Ask Tenants blog
Did you know that there is a Rogue Landlord Database that has been running for 6 months but remains completely empty? This was set up by the Government in April of this year to list landlords that have received convictions for offences committed under the Housing and Planning Act 2016. Up until an announcement from the Prime Minister recently, the intention was to keep this information away from the public domain. Theresa May has since pledged that they “intend to make the information available to prospective and existing tenants”
Investigations have revealed that there are a proportion of landlords collecting rent and tenancy deposits despite being convicted for offences under housing law and failing to pass the ‘fit and proper’ person tests required by legislation in England and Wales.
It is estimated that there were in the region of 10,500 rogue landlords operating in England alone and not one is on the Government database. All tenants should be concerned with who they are renting from; after all you will be paying them a big slice of your income, potentially 54% – not only your rent but your tenancy deposit as well. If your landlord doesn’t care about the circumstances in which you are living – they won’t be too worried about protecting your deposit in one of the three tenancy deposit schemes.
London renters are in a better position as a result of Mayor Sadiq Khan’s London based rogue landlord checker which currently has 300 entries made by local authorities following a landlord conviction (be aware though – entries expire after a year).
We have numerous examples of tenants handing over cash deposits to landlords and not getting a receipt. These deposits are often not protected and more often than not the landlord will then cease communication at the end of the agreement – meaning you will struggle to get your deposit back and end up with a tenancy deposit claim dispute.
Find out who your prospective landlord is, speak to neighbours, speak to the current tenant if you can – question why they want cash payments. We know of one tenant who paid cash deposit only to find out it was a local authority property; they had to leave and lost their money!
Look carefully at the tenancy agreement – there will be a reason why they have only given you a telephone number as a contact. Never give a cash deposit to a landlord who is only prepared to give you a mobile contact number. If you then have a tenancy deposit dispute with your landlord and it hasn’t been put into a tenancy deposit scheme, it will be very difficult to get your deposit back and to claim compensation (which can be up to 3 times your deposit).
If you get to the end of your tenancy, you have fallen foul of a rogue landlord and you think you have a tenancy deposit claim dispute, you can write to them yourself. Or there’s a self-help area on our website which has advice and example template letters that you can use to send to you landlord. You can also contact us for assistance at www.checkmydeposit.co.uk.
You can get free advice from one of our experts by calling 0203 887 0409 or emailing email@example.com
Hi, I’m Sarah and I work for a company called CheckMyDeposit.co.uk. We’ve partnered with Asktenants.co.uk so that we can let more people know about tenancy deposit claims and improve the renting experience for everyone. We help tenants to claim compensation from landlords who put their rental deposits at risk. A landlord should keep your deposit in one of the three government approved schemes during your tenancy. If they don’t, you could claim up to 3x your deposit in compensation, even if you’ve had your deposit returned. Claims can be made on tenancy agreements dating back up to six years. You can make the application yourself or our legal experts can do this for you. We only ever charge you if your claim is successful, so there’s no financial risk.