Housing advice for tenants
Comprehensive advice on the rights and responsibilities of you and your landlord, deposits, and repairs, settling disputes, different types of tenancy and tenancy agreements, including houses in multiple occupations (HMOs):
• Private renting – GOV.UK
• Advice Guide – renting a home
Landlord harassment is both a criminal and civil offence.
Examples of harassment are:
• threatening you with eviction
• turning off your utilities
• Interfering with your personal belongings.
If your landlord is trying to evict you, you should make your landlord aware of your concerns in writing and inform them that their actions are affecting your peaceful occupation of the property.
Your landlord should give you at least 24 hours’ notice if they intend to inspect or visit your property. You are legally entitled to refuse entry if no notice is given. It is a criminal offense for your landlord to visit your property without your prior permission.
If you feel threatened or if you are being intimidated by your landlord, contact Kent Police, and seek legal advice from either a solicitor or your Citizens’ Advice Bureau.
Inspecting houses in multiple occupations
Houses in multiple occupations are divided into self-contained flats or bedsits.
The local authority has a duty to inspect all such houses in their area and inspected on a regular basis. Local councils inspect properties before sending a report to the owners of the building, with a list of fire and safety requirements such as the installation of an automatic fire detection system and escape routes.
For more information about visits to houses in multiple occupations contact your local council or see their website: district and borough councils.
Anti- Social Behaviour
The police can take action about any anti-social behavior which is a criminal offence and can prosecute someone who has:
- attacked another person, causing physical and/or psychological damage
- wilfully damaged someone else’s property
- behaved in a threatening or abusive way in order to intimidate or frighten or cause harassment, alarm or distress intentionally, for example, by stalking you or writing anti-gay slogans on the wall outside your home
- incited racial hatred or violence by, for example, distributing racist leaflets.
In England and Wales, the police can also get a court order to close down:
- properties which have been taken over by drug dealers, or
- premises which are causing disruption to residents because of some other serious disorder or nuisance problem.
For advice on what constitutes anti-social behavior, and how the landlord can get involved visit: http://www.adviceguide.org.uk/wales/housing_w/housing_problems_where_you_live_e/anti_social_behaviour_in_housing.htm