Voice

Uninhabitable flat? Outrageous rent increase? Evicted out of the blue? Tell us about your renting nightmare

We are currently in touch with journalists who would like to speak to people who:

  • have been evicted for complaining
  • are living in tiny homes in order to save on rent
  • are earning a decent income but struggling with the cost of rent 
  • are planning to move out of cities because of the cost of rent

Any information you provide will not be used without your permission. Please indicate if you wish to remain anonymous.

Showing 5 reactions

  • commented 2014-11-17 11:05:40 +0000
    Our landlord knows he is in the crapola and he will be even more shocked when his beloved slum appears on TV. He served an eviction notice on us on the 10th September after us mentioning the damp and all the other repairs … Like heating. We stopped paying the rent and put it to one side as we were spending £150 a month on electric to heat the living room and the little ones room. Now we cant even do that and the whole heating system needs replacing! He, and his cohorts, have threatened us. He has a nasty reputation towards tenants who stick up for themselves or even the crappy tenants. He has broken so many rules, Section 48 being one, and is one big bully. Our former housing officer and environmental health were working in his favour, and we found out that he has many houses with housing benefit tenants as he is on the bond deposit scheme with the council. His business partners sister runs the letting agent that has run this property since two yrs ago and they have got fraud on their wonderful cv. A letter was sent to us demanding a months rent or be taken to court, also stated that someone will be out to the property on the 15th of October to see if we had vacated despite the council telling him that we are still here. Landlord denies all knowledge of that letter apparently. Also his plumber sent a letter to us stating that if no one is in then they would be accessing via a locksmith! Which is illegal.


    We cannot get private housing as everyone wants a previous landlord reference and no one will take us on due to our current landlord refusing to give a reference anyway.


    Luckily the council have upped their game and we can now bid on properties.


    The BBC have seen this house and the reporter was disgusted how landlords get away with such …
  • commented 2014-11-17 11:04:57 +0000
    Our landlord knows he is in the crapola and he will be even more shocked when his beloved slum appears on TV. He served an eviction notice on us on the 10th September after us mentioning the damp and all the other repairs … Like heating. We stopped paying the rent and put it to one side as we were spending £150 a month on electric to heat the living room and the little ones room. Now we cant even do that and the whole heating system needs replacing! He, and his cohorts, have threatened us. He has a nasty reputation towards tenants who stick up for themselves or even the crappy tenants. He has broken so many rules, Section 48 being one, and is one big bully. Our former housing officer and environmental health were working in his favour, and we found out that he has many houses with housing benefit tenants as he is on the bond deposit scheme with the council. His business partners sister runs the letting agent that has run this property since two yrs ago and they have got fraud on their wonderful cv. A letter was sent to us demanding a months rent or be taken to court, also stated that someone will be out to the property on the 15th of October to see if we had vacated despite the council telling him that we are still here. Landlord denies all knowledge of that letter apparently. Also his plumber sent a letter to us stating that if no one is in then they would be accessing via a locksmith! Which is illegal.


    We cannot get private housing as everyone wants a previous landlord reference and no one will take us on due to our current landlord refusing to give a reference anyway.


    Luckily the council have upped their game and we can now bid on properties.


    The BBC have seen this house and the reporter was disgusted how landlords get away with such …
  • commented 2014-07-04 13:56:17 +0100
    I moved into a flat which turned out to be so dirty it was infested with bugs. They were everywhere. Tiny bugs that got in your cereal if you didn’t put it in an air-tight container. They even got between your sheets and your mattress. It was disgusting. I took it upon myself to thoroughly clean the flat (don’t know when it could have last been done – dirt was literally caked on windows) and the bugs disappeared. The place was fine then – not spick and span but livable. I moved out after a couple of years and my landlords tried to take my entire rent off me complaining about the conditions of the flat and that it wasn’t professionally cleaned. Not only was the place actually better than when I’d moved in (ie no more infestation) but I’d also made pains to clean my room. They made ridiculous points like, the toilet doesn’t look very nice – as if that was my fault and not how it had been when I moved in. The problem was that they’d never inspected the place when I moved in – they didn’t care what state it was in or how it looked then, yet when I moved out, for some reason that had changed, and they just attributed its sorry state to me. I tried being reasonable with them and pointing this out, and that I was not obliged to leave the place in a better state then when I’d moved in but they had already paid someone to do the place up and basically wanted my money to cover their costs. I took them to arbitration. I don’t know if the process has since changed but back then if you wanted to complain, you had to file your statement first as the instigator, they then got to see your statement and respond to it, and that was it. You didn’t get to see what they said about you or their evidence. Which meant you had to try to second-guess everything they could possibly say against you and come up with an argument against it in advance. It’s not an easy task. However, I won the arbitration and they were ordered to return my full deposit minus maybe £30 for carpet cleaning. Unfortunately the one thing I hadn’t foreseen was that they would lie about how much my deposit was in the first place. it didn’t even occur to me it would be up for debate so I hadn’t included the sum myself so I ended up losing out on almost £100. If I’d seen that they’d put in the wrong figure, I could have easily proved it was wrong with bank statements and our actual contract.


    On another occasion we moved into a flat which had a structural problem causing the overflow guttering to leak into all the flats down one side of the building. The flat was ex-council, and some of the other flats still were council owned so we couldn’t just make our agency fix it – we had to chase them to chase the council. We spent six months living with this, in the course of which our books went mouldy and there was damp throughout the flat (we were told to keep the windows slightly open – even in winter, which is clearly cost ineffective when you have the heating on) and finally, when they managed to make headway with it all, at the end of our year’s lease they told us they wouldn’t renew our contract, even before we had a chance to decide not to stay! They then put the property up for rent at a higher price advertising that it was newly decorated (we weren’t told that the problem had been solved, it just looked like it was painted over).
  • commented 2014-05-28 20:30:21 +0100
    Was living with my girlfriend in a ropey flat in Golders Green. The landlord was an Jewish bloke (yes this is relevant) from somewhere in the middle east, not Israel. He once came into the flat when I’d gone out, thinking my girlfriend was also out. He lived on the floor below. My GF was actually in the shower and she dried off in the bathroom and came out naked on her way to the bathroom to find the LL in the kitchen eating our chocolate biscuits in the tin. She screamed and he barged out of the flat without saying anything.

    Following Friday we paid our rent (in cash, on time and in full as always) and he left the flat. 10 minutes later he came back up the stairs and re-entered the flat without knocking… The GF and I were standing in the kitchen in each other’s arms talking about how we had to move out. The LL walked in and said “Tonight is Shabbat” or something to that effect. We said “oh and?” Well I need an extra £50 to buy food for my family. We’d just given him £300 or so in cash. “Well I need an extra £50…” I had the hump with the bloke and I pointed out we’d just paid the rent, in cash maybe 10 minutes ago. “I need another £50”. I told him we didn’t have it, and with that he sat down on a chair and stared at my (very pretty) GF. I really actually felt a bit sorry for him for a few minutes, but then he started speaking in French to my GF (her being from France) knowing I couldn’t follow him. She swore at him and said to me to get him to leave. So I told him to get out, and at this point he begged for the money. We didn’t have it. Finally he broke down in tears and walked out sobbing. Felt bad for the guy.

    When we went out later there were some lovely cooking smells coming from his flat.

    (My GF told me that he’d told her more or less that she looked good naked… really)

    We moved out a few days later, forfeiting our deposit in the process.
  • commented 2014-05-28 14:14:02 +0100
    I currently live in a room in an end of terrace that has been (badly) modified to have a garage (belonging to next door) where a downstairs room used to be, underneath my room. Due to lack of support underneath, the room has large cracks in the external walls which let moisture in, causing the black mould that seemingly everyone who rents in London has to live with. The subsidence of the room is so bad that any drawers will not remain closed, and a cupboard provided by the landlord tipped away from the wall and landed on me. Luckily for me it was lightweight MDF, of course. The walls are so soft that I can’t secure furniture to them as the fittings pull the plaster out. There is also a damp problem in the bathroom, a cheaply built extension with a corrugated

    Asbestos roof (my room with open cracks looks over this) and we have a problem with slugs coming through the rotten wood underneath the bath. The landlord just sends people to paint over the rotten wood when he can be bothered. He has this approach to all damp.


    I’ve had persistent chest problems since moving there, which I’ve never suffered from before.


    I took this room as I was on a crap salary. However I’ve just (today!) had a raise that equates to £125 a month, so I’ll be shipping out ASAP. Hopefully to somewhere with no slugs, and no mould.


    I know people have MUCH worse experiences, and I’ll be forwarding this form to some of them to fill in!