Need Advice? Call Newbold’s Tenant Solicitors!

In the last 10 years, the number of households occupied as rental accommodation has increased by almost 20% in the UK. However, many landlords and tenants are unfamiliar with tenants’ rights and the legal framework that is in place to protect them.

We have all heard the horror stories of rented accommodation that is in disrepair with faulty services or damp in the property. Worse still are the landlords who change the locks without notice, or use intimidation techniques to harass their tenants.

If you are having trouble with your landlord, we recommend that you contact Newbold Solicitors to discuss the problem further. Our experienced tenant solicitors have helped countless individuals to resolve a wide variety of issues, and we even offer a ‘No Win, No Fee’ arrangement for some cases.

Legal Advice for Tenants: FAQs

If you are looking for advice that is specific to your current circumstances, here are some of the enquiries that our housing solicitors commonly receive from troubled tenants:

Q: My landlord has changed the locks and I can’t get into my property. What can I do?

A: Your landlord cannot change the locks without obtaining a court order and thereafter getting a bailiff to evict you (this is known as a warrant). If your landlord has forcefully evicted you by either changing the locks or turning off your electricity/water supply then you must obtain urgent assistance. You can get the court to order that your landlord must allow you back into the property and pay back any losses, such as overnight accommodation in a hotel. The landlord will usually be asked to pay substantial damages (compensation). Newbold’s tenant solicitors can help you with this, and it is your right to action if this happens to you.

Q: My landlord is harassing me. Is there anything I can do?

A: It depends on the type of harassment. If, for example, your landlord is using his/her own key to enter the property without your permission, they have breached your covenant of quiet enjoyment and you will have the right to recover substantial damages (compensation). When you are renting a property, that property is yours to live in, free from harassment; your landlord can only enter your property without your consent if there is an emergency, such as a flood or a serious risk of a gas explosion.

Of course, harassment can take many other forms, including physical intimidation, verbal abuse, and property damage. Some landlords will even turn off the electricity, gas, or water supply to force their tenants out. If you have experienced any of the above, we recommend that you contact our housing solicitors for further advice.

Q: I live in a rental property and my neighbour is playing loud music. Should his landlord evict him for being a nuisance?

A: If your neighbour is being a nuisance then you should keep a record of the times and dates when the noise happens. You should then contact your environmental health department, who will provide you with a recording device and assist you with your problem. Unfortunately, you cannot force a landlord to evict a tenant because he/she cannot be liable for the acts of another. However, a reasonable landlord may be prepared to assist and write to the tenant on your behalf.

Q: I have been served with a notice by my landlord.

A: The first thing to do is get advice on the notice to ensure that it is valid. Also, take advice on whether you would be eligible for re-housing through your local authority. Contact your landlord and establish if there is a way you can repay the arrears, repair the damage, or otherwise remain in the property. If you do not want to remain then you may want to start looking for alternative accommodation. Remember, you cannot be forced to leave your home unless your landlord obtains a court order, and this takes time. Also, you may not have to leave if you can establish a defence – this can often be achieved with the help of a professional housing solicitor, so do not panic!

Q: My landlord will not repair my property. What are my rights?

A: We hear a lot of variations on this question - damp in the property is perhaps the most typical problem, but black mould, leaking roofs and faulty electrics are also fairly commonplace.

In any case, you have a right to live in a property that is free from disrepair. If you are suffering from disrepair, you can force your landlord to make repairs, and you may be able to make a further claim for substantial compensation. Your rights can be found in Section 11 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985. At Newbold, we offer a ‘No Win, No Fee’ disrepair service that can help you without forcing you to pay our costs. Visit our Disrepair page or contact us for more information.

Our housing solicitors can provide you with practical advice on:
  • Whether a notice is valid
  • Defending applications for court eviction
  • Problems with the return of your bond
  • Making sure that repairs are completed
  • Obtaining damages/compensation from landlords who have breached their tenants’ rights
  • Taking out injunctions against landlords when they evict without a court order or fail to make the necessary repairs

We pride ourselves on our knowledge of housing law; we have more experience in defending and bringing housing law claims than most UK law firms and all our experience will be used to protect you as a tenant.

If you have a query, please contact your nearest Newbold office today. Our friendly, knowledgeable tenant solicitors will be able to give you practical advice and fight the claim on your behalf.