How to Deal with a Difficult Landlord

words Al Woods

Do you have a difficult or incompetent landlord? This can be incredibly frustrating as a tenant and you might find that it affects your life in more ways than one.

When you have a difficult landlord, it can negatively impact how you feel about your home which is somewhere that you should always feel safe and secure. This, in turn, could lead to mental health issues, affect your performance at work, impact your relationships and much more.

So, when it seems that it is the landlord that has all the power, what can you do when you have a difficult or incompetent landlord? Fortunately, you do have a few options available to you.

Difficult Landlord

Raise the Issue

First, you need to raise the issue with them. It is always difficult, but you cannot expect things to change without communication, plus they might not have any idea that their behaviour is creating difficulties for you. You need to do this ideally face-to-face and in a non-confrontational manner, so it is a good idea to plan what you want to say as well as have an idea of what needs to change.

Write a Formal Complaint

If raising the issue does not change their behaviour then the next step will be to lodge a formal complaint by email or letter (this also starts a paper trail which is important if things have to go further). This complaint needs to outline what the issue is, include any evidence, dates and time and what you want to change – this should be written in a professional and firm manner while trying to remove emotion from the letter.

Complain to the Local Council

A formal complaint should hopefully be enough, but if not you can move forward and complain to the local council who can help with issues relating to repair work illegal eviction, harassment and dishonest or unfair trading behaviour. You can request insight from Citizens Advice or similar organisations for any other issues. When contacting any kind of external advisory body, you should always provide as much evidence and detail as possible including emails, letters, photos, receipts etc.

rental law

Take Legal Action

If the problem persists, you can take legal action to settle the dispute. As an example, if you are living in conditions that are less than what the terms of your tenancy outline after making a formal complaint, then housing disrepair claims are a viable option. Again, with any kind of legal action, you need to provide as much evidence and details as possible.

A difficult or incompetent landlord can have a significant impact on your life and not just your living situation. It might seem like landlords hold all the power, but there are steps that you can take to solve difficult situations and improve your living situation.


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