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Harassment by Landlord

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Great interaction. I had a simple question which would have cost a fortune going to see a local solicitor. It was all very professional but still friendly. The solicitor I spoke to was the chief executive of her law firm (I looked her up on LinkedIn). You are dealing with very good lawyers who earn additional money through Lawhive. I would definitely use this service again. Highly recommend.
Mark,
29 December, 23
The solicitor who was appointed to me was outstanding
Very simple to engage with instant confirmation in writing straight after. Daniel, the solicitor who was appointed to me, was outstanding in his approach, his understanding of the technicalities of the law and, crucially, a genuine care for the client. Would definitely advise using Lawhive, you won't regret it.
Tahir Idris,
04 October, 23
We were so pleased to find the Lawhive website
After struggling to find a solicitor willing to give us advice, and for a reasonable cost, we were so pleased to find the Lawhive website. At first we wondered how well it would work, but needn't have worried at all - the whole process was simple, straightforward and professional and great value for money. We felt extremely lucky to be matched with our solicitor, Sonay Erten, as she was exactly what we were looking for - knowledgeable, patient and kind - a refreshing change from solicitors we have used in the past. She showed a great deal of empathy for our situation and explained things in language that was easy to understand (rather than the usual "solicitor" talk, which can be intimidating). She's a shining example of what a solicitor should aspire to be and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend her to others or use her again in the future. We came out of our session reassured and confident of what we needed to do going forward, so a big "thank you!"
Julie Taylor,
01 June, 23
Fast and professional
I got the outcome I wanted regarding cease and desist to a competitor spreading defamatory statements about my business. Fast and professional, and at a much lower price than high street firms. Highly recommended thanks.
Jason Hunter,
23 July, 23
Very efficient! Can highly recommend.
I found the website very easy to use. Quick responses and I was even able to talk to someone who was friendly and competent. She rang me rather than emailed me. A solicitor was quickly found who could help me and once the relevant identification was approved he started work. Within two days the solicitor had checked documents and commented on them. Very efficient! Can highly recommend.
Pauline Piper,
15 February, 23
The service was fast and ultra professional
Sonay was really informative and understood my questions instantly, what I thought was complex Sonay simplified massively. She regularly checked in and the service was fast and ultra professional. Would highly recommend.
Jamie Crichton,
09 November, 23
Great service and very reasonably priced,
Great service and very reasonably priced, Kem was really helpful and professional. Would use again
Sarah Shanks,
21 November, 23
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About

Harassment by a landlord is a legal term to describe the actions of a landlord that are designed to force a tenant to vacate a property. This can include a landlord's refusal to make repairs, or to carry out necessary maintenance.Next steps

How much does help with Harassment by Landlord cost?

The cost for a licensed solicitor to help with Harassment by Landlord is dependent on many factors including the complexity and specific requirements of the case. On average it is expected to range from £150-£200 but in some cases it could cost as much as £250.

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Being a tenant can be a challenging experience, but it should never involve harassment by your landlord. Whether you're living in your own place or sharing with your landlord, your rights are essential, and we're here to help you understand them.

dealing-with-landlord-harassment

In this guide, we will explore:

What is harassment by a landlord?

Landlord harassment refers to any behaviour or actions by a landlord that make your life as a tenant unbearable, intimidating, or distressing. It can come in various forms, but it's important to know that it's illegal and you have rights that protect you.

What counts as harassment by a landlord?

Harassment is defined in the Protection from Eviction Act 1977. Within the Act, harassment includes any action that is likely to negatively affect the peace and comfort in your home.

It is a criminal offence if a landlord or agent behaves in a way that makes you give up your tenancy rights or leave the property before you legally have to. 

Harassment by a landlord can include:

  • Unwanted attention

  • Threats

  • Invasive actions

  • Interference with your peaceful living 

  • Any other behaviour that disrupts your right to quiet enjoyment of your home. 

Landlords should not abuse their position or use intimidation tactics against tenants. It also counts as harassment if someone else acts on behalf of the landlord, such as a letting agent.

What are examples of landlord harassment?

Examples of landlord harassment can range from repeated unannounced visits, unwarranted eviction threats, or turning off essential utilities. 

Verbal abuse, persistent demands for rent or other payments, or invading your privacy without permission are also forms of harassment.

Landlords must give tenants proper notice before entering the property for any reason, including inspections or repairs. This notice period is typically 24 hours but can be longer if specified in the tenancy agreement.

The specific behaviours that could count as harassment include:

  • Threatening to or changing the locks

  • Coming into your home without permission

  • Refusing to carry out necessary repairs

  • Removing or interfering with any of your belongings

  • Cutting off gas, water or electricity on more than one occasion and repeatedly

  • Demanding money that you don't owe or can't pay

  • Pressuring you to move out before your tenancy agreement ends

  • Opening, hiding or withholding your post

  • Displaying violent or intimidating language or behaviour

Discrimination and harassment based on disability, race, gender, age or religion is illegal. These are 'protected characteristics' under the Equality Act.

Tenant's right to quiet enjoyment

In the UK, tenants have a legal right to "quiet enjoyment" of their rented home. This means that your landlord cannot interfere with your use and enjoyment of the property, as long as you're meeting the terms of your tenancy agreement.

Harassment by landlord during eviction

If your landlord is trying to evict you, they must follow the proper legal procedures. Landlords can legally evict tenants who have an assured shorthold tenancy using a Section 21, a Section 8 notice, or both. A Section 8 notice should be given if a tenant has broken the terms of the tenancy. 

However, they cannot resort to harassment or intimidation to force you out.

It is also illegal for landlords to resort to revenge eviction, sometimes known as retaliatory eviction. This is where you may have asked for repairs or complained about poor living conditions, and your landlord tries to evict you. 

The Protection from Eviction Act 1977 clarifies that harassment doesn’t have to be just forcing tenants to leave the property. If a landlord withholds access to communal areas within the property, this would count as unlawful eviction and harassment.

Your landlord may be guilty of illegal eviction and harassment if you:

  • are not given the appropriate notice, as required by the landlord, for you to leave the property;

  • find the locks have been changed;

  • are evicted without a possession order;

If your landlord’s property is repossessed by their mortgage lender, the lender has to give you notice so you can find somewhere else to live. 

Check out our illegal evictions guide for tenants to find out more. If you're facing an eviction, it's important to seek advice from a solicitor or a local housing authority.

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Harassment by landlord due to rent arrears

If you fall behind on your rent, your landlord has the right to request payment, but they cannot harass you. Harassment by a landlord due to rent arrears is a serious issue and is illegal in the United Kingdom. 

landlord-harassment-due-to-rent-arrears

There are several legal aspects and protections in place to safeguard tenants from such behaviours.

The Protection from Eviction Act 1977 makes it illegal for a landlord to harass a tenant and force them out of the property due to rent arrears.

If a landlord tries to evict a tenant due to rent arrears without following the proper legal procedures, it's considered an illegal eviction. The landlord must obtain a court order for eviction, and they cannot take matters into their own hands by changing locks, removing belongings, or physically forcing the tenant out.

Harassment if you live with your landlord

Even if you live with your landlord, you still have rights. They cannot harass or intimidate you, and they must respect your privacy and peaceful enjoyment of the property.

In the context of living with your landlord, harassment can take various forms, such as:

Verbal Harassment: This can include the use of offensive language, insults, or derogatory comments directed towards you, which create a hostile atmosphere in your home.

Physical Harassment: Physical harassment may involve actions like unwanted touching, physical threats, or physical intimidation, which can be both emotionally and physically distressing.

Privacy Violation: Your landlord may not respect your privacy by entering your living space without proper notice, installing surveillance equipment without your consent, or going through your personal belongings.

Retaliation: If you assert your rights as a tenant (e.g., request repairs, demand that your legal rights be upheld), and your landlord responds with harassment or retaliatory actions, this can be considered harassment.

Discrimination: Harassment based on characteristics protected by fair housing laws, such as race, gender, religion, disability, or sexual orientation, is considered illegal.

Threats and Intimidation: Threatening or intimidating behavior, whether through words, actions, or gestures, can create a hostile environment.

If you are experiencing harassment from your landlord, it's essential to address the issue promptly. 

You should document the harassment, keeping records of incidents, including dates, times, locations, and descriptions of what occurred.

Try communicating with your landlord by politely expressing your concerns and request that the harassment stops. Sometimes, they may not be aware of the impact of their actions.

Research your tenant rights and housing laws to understand your legal protections and remedies. Some areas and organisations offer mediation services to help landlords and tenants resolve disputes.

Can you report harassment by a landlord to the police?

Yes, you can and should report landlord harassment to the police. They can investigate and potentially take legal action against the landlord.

Depending on your specific situation, you can also report landlord harassment to your local council – especially if your landlord is violating their responsibilities and creating an unsafe or unhealthy environment.

Most local authorities have a team of people who can advise you, provide practical help, and even mediate between you and your landlord if this is an appropriate option.

How to complain about landlord harassment

To address landlord harassment, you should take the following steps:

1. Keep records

Document instances of harassment, including dates, times, and details of what happened.

2. Communicate

Politely inform your landlord that their behaviour is unacceptable and ask them to stop.

3. Contact your local council

Get in touch with your local housing authority or council to report the harassment and seek assistance.

Consult with a landlord and tenant solicitor for guidance on your specific situation.

How to prove harassment by a landlord

Proving harassment can be challenging, but maintaining a record of incidents, collecting evidence (such as photos or witnesses), and keeping a journal of events can help strengthen your case if you need to take legal action.

The law and landlord harassment

The Protection from Eviction Act 1977 in the UK provides strong protections for tenants against harassment by landlords. Landlords found guilty of harassment may face legal consequences, including fines and even prison.

The Landlord and Tenant Acts are legislation that regulate the various aspects of renting property, such as disclosure of landlord’s identity, provision of rent books, fitness for human habitation, repairing obligations, service charges, security of tenure, renewal of tenancies, covenants, and more.

Read our guide to The Landlord and Tenants Act to understand your rights in more detail. 

If you believe you are a victim of landlord harassment, don't hesitate to seek legal help. Solicitors specialising in housing law can guide you through the process, protect your rights, and help you find a solution to your housing problems.

At Lawhive, we can help you find a landlord and tenant solicitor to support you in your case quickly and affordably, so you can get back to enjoying your property.

If you find yourself struggling with landlord harassment, please tell us about your case and our legal assessment team will help you understand your next steps and explain how a lawyer or solicitor can help you resolve the issue quickly and affordably.

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