Monday 14 November 2016
As part of the Citizens Advice Exeter and The Express and Echo weekly advice column this week we focus on repairs in private rented property.
I have a problem with rising damp in my flat, but I’m worried that if I complain my landlord will evict me. What should I do?
Until recently, landlords could evict tenants without a reason. However, a new law passed last year means it’s now illegal to evict tenants for reporting a problem with the property.
Start by checking your contract for when your tenancy began. If it was on or after 1 October 2015, you are protected from eviction provided you report the problem using the right procedure.
Firstly, write your landlord an email or letter explaining the problem. If they don’t respond within 14 days or respond with an eviction notice, contact the Council who will inspect the property.
If the Council confirms with the landlord that there is a health and safety problem, any ‘no fault’ eviction notice is invalid and you won’t need to leave the property. The Council will also advise the landlord on next steps, which could include being legally required to fix the problem.
If your tenancy began before October 2015 it’s not illegal for your landlord to evict you but it’s still unusual to do so. Again, you should start by raising the problem in writing. If your landlord doesn’t offer to repair the damp, or serves you with an eviction notice you can get more information and advice about next steps at www.citizensadvice.org.uk or by calling Citizens Advice Exeter on 03444 111 444.
Look out for our column next week when we focus on changes to the national minimum wage.
The information contained in these articles does not constitute advice. Citizens Advice Exeter and The Express and Echo accept no liability for the information published. Citizens Advice Exeter is unable to respond to individual requests for advice through these columns. Copyright Citizens Advice. For the most up-to-date information, please visit www.citizensadvice.org.uk