My husband and I have had an assured shorthold tenancy since 1997. I’m 65 years of age and my husband is 69. Over the years we have had to carry out repairs to the property ourselves which we have been prepared to do. Since December 2019, our landlord has been continually harassing us, removing our boundary fences and hedges, while we were away prior to lockdown. He has taken control of our garden, leaving us without any privacy whatsoever.
We used to have dogs that enjoyed the freedom of the garden but they have sadly passed away. We cannot get another dog as we wouldn’t be able to keep it contained within the garden. In fact, we now get other neighbours’ dogs and foxes coming into our property and there is nothing to stop them.
Our landlord is also removing our driveway and has left the edges in an unsafe state causing us to suffer twisted ankles and injuries when we take rubbish to our bins. One Saturday afternoon in June our landlord and his son demolished our own shed and greenhouse while our possessions were still in them. They had been in place the whole time we’ve lived here and were put there with his permission.
Everything has been done completely unannounced and behind our backs and seems to have been done to drive us out of the property.
Whenever we confront him and try to reason with him, he tells us we only have a shorthold tenancy agreement and, in a threatening manner, he tells us he can do whatever he likes and he can evict us with one month’s notice.
We have always been worried that we feel if we press the situation, he will evict us. We are worried sick and experiencing sleepless nights. We have even contemplated suicide and I am now under the Doctor and on anti-depressants.
We have never had electrical safety test certificates, smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors. The property is in poor state of repair and does not comply with current energy regulations. We have never received a How to Rent guide or energy performance information.
The window frames are rotten and single glazed, some of the opening lights are glued shut so can’t be used as a fire escape if ever we need to. There is a rising and penetrating damp, which destroys the decoration whenever we try to make the place presentable. The external fabric of the property is in very poor repair and I’m worried we may be exposed to asbestos in some of the rooms.
On 1st October, we finally received a Section 21 ‘no fault’ eviction notice which states we have to move out of the property by 7th April 2021. We have applied with our Local Authority to go on the council list and are considered a priority case. However this will now be our final Christmas in what has been our home of over two decades.
Because of Section 21 evictions, tenants like us will always be vulnerable to these harassing landlords. We will always be afraid to request the repairs and the work we are entitled to. We will always be unable to be safe and secure in our own homes.
Generation Rent is campaigning to abolish unfair Section 21 evictions. Help other people like us by donating to their Christmas Appeal.