in the North West could be victim to law breaking landlords
NEW research has revealed
that shows shocking numbers of private renters in the North West suffering at
the hands of a rogue landlord, with approximately 100,000 experiencing an act by
their landlord that could have resulted in legal action.
The survey by Shelter and YouGov revealed alarming reports from renters
including landlords threatening, harassing or assaulting them, cutting off
utilities and entering their homes without permission.
In just the last year, almost 17,000 people have called the Shelter helpline
about problems with their landlord. The housing charity is warning that a small
minority of rogue landlords are causing chaos in the lives of renters, who often
don't know what their rights are or where to go for support and advice.
Shelter's director of services, Alison Mohammed said:- "It's shocking that
a small minority of rogue landlords who are exploiting the housing crisis can
cause so much havoc and misery in the lives of renters in the North West. The
only way to fix the problem long-term is to make renting fit for purpose for the
millions of ordinary families searching for a safe and stable home. For anybody
experiencing problems right now, Shelter gives them somewhere to turn for
support and legal advice when a rogue landlord crosses the line."
Case study: Soon after Chris and his new wife moved into a rented flat, they
found some major problems with the house. But instead of carrying out repairs,
their landlord made their lives a misery and finally assaulted Chris.
Chris said:- "There was damp in the bedroom; black walls basically. There
was a leaking roof which went on for months, and we had no gas safety
certificate. I counted 18 things wrong with the place but the landlord refused
to carry out most of the repairs. Eventually we found out the building was at
risk of collapse, so I asked him to sort the problems out or we'd take him to
court. But instead he started intimidating us by entering our home without
permission and we got a repossession order from the court out of the blue. Then
one day he became really aggressive and hurled some stones at me. We both just
felt so frightened."
Shelter's helpline adviser, Mark Cook said:- "Every day at Shelter we
speak to people desperate for help because their lives are being made unbearable
by a rogue landlord. Some of their experiences are truly awful; from renters who
have been illegally evicted and had their belongings burned, to those who've had
their utilities cut off because their landlord wants to intimidate them. No one
should have to put up with a landlord who breaks the law and it's so important
to know your rights as a renter. Shelter is here to help anyone having problems
with their landlord. Our free expert advice is available
or through our helpline:- 0808 800 4444."