Are You Putting Up with Poor Living Conditions?
People in debt often have to sell their houses and move into rented accommodation. Due to the ongoing financial crisis, more and more rentals are required and greedy landlords are exploiting tenants.
The rental market has seen quite a big boom in recent years with many choosing to rent due to a number of factors.
They may not have the funds to buy, they may be saving for a deposit, they may not want to commit to buying or they simply may love the house they live in.
Renting is also an ideal solution for those forced out of the property market, those that have sold a property and are supposed to be enjoying stress free living.
On the other end of the scale there are those that will always rent, through personal choice or lack of finance, work commitments or a lack of financial history.
Regardless of the reason, many people are finding that due to the competition in the rental industry they are keeping complaints to themselves in order to keep a landlord happy. This means many are putting up with damp, broken boilers, leaks and more as they worry if they complain the landlord will simply evict them and find someone else.
Although this may seem like speculation for many it has actually come true, with stories showing just how real this problem is. Unlike other countries there is no law preventing a landlord from doing this as they can simply claim it to be a use of the Section 21 act of 1988 which states no reason is needed for eviction.
Almost a million are suffering as a result, especially those on low incomes. Renting in higher income brackets is seen as a luxury as in cities it can include a manned reception for apartments and for many there’s no worry about the costs of repairs, maintenance and general building work. Even these people are now feeling the pinch with many undertaking repairs that would usually be the landlord’s responsibility themselves.
Is there a solution?
The CAB are calling for new laws to be put in place to protect tenants. Until then, if you have a complaint and a less than sympathetic landlord it may be best to have a backup plan.
As a general rule the landlord is responsible for:
- The Building, Structure and Safety
- Heating and Lighting
- Gas and Electricity
- Water – taps and drainage although you are usually responsible if there’s a blocked toilet or blocked pipes inside the house.
- Doors, Locks and Security
Although complaining may result in retaliatory eviction, your landlord still has a duty to keep a property habitable and so must uphold this duty as you live out the remaining 2 months of your tenancy. Therefore it may be wise to seek advice, as you could actually claim against him if he doesn’t carry out the repair while you reside there, regardless of your notice to leave.