A family is having issues with their landlord not carrying out repairs to their home. They’ve asked FamilyPoint for advice on what they can do in this week’s A Problem Shared.
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Hello, my landlord is not doing the right repairs on the house and we are scared to call anyone because he is known to kick people out for getting environmental health involved. Please could we have some advice due to us having a baby due in 2 weeks and we don’t know what we can do. Thank you for your time.
Thanks for coming through to us here at FamilyPoint. We’re sorry to hear that you’re experiencing such anxieties with your due date just around the corner.
I’m not sure whether you’re aware but as a tenant you have certain rights. This will depend on the tenancy agreement that you have, for example one of the most common is an Assured Shorthold Tenancy. Tenancies may differ slightly. With some you will have a right to remain at your property unless your landlord can convince a court that there is a good reason for your eviction, such as a breach of your tenancy agreement. With some your landlord can give you 2 months notice to end your tenancy.
Under an Assured Shorthold tenancy, you have a right to have your property kept in a “Reasonable state of repair“. This will only apply if you have an assured shorthold tenancy so it is worth taking a look over your tenancy agreement. If you aren’t sure take a look at the Shelter guide to tenancies or arrange an appointment at your local Citizens Advice Bureau and take your tenancy agreement with you.
As we have explored, you may be within your rights to request these repairs to be done, however should you request this to take place you landlord may make the decision to not renew your tenancy when it comes to its end or evict you with notice (depending on your tenancy). The landlord cannot simply evict you without any notice as this is illegal and a 2-month notice period is typically required. Again your protection around eviction will depend on the tenancy you have.
I can understand that it might feel like a risk to talk to the landlord considering his past behaviour, therefore it may be worth consulting a specialist adviser first such as someone at your local Citizens Advice Bureau or Shelter Cymru to help guide you through the process. They may even support you to communicate with your landlord. It might also be worth talking to the landlord before taking matters above their head to give them a chance to do the work. However, if this doesn’t work the option would be to make things official with a complaint. Check out the Citizens Advice Bureau guide for dealing with requesting repairs and how to take action against your landlord.
If all else fails
I’m sorry that you’re currently facing this problem when you’re about to start a family. However, in your situation, if the landlord did choose to evict you and your family, the next step would be to appeal to the local council for emergency housing. It is likely that you may find yourself in priority need due to your circumstances. If there is anything that you are unsure of or just want to talk things through further try the Shelter Cymru helpline to talk to an expert housing adviser, or pop into your local Citizens Advice Bureau.
We hope you’re able to resolve this situation swiftly with support from some of the agencies detailed to give you a smooth start to motherhood.
The FamilyPoint team
If you would like further information on national or local support services, then you can contact us at FamilyPoint Cymru via phone 0300 222 57 57, text 07860 052 905, or IM/Chat. We are open Monday to Friday 9am-5pm.
A Problem Shared… is your space to share both your problems and your advice with the FamilyPoint community.
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