In London alone, over 2.4 million people live in rented accommodation. Whilst the vast majority of landlords are committed to providing a good standard of service to their tenants, unfortunately, an underbelly of rogue landlords operate within the industry, often meaning tenants live in inadequate and unacceptable conditions.
Within the private rented sector, attempts have been made to give greater security to tenants, such as recent plans to encourage longer term tenancies and the creation of the rogue landlord and agent database operating in certain boroughs throughout London.
How to identify a rogue landlord
Whilst it might not be immediately obvious that your landlord is operating unfairly there are key behaviours tenants should look out for to ensure that they are not renting from a rogue landlord. This includes:
- The landlord enters the property without your permission or prior warning
- The landlord puts the rent up during the term of a fixed tenancy
- The landlord does not protect your deposit with a government authorised tenancy deposit protection scheme
- The landlord refuses to make essential repairs to your property
- The landlord evicts you from the property without serving you notice
Rogue landlord and letting agent database
The rogue database aims to give tenants greater control and security within the sector. The government’s ‘rogue database’, launched in December last year, allows people to see:
- Full names of landlords and agents
- The street name and first four postcode digits of a landlord’s home address
- Type of offence, fine or enforcement action taken against them
- Who was responsible for the enforcement
- The address in which the offence occurred
The database also gives people the opportunity to report any rogue activity from landlords and tenants within the industry.
You can find out more about the rogue landlord and agent database here.
Having problems with your landlord?
To help you to stay in control, it is best practice to understand your rights as a tenant. The first port of call should be to the ‘How to Rent’ guide that should have been provided to you by your landlord at the start of the tenancy. Find out more here.
You should also check to make sure that your deposit is protected with a government authorised tenancy deposit protection scheme. By law, a landlord must protect a tenant’s deposit within 30 days of receipt.
For more advice and information on avoiding a rogue landlord visit the government website here.