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Landlord Prosecutions

Our team of expert property dispute solicitors are on hand to help you understand your legal rights as a landlord or agent and help you defend a complaint against a tenant.

As a residential landlord, you have a responsibility to treat your tenants in a fair and reasonable manner or you could face a landlord prosecution. If a tenant believes you have done something wrong or are unhappy with your behaviour as a landlord, they can bring a criminal case or make a civil complaint against you which can result in you compensating them for any loss incurred. 

The key reasons for a landlord prosecution

  • Failure to complete repairs to the property
  • Harassment, for example entering the property without your permission
  • Threats of illegal eviction
  • Charging illegal fees

 

There are laws that protect the rights of tenants and make certain behaviour an illegal offence.  The Protection from Eviction Act 1977 makes it an offence to interfere with the peace or comfort of a tenant or anyone living with him or her; or persistently withdraw or withhold services for which the tenant has a reasonable need to live in the premises as a home. It is also an offence to remove a person’s home unlawfully.

What is harassment?

  • Withdrawal of services such as gas, electricity or water
  • Withholding keys
  • Anti-social behaviour by a landlord’s agent
  • Demand for excessive repairs to be made and paid for by the tenant
  • Failure to carry out repairs by the landlord
  • Repairs which are not completed
  • Threats and physical violence
  • Illegal eviction. A landlord’s right to get his or her property back from a residential tenant can normally only be enforced through the courts.

Equally The Tenant Fees Act 2019 protect tenants by preventing landlords and agents from charging any fees other than those permitted by the Act.

Permitted payments are detailed in Schedule 1 of the Act.

Penalties for non-compliance with the legislation can carry a civil penalty of up to £5000 for an initial breach, however a further breach could result in a criminal prosecution. There is also the opportunity for the tenant to apply to the First Tier Tribunal for a refund of the prohibited fee.

Rent repayment orders

If a tenant believes a landlord has committed an offence, they can apply for a Rent Repayment Order that requires the landlord to repay a specified amount of rent.  An application can be made by either the council or the tenants of the relevant property and does not require the landlord to be convicted.

 

Specialist legal advice for landlord prosecution

Our team of expert property dispute solicitors are on hand to help you understand your legal rights as a landlord or agent and help you defend a complaint against a tenant. We provide advice, guidance and representation at court if required. To find out more and discuss your situation with a solicitor please get in touch by calling 0117 906 9400, email hello@gl.law or use our contact form.

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