How to deal with harassment from landlords or agents

How to stop problems getting worse

You can sometimes stop tenancy problems from escalating by putting things in writing.

It can be a good first step if your landlord or agent is unaware of the law. Or if they think you don't understand your tenancy rights.

It's also a better way to negotiate over things like rent arrears or access to your home.

You can use our templates to write an email or message to your landlord.

Get help to deal with harassment if you feel at risk, or think your landlord will continue to break the law whatever you say.

Missed rent payments

Rent arrears do not give landlords a legal excuse to harass tenants.

Your landlord can:

  • contact you about missed payments or rent arrears

  • take action through the courts if you owe them money

But they must not pressure you with threats of illegal eviction.

They should not regularly turn up at your home demanding money, especially if you've made it clear that you can't pay at the moment.

You must try to pay your rent on time and come to an agreement about any arrears.

Use our templates to deal with landlord pressure over missed rent payments.

Pressure to leave before or after notice

Your landlord must follow the legal process if they want you to leave.

If you're given any type of notice to leave, you should:

  1. check if the notice is valid

  2. decide if you're willing to leave by the date on the notice

You don't have to leave by the date on the notice, even if it's a legal notice.

Your tenancy continues even if your landlord gives you a legal notice.

It only ends if you end your tenancy legally or are evicted through the courts.

Only leave if you're ready

Your landlord might have a personal reason for wanting you to move out before a legal notice ends.

For example, if they want to move back in themselves or sell the property while it's empty.

You can negotiate an earlier end to the tenancy if you want to, but only agree a move out date when you've found somewhere else to live.

Don't be pressured to move out before you're ready, especially if you've nowhere settled to move to.

Find out more about staying after a section 21 notice.

Use our templates if you're facing pressure to leave before you're ready.

Unwanted visits or access to your home

As a tenant, you have control over who comes into your home and your landlord can't usually enter without your permission.

You should allow access when needed so your landlord can meet their legal responsibilities to keep your home safe. For example, to fix things you've reported or for gas safety checks.

You may have slightly different rights if you live in a shared house or house in multiple occupation (HMO).

In an HMO, your landlord can usually enter certain parts of the building unless you rent the whole property as joint tenants.

Use our templates to set out your rights around visits and access to your home.

Last updated: 30 March 2021

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