How to deal with harassment from landlords or agents
Keep a record of harassment
Harassment from a landlord or agent is rarely an isolated incident.
Often there is a pattern of behaviour and sometimes the harassment gets worse over time.
You can get help to deal with harassment. For example, from the council, police, a renters union or solicitor.
It helps to have a record of what's been happening when you speak to them.
What shows evidence of harassment
It's a good idea to keep a personal record of all incidents or communications that show evidence of behaviour that could count as harassment.
Written communications from the landlord or agent
Always keep the following:
letters or notices that tell you to leave
threatening or abusive emails and messages
demands for rent that threaten eviction within a short period
Your account of what has happened
If your landlord, agent or anyone acting on their behalf visits your home without an appointment or enters without permission, make a note of:
the exact time and date they visited
what they said or did
how it made you feel
if anyone else was there and saw their behaviour
Write it down as soon as you can after the incident happens. Or make a voice recording on your phone straight after so you don't forget any details.
The experiences of other tenants
If you live in a house in multiple occupation (HMO), talk to other people who live there. They may be experiencing the same problems.
It can be easier to stand up to the landlord if you act together or back each other up.
Recordings on your phone
You could film any incidents of harassment or make a recording if you feel safe to do so. For example, if you're behind a locked door or at an upstairs window.
Bear in mind that filming some criminal landlords may lead to an escalation in their behaviour but it can be useful evidence of what has happened.
Has your landlord broken the law before?
If you live in London, use the rogue landlord and agent checker on the London Assembly website to see if your landlord has been prosecuted or fined for housing related offences.
Last updated: 29 March 2021