Unscrupulous landlords

It always staggers me when I come across landlord antics that are so shocking they actually take my breath away.

The press love to publish stories of tenants that have trashed a property / tuned it into a cannabis factory / stopped paying the rent / moved 20+ family members in but what about nightmare landlords?

I am seriously considering starting a one day course on “How to be a Landlord”.   I just wish I could make it law that before being given a buy-to-let mortgage a landlord is required to attend my course and agrees to abide by the law.

It is all very well bringing in laws such as the Tenancy Deposit Scheme to ensure deposits are protected but some landlords still think they are above this law and that by writing a clause in their Tenancy Agreement they can keep hold of it.    Some think that because they own the property they can enter it whenever they like.  Others think they can change their minds about renting the property out and say “leave” and that be the end of it.

I met one of my dearest friends via an online parenting forum when she mentioned that she was having a nightmare landlord problem.  As it transpires, just five miles down the road.   I helped her construct letters and argue her case and watched her move out into another property.

A few months ago a friend heard somebody on the radio mention her situation with maintenance issues in her new flat that her landlord was ignoring.  Several emails and weeks later I managed to give her the advice that got it sorted.

This weekend I helped two fellow Tweeters who lived in towns 100 miles apart but who were both struggling with landlords who have behaved in the most appalling way.  One had stopped paying the mortgage so the house has been repossessed, leaving him homeless with a six year old.   The other where the landlord felt it acceptable to make a nuisance of herself in the middle of the night and when that didnt work decided to disconnect the electricity supply to the property.

So until such time as I can write a course and stand in front of a projector,  I am going to use my blog to publish some “How to be a landlord” type posts.

If you have examples of shocking landlords either past and are happy for me to use your example, or you are in the midst of it and need a hand, please do get in touch.

 

 

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  • Dear Mrs Burrow ,Can i take this opportunity to say i live on a park home estate .The landlord will not allow main gas to be put it .Most of the people who live on this estate are retired people and are on a limited budget . We have to buy bottled LG gas which is very expensive . The main gas suppliers are helping people on a pensions or on Benefits with a discount .This not apply to people who do not get mains gas we have to pay the full price .This seems so wrong Kind regards S bell
    PS i follow you on twitter and was over the moon that you helped Wincey win the prize for Harry

    • Shirley
      Thank you for your kind words about the “Wincey Win for Harry”. Monday was a very strange day indeed.

      I understand your frustration, LP is very expensive. There are rules about mains gas to park homes I believe. It is felt that it is not safe. I don’t know why bottle gas isn’t discounted, it does seem wrong.

      I wish I could help you!

      Love MummyB

  • Good post. I have been on the receiving end of some dodgy landlord practices in France. This was back when I was single and rented flats or rooms undeclared to tax people (it’s hard for single poor expat to get stuff any other way). I never got my deposit back despite always leaving accomodation in perfect condition.

    One switched our electricity meters. I was paying his bills and him mine. He was in a six bedroom house with several kids and lights on all the time. I was in little more than his garden shed. Took me ages to work out why in spite of my frugal electricity usage my bills weren’t going down. Couldn’t do a thing about it but leave, which I did. Without paing his latest bill.

  • I dont think this is the case there are two more park home sites within 3 miles of me and both have main gas and electricity !! I just think that the LG suppliers should also be a bit more helpful in their tariffs to retired people as indeed the main suppliers are .There are hundreds of retired people in the same situation

  • You might want to take it up with your local MP. They might be able to lobby for a change.

  • Good for you, for raising this issue (which I think may well be enough for an entire blog).

    The laws in UK are very much against the tenants, I think. In comparison to Germany where there is a lot of protection.

  • Ooh, don’t get me started!
    Our last landlord left us without a working oven for three months when we moved in, and nine months before we moved out. We were only there for two years! The various gas appliances kept being declared unsafe and disconnected, and would always take months to be mended. This was over a freezing winter with a newborn baby and two year old in the house. Because we never went more than 48 hours without some form of heating (usually terribly inadequate) they said they were ok. In the end they gave us two months notice out of nowhere, we moved out, and had to fight for our deposit.
    A previous landlord refused to mend the 20 year old washing machine when it broke, saying it was only there through his goodwill, so we bought our own, and when we moved out he kept our deposit because we had “stolen” our machine when we moved out with it.
    I shared another house with two female friends. At the time, I worked night shifts, and I came downstairs one afternoon in my dressing gown to find the landlords brother, sister in law and two small nephews in my kitchen! They were delivering a new hoover, that we had no idea was coming. That same landlord once turned up to the house and barged in, shouting at my housemates for having moved the settee away from the wall as they were hoovering behind it.

    Renting a house is the only transaction where you are meant to be grateful to be allowed to pay someone money. Luckily we have good landlords now, and we do everything we can to keep them that way.