I have problems with my landlord
Please contact your Housing Officer in the first instance.
If you are renting your property from a private landlord, a Council or a Housing Association, and your landlord is asking you to leave, you should seek advice straight away. Housing Services will look into the reasons why you are being asked to leave and work with you and your landlord to see if you are able to stay in your home.
If your landlord does not live in your property with you, you will usually have a legal right to remain in your accommodation until your landlord has obtained a court order. You should not agree to vacate your property unless you have already arranged alternative accommodation to move to. You cannot rely on the Council rehousing you so you should seek advice about what to do.
If your landlord needs to move back into the property you are renting, your landlord must give you a written notice. In most cases, after the notice has expired, your landlord will need to apply for a court order. If you receive a notice from your landlord asking you to leave your accommodation you should seek advice straight away.
Landlords have certain obligations to carry out repairs but this may not cover everything that goes wrong. We can advise you whether your landlord is obliged to carry out certain repairs and in some cases, an officer from Environmental Health can come to visit you to establish whether there is any action that can be taken to put right the repair problems you have.
Your tenancy agreement may set out who is responsible if things go wrong. However, your landlord will always be responsible for the structure and exterior of the property, heating and hot water, basins, sinks, baths and toilets although there are exceptions if the tenant has caused damage. Tenants are responsible for the internal decoration, changing light bulbs and deliberate or accidental damage to other items (such as doors and windows). In some cases a landlord may repair items but then charge the tenant for the repair if the damage is caused by the tenant.
If a landlord wants to enter a property to inspect it or carry out repairs, the tenant must be given 24 hours notice. A tenant may agree to less notice if the problem is urgent.
For further information see housing repairs and report a problem.
See also: Advice and support for landlords
If your landlord wants to increase your rent, there are three main ways in which this can be done lawfully:
- Your landlord asks you to pay more rent and you agree and start paying an increased rent
- Your landlord gives you a new tenancy agreement with a higher rent which you sign
- Your landlord gives you a property notice of a rent increase under Section 13 of the Housing Act 1988
If you are receiving Housing Benefit and your landlord wants more rent, the increase may not be covered by Housing Benefit.
Please contact us for advice if you are asked to pay a higher rent that you may not be able to afford.
If your landlord is coming to your property without any advance notice or is entering your property without your permission, this may constitute harassment. Other forms of harassment include interference with your gas or electricity supplies.
If your landlord is asking you to pay your rent, or your do not have gas or electricity because you have not paid your bills, this will not constitute harassment.
Housing Services provide advice about security of tenure, rent and rent arrears, disrepair, possession, and recovery of deposits. In addition, local Councils have powers to prosecute landlords who may be committing certain offences against tenants. However, prosecution is always a last resort and Housing Services will always try to work with you and your landlord in the first instance to try to resolve any problems or disputes you may have.
Contact Housing: Options Team
Adur & Worthing Councils,
44 Richmond Road,