tenancies of under seven years or new periodic tenancies will have an implied term that a let dwelling will be fit for human habitation at the start of the tenancy and will be kept in that condition throughout. If a landlord fails to comply with the Act, tenants may have the right to take court action for breach of contract.
If the court decides that the landlord has not provided their tenant with a home that is fit for habitation, then the court can:
- make the landlord pay compensation to their tenant
- make the landlord do the necessary works to improve their property
If the tenant seeks redress through the courts, this does not stop their local authority from using its enforcement powers.
Housing Services team
If you need some advice about housing, send a message to the Housing Team.