The legislation between a landlord and tenant is civil law and not criminal law. The police are unlikely to get involved in any property disputes unless a crime has occurred. You can find advice about leasing and renting property privately via the government website or by contacting your local Citizens Advice.
You have certain rights and responsibilities if you’re a tenant in a privately rented property. To view these please visit the government website.
Follow these steps if you have a problem with your landlord:
- Complain to your landlord – they should have a complaints policy that you can follow.
- Make a complaint to a ‘designated person’ (your MP, a local councillor or a tenant panel) if you can’t resolve the problem with your landlord.
- Contact your council or local authority if you and your landlord still can’t resolve the problem.
Follow these steps if you have a problem with your tenant:
- If the tenant refuses to pay rent, consider structured payment options. If the tenant can no longer afford the rent, explain the long-term impact of eviction on their credit and rental history, convincing the tenant to voluntarily leave.
- Document all contact with the tenant accurately.
- If the security deposit is not enough to cover the expense of damages, you may wish to take the tenant to the small claims court to recover the rest.
A breach in your tenancy agreement can lead to eviction but the landlord must provide notice.
Your landlord is always responsible for repairs to the property’s structure and exterior, basins, sinks, baths and other sanitary fittings including pipes and drains, heating and hot water, gas appliances, electrical wiring and any damage caused by attempting repairs.
Your landlord should tell you when you can expect the repairs to be done. You should carry on paying rent while you’re waiting. If repairs are not done, contact the environmental health department at your local council.
You can’t remove your tenants by force. After you have followed the correct procedure for your specific tenancy agreement, if the notice period expires and your tenants don’t’ leave the property, you can start the process of eviction through the courts.