Tell us your Renting Story

Ever had to hassle your landlord to get a simple repair done? Or not had your tenancy renewed after you asked for repairs? You might even have been the victim of a revenge eviction? Has your rent gone up by a huge sum? Or perhaps you had a great landlord who always followed up on repairs and concerns?

We want to hear your experiences of renting in the UK. The good, the bad and the ugly.

Tell us your story here and read more below. We’ll be using your stories to highlight what needs to be fixed to improve rental laws in Britain.

Tenants: it's time to testify!

Reactions

  • Keith Taylor
    commented 2020-04-01 15:38:56 +0100
    I was surprised to read the article written by Jennie Morrison-Cowan several months after she had left the RAFA Housing scheme. While she was here she gave the impression of being a very intelligent person with great literary skills and not in the least bit frightened of taking on a challenge. The article gave the impression of a not very articulate frightened person, something Mrs M-C is not. There may have been problems with the scheme but RAF Housing is trying to correct past things. It may have been different if Jennie’s son had been successful in his application for the post of scheme manager, his failure could be seen as part of reason for the attitude towards RAFAH. I do not know. I could not see the MCs being frightened at a meeting with the Trustees, which is the impression given in the article. The chair of the trustees and another member have many years of experience in the housing sector so if allowed things can only get better as long as the past is allowed to rest.


    The two incidents mentioned, problems with rent arrears and the tenant left to die on her own happened after the MCs had left and their knowledge is not first hand. It is true that the scheme manager delivered letters to all tenants detailing their rent accounts, ours in fact showed arrears. The letter also invited tenants to talk to her with evidence that they were not in fact in arrears. I did not produce any evidence when I called to see the manager later the same day to be told that I did not owe anything and in fact the landlord owed me money! As regards the lady being alone when she died we were told was her wish through her solicitor. We thought that with the departure of the MCs and the demise of the Residents Association after three chairs in almost as many days the atmosphere would improve but one senses that there is still an influence that does nothing to bring people together as a RAF family.
  • Keith Taylor
    commented 2020-03-25 11:21:03 +0000
  • kyle austin
    commented 2020-02-19 13:39:58 +0000
    History.


    Dec 2017


    severe leak from ceiling into living room destroyed laminate flooring, reported to housing yet they went against their own policy that a leak has to be a 24 hr call out and put down as general repair.


    DEC 2017 reported damp and black mould in upstairs bedroom as well.


    Dec/jan 2017/2018 housing out to look at job


    2 month later aprox came out to fix issue outside . Leak fixed but other issues caused during works


    april/ may 2018 aprox sent a company called shield out to remove laminate and marley (asbestos containing tiles) tiles from whole of downstairs after a previous housing surveyors visit.


    Left laminate in back garden (only removed by housing jan 2020)


    left house covered in heavy dust after removal job and whole of downstairs floor still covered in bitumen (used originally to stick tiles down) housing surveyor claimed was ok to leave even though it was booked to have a resin skim put on the next day to seal floor.


    Jan/ feb 2019 after getting advise that the bitumen also contained asbestos finally housing agreed to test,

    test back as positive for asbestos in bitumen.


    Fighting with housing as dogs scratching all the time in bitumen and having to walk about in bare foot due to medical issues.


    May/ june 2019 tried to get environmental health at torbaay council involved, after over 10 calls to them was fobbed of that sanctuary had told them they were dealing with it so wont get involved.


    Finally housing ordered swab testing of downstairs only in june witch also came back positive. Tests were done on furniture etc.


    left living in an asbestos contaminated property for several days after tests came back positive.


    Shield environmental sent back out to remove bitumen and clean contamination (downstairs only) while I was decamped to travel lodge.


    Was booked as 2 to 3 day job but was over 3 weeks until I got moved back in,


    2 of shields employees near end of job made false and malicious accusations against me (possibly to avoid having to work what would have been overtime snagging in house) accusing me of chasing them to van shouting abuse, then as they locked themselves in van in fear I supposedly started head butting and punching van (this could have very easily had me evicted)
    luckily I had a senior admin on phone/ hands free from sanctuary who heard the whole (polite) conversation etc so proved it was lies, miraculously shield dropped the accusations, yet had no support or backing from my housing.


    Left with bare concrete floor not even sealed and damaged from works, told would be screened over and other damage rectified by sanctuary (still waiting)


    Due to high level of dust (I have pics) housing was forced to call in private cleaning co to do a full clean downstairs before I would move back.


    Cleaning company turned up and refused to enter house let alone do work as contaminated items had been left in house (ie net curtains that had been up throughout the whole process) so housing rearranged promising to have them removed before they came back.


    Cleaning co back following tuesday and as housing had still not removed items, I personally removed and double bagged said items so she could do job.


    Still a lot of dust in air, but my cupboard under stairs was covered in dust badly (it looked like someone had split a full hoover bag all over, also have pics) plus shield had dumped both rubbish and a contaminated cushion in there on top of my stuff.


    Since june fighting with housing to clean up cupboard and also re test for asbestos but constantly refuse test and after chasing dozens of times about cupboard it is still not done.


    Dec 2019 environmental health finally agree to get involved, inspection booked for jan 2020.


    jan 2020 paid for a private asbestos test to be done on dust/ debris in under stairs cupboard as feb up with waiting.


    EH visit inspection jan 8th, shown all disrepair issues inc damp/ black mould, high dust levels and inside cupboard also told about private test.


    Was told if test comes back positive then emergency prohibition notice would be put on housing same day they got it from me.


    20th jan spent following week in jimmys in leeds as mother passed away from cancer 26th, so could not send results until home.


    Results sent to EH 27th january


    several calls later wed I finally get call from EH officer dealing with case, making excuses as to why prohibition notice not issued.


    Fri 31st had call from head of EH returning one of many calls, explained situation but he did not even know his own EH officer was dealing.


    Surprise surprise, fri aft prohibition order issued.


    Bring up issue with EH officer about poss contamination of clothing and car as to why I cannot leave house as per legal order, not interested told it is housings responsibility. Also introduced next door (no 51) to EH officer (sarah ridalls) as she has been waiting months for housing to get back to her over poss contamination issues with asbestos also. EH not interested, just told send email if you want us to look at it.


    Fri housing was supposed to be getting me several sets of new clothes so I could decamp (several as due to serious medical issues I go through 4 or 5 sets of clothes a day, up to 15 in summer heat) yet late friday had housing manager call to say it had been cancelled and they not doing it, yet still pushing for me to decamp. Have a call recording of housing manager admitting even if I did decamp to travel lodge etc of course they would not tell them of any risk. Refused to leave.


    Tuesday asbestos company employed by motability tested car for asbestos


    tuesday asbestos company came out for housing, to test house although no where near the testing I was told would be done.


    Wed asbestos results back for disability car, positive/ motability will now have car recovered and disposed of for safety, yet cannot issue a courtesy car until I can guarantee it wont also be contaminated, which without new clothes I cannot do so left with no car which I rely on.


    Wed eve Mp speaks to housing and promised a call to me in morning by themselves


    also told by housing they were dealing with it and would ring in morning about issues but still no call and just chased it up again at 12pm.


    After several complaints to housing they finally admitted that contractor in june (shield) has admitted to using wrong machine to strip asbestos of floor, as it was only supposed to be used (and designed for) industrial use and not in domestic property


    Jobs/ works outstanding


    dust and asbestos not sorted

    damp in box room not sorted

    concrete floor not screeded

    Damaged skirting boards not replaced

    water leaking and soaking into concrete floor at back-door and rear windows not fixed

    front gutters not repaired properly

    plant growing in kitchen from outside left and dead, not removed

    damage to kitchen window lead flashing and flashing under cill not sorted out

    rear down pipe and guttering leaking onto window not sorted

    seal and flashing between window and siding not sorted

    laminate only removed after 2 years sat in rear garden in jan 2020


    in the decamp in june due to contamination I lost £000 and only about 2/3rds paid out by housing as compensation. All rugs, soft furnishings, furniture £00 in clothing of both me and my youngest son etc (anything with material on) plus all electronics in living room (telly, blu ray, PC etc) all had to be disposed of due to contamination


    youngest son and myself now have to go rest of our lives wondering if we will end up with cancer etc due to asbestos, although my lad does not live with me he comes on weekends and school holidays. Reported to both his and my doctors but nothing can be done.


    Emails… several sent to local housing, area and national housing managers as well as ceo of sanctuary yet still nothing gets done.


    Contact details


    Kyle austin


    52 hill park road

    Brixham

    TQ5 9EU


    07575656855
  • Tina conibeer
    commented 2020-01-07 03:14:10 +0000
    Rent arrears
  • jennie Morrison-Cowan
    commented 2019-12-13 16:00:33 +0000
    In November 2014 a group of sheltered housing tenants based at RAFA Housing Ltd, Storrington, West Sussex (all RAF veterans some World War11) wrote to the then Trustees to ask for a meeting. These Trustees were all members of the large charity RAFA which states that veterans would be looked after as part of the RAF family/

    The tenants about 16 out of 40 wanted to talk about the implementation of the Government standard “Tenant involvement and empowerment” as they were concerned that the the Managing Agent was failing to look after the buildings/apartments that they lived in and half a million pounds was in the bank which should have been used for the upkeep. the letter they sent was ppolite ans signed by the tenants. the then Chair, an ex Flt Lt, wrote to two of the tenants to say they had taken a complaint out against them for undermining management and the two elderly, vulnerable tenants were asked to sit in front of four Trustees to explain. they refused to discuss tenant involvement and the tenants kept asking but the Trustees had no knowledge of the management of housing associations neither did the one manager or one Managing Agent. They couldn’t handle any questions and did nothing to rectify any of the problems and sent a solicitors’ letter to two tenants which accused them of things which were untrue. The tenants had to pay, as pensioners, over £700 to get a solicitor to reply to dispute the accusations which were threatening. Eventually these Trustees had paid out over £30,000 to solicitors because they didn’t know what to do. The tenants contacted the Homes and Community Agency as contractors were on site doing the electrics and they were unqualified, money was not being spent on upkeep and the Trustees were not following the government standards. The HCA did nothing to help only listened to the Trustees who said they were doing it all. tenants were living in mould and damp, nothing was done so they called in the Environmental health Officer. Tenants asked the large charity RAFA for help and they said they had no involvement with RAFA Housing Ltd only a proprietal interest in the name. They provided no help for these veterans. There many more incidents too numerous to mention. The Trustees then went to RAFA, the large charity and said they couldnt cope (as per the minutes online) so RAFA went to the HCA and applied to become the unregistered parent who should only advise but not make decisions. RAFA put Trustees in place who work for RAFA and took over the management of RAFA Housing Ltd even though they are not the Registered Provider with the Government. They have refused help to disabled tenants, on two occasions they tried to charge excess rent until the tenants told them they were not meeting the government requirement on rent charge. they have recently sent tenants letters saying they owe over £900in arrears form over 18 months ago even though the tenants have proof that they have all paid their rent etc on time. Some tenants have major heart problems and received a letter saying they owe this money through the letterbox when a Housing Association should give at least three months notice of arrears. Some tenants saw the manager (third Manager in five years, fifth Chair of Trustees in five years) and she has told them it is all sorted and they don’t owe anything but has failed to let others know that the accounts department have made some sort of error.


    One lady, wife of a deceased veteran, had no family and was taken into hospital. other tenants were concerned and wanted to visit her but management said they couldn’t disclose where she was in hospital. This lady died on her own, and yet the large charity has a Welfare department that is supposed to look after veterans and their relatives. She was treated like a bag of rubbish and yet other veterans receive help across the country just not those veterans who ask for what they are entitled to. Some tenants have left because it is so bad. One gent moved to live with his family abroad and his comment was " I fought in the war and yet they treat be like dirt. They treat me as though I am a child. There is no respect". Tenants have asked for help externally even through mediation service but this was refused. The large charity donated money for tenants to have a Christmas lunch. tenants set their own social club up four years ago but they cannot receive any of the Christmas lunch money because their social club has run its own lunch and they can only receive subsidy if they go out on the Managers Christmas lunch. Many will not go out with this Manager as she continues to ignore tenant involvement and speaks in a really patronish and rude way with people. This story is huge and shows how elderly people can be treated with no=one to turn to. RAFA is a huge charity and it begs the question what they actually do for the older veterans/ if anyone knows who could help tenants would appreciate it.
  • Clare Robinson
    commented 2019-10-12 00:41:23 +0100
    Well, my story is simple, I have to move out of a flat i love because my landlord, a Mr robert Johnson can’t afford to have repairs carried out because he owes too much money to a loan company. I think landlords should be vetted properly and I also think that it should be determined that they can pay for repairs, especially if councils are involved ie managed by council, owned by a landlord, and if landlords won’t or can’t carry out repairs, they should be blacklisted and unable to rent out again, and council’s should be able to possess the property, especially in circumstances like mine.
  • Josh Breeze
    commented 2019-06-03 19:18:29 +0100
    No HMO license, negligence of duty, rogue landlord known to the council, preying on students. Uses bankruptcy to avoid RROs.


    I still live in this property contract ends 31st July), and since I moved in, it has been terrible. Day one i sent a whole list of problems with the property, with a displeased tone, which the landlord latched on to, replying only with “in future, please communicate in a more affable manner” and addressing one of the 5 or 6 issues i brought up. 9 months later, and none of those issues have been fixed. The bathroom has been leaking since we practically moved in, and now has what we suspect to be black mould. Other issues include refusal to reimburse us for gas bills (which we have not exceeded our bill for, and they have danced around telling us exactly how much we have left), broken radiators, windows that are cracked or do not stand open unassisted, uneven flooring, willful ignorance of fire alarm issues among many, many other problems. I am still int he process of compiling every email we have sent to the landlord, so I can list every issue he has faield to even glance at.


    On top of this, the council came around a few weeks ago, to confirm he was violating the HMO rules – we are 5 students (two shared bathrooms) and he has no HMO license. Now, I am currently looking into rent repayment orders to try and get some semblence of justice from all this, but our student union has advised that he is known for doing similar things before, and is likely to declare his company bankrupt to avoid paying any fees, which he has literally done before, then set up a new one.


    I have come to this site on the back of reading articles and being advised to join a tenants union. One housemate visited the council building last week to try and shed some light on RROs, but it would appear our council like to talk in circles for a good few hours, so I am seeking outside help for now alongside multiple trips to the council.
  • Joan Obiyan
    commented 2019-05-21 09:58:42 +0100
  • Piyush Sharma
    commented 2019-05-06 04:48:15 +0100
    While I have welcomed the whole Tenant Fee Ban that will be effective from 01 June 2019 – I don’t think those who proposed for this ban thought it through. I have been following the properties for rent over rightmove since past 2 months and have seen a trend that the letting agents/landlords have started increasing the rent by almost £100-200 per month to counter the fees ban – which makes me wonder how exactly is this fee ban going to help the renters if they end up paying more rent per month. What is really needed is a regulation of the complete housing market – both purchasing and private rental. There has to be some common sense backed by set standards/criterias on how the price of a property is decided. It cannot be just a “finger in the air” exercise where everyone comes up with their own number. When I see the rent for few of the private rental properties increase from £1100-1200 a month to £1200-1300 per month (£100-200 increase per month), it just makes me wonder how exactly are these letting agents/landlords deciding the rent. What magic ball do they possess that gives them this magical number. How is it that 2 properties on same road with same area, same number of bedrooms have different rent? What we as private tenant should really push for is regulation of the housing market. Every letting agent has to be certified and should be trained in how to calculate the price of a property based on a certain criteria. There should be set standards that one needs to follow to come up with a price/rent tag.


    Can someone now help me understand, what mechanisms the tenants have now with the tenant fees ban that is resulting in increased rent per month?
  • Rebecca Fecitt
    commented 2019-02-27 18:02:30 +0000
    I saw a property for rent online through an estate agent, viewed it, paid a deposit, handed my notice in at my current property and from then onwards it was a complete nightmare! We were told a move in date and on 3 different occasions we hired removals men, packed all our boxes, and were told on the day that it wasn’t ready for us and it had been postponed. After 3 months of waiting and being let down, our landlord moved us into another property out of “good will”. This property was damp, not fit for living in, and I actually got pleurisy living there, and to pay rent for the pleasure! The original house was then ready, which we moved into, and 4 months into the tenancy got a phone call stating the house was now for sale. We constantly had viewings unannounced, and received angry phone calls regarding the state of the house, which was totally unjustified. I was recommended by a friend to contact The Tenants Union for support and guidance as we would have to leave 4 months into a 12 month contract. They provided excellent support and advice and were able to point us in the right direction of what to do. Luckily, the house did not sell, and this went on for a few more weeks when we received a note through the door stating there was a cash buyer interested in the house. I passed this onto the landlord, and the buyer then came round with the landlord whilst I was at work and were there when i returned home(again unexpected). She said she had no interest in moving in until after the end of our tenancy, so we felt more secure. I then went on a trip away to Africa, (which the landlord was aware of) and received a phone call from his assistant stating we had to leave as someone had purchased the house and there was break clause in the contract which meant we had 1 month to leave. Luckily my partner was able to find a new house on my return which we had 2 days to move into. I then found out on return that the landlord had told the buyer that we wanted to leave and had asked her if we could move out asap!

    We then went to the Tenants Union for guidance.

    They were able to advise us that although the break clause stood, our landlord had not secured our deposit in a DPS, we could have a claim for up to 3 times the amount of the deposit. We used one of their recommended partners, and today received a cheque for £1,000! Thank you to the Tenants Union for supporting renters.

    I hope this story helps other renters!
  • bryn phillips
    followed this page 2019-01-28 22:58:53 +0000
  • Hannah Wright
    followed this page 2018-12-11 10:11:12 +0000
  • Hannah Wright
    commented 2018-12-11 10:01:24 +0000
    Being a student renter means you are seen as ripe for exploitation – landlords can’t wait to charge you extortionate prices for squalid properties. Moving into my third year house I was already struggling with low mental health, and the damp walls, stained carpets and peeling plaster only exacerbated this. On top of the now-expected level of grime, I was horrified to find a gaping hole in my bedroom ceiling, meaning that light, dirt and rain could easily enter my bedroom. (We coined it the ‘unofficial skylight’). The plaster on the ceiling had rotted away, and the DIY MDF desk that the landlord had left underneath was now covered in water and crap from outside. Venturing out of my bedroom, I discovered the kitchen windows had been nailed shut (I’d asked for locks to be fitted, but this wasn’t what I had in mind), the banisters were clinging on with blu-tac, the handle for the fire door was hanging off by the nails, and rain would regularly pour down the walls of one of my housemates’ bedroom. Looking after yourself when you have depression is hard, but doing so when you’re living in these grim and dangerous conditions is next to impossible. There was radio silence from the landlord until I started to ‘CC’ in the council, the university, and my parents’ work email addresses. Most of these issues were eventually fixed (although not the leak in my friend’s room), but despite an inspection from the council, we were still expected to pay our extortionate rent on time and the landlord is still allowed to own property and profit from the desperation of renters. (I can provide photos for much of this, if you’re interested).
  • @tenantsunionuk tweeted this page. 2018-10-08 20:42:52 +0100