Most tenancies in the private sector go well, landlords offer safe and secure properties to rent and tenant pay their rent and look after the property as if it was their home. However there can be times when tenants may need to take action against, or protect themselves against, poor landlord practises.

We hope this toolkit provides information and tools to help you stay safe and happy in your tenancy, if you would like to talk to someone about a concern you have about your landlord please contact us in 0191 2771438, email us at privaterentedservice@newcastle.gov.uk or complete out online reporting form.

Rent Repayment Orders

Tenants can apply for a Rent Repayment Order when a landlord has breach certain regulations.  

Breaches include: 

  • using or threatening violence for securing entry 
  • illegal eviction or harassment
  • failure to comply with improvement notice
  • failure to comply with prohibition order
  • breach of banning order
  • managing an unlicensed house in multiple occupation
  • managing a unlicensed property that is not classed a HMO but is still subject to licence 

Our Quick glance guide to rent repayment order provides information about when and how you can apply for a Rent Repayment Order. 

For more information about Rent Repayment Orders and how to make an application go to the Gov. site

 

Repairs and retaliatory eviction

When you rent a property from a private landlord the landlord is responsible for most of the large repairs; fixing leaks, repairing boilers, replacing broken fixtures and fittings etc.  However as the tenant you are responsible to make sure your landlord knows about a repair as soon as it occurs. 

In most cases the landlord will carry out the work promptly, its in their interest to maintain their property and keep their tenant happy, however some tenants worry that if they report a repair the landlord will evict them.  There are now powers in place to protect tenants from what is referred to as Retaliatory Eviction, however it is important that tenants follow the guidelines to ensure that they are covered. 

Our Quick glance guide to retaliatory eviction  offers more information about the new powers and how tenants can make sure that they are covered.

As its important to put your initial repairs compliant in writing you might want to consider using our Request for repairs Word  template. 

Deposits and deposit protection

If you pay a landlord a deposit at the start of an Assured Shorthold Tenancy your landlord has an obligation to protect this in one of the tree government approved schemes. 

Most landlords are aware of these rules and are happy to comply, however if your landlord has not protected your deposit, or hasn’t told you that they have, you can ask them to protect it or tell you where it has been protected.   If you want to know more about deposits and deposit proecton you might want to look at our Quick glance guide to Deposits and Deposit Protection Word

If you are still in the property but the landlord has not protected your deposit. Request the protection of a deposit Word

If you have left the property and your landlord has not returned your deposit but it was protected.Request the return of a protected deposit Word

If you have left the property and your landlord has not returned your deposit but  had not protected the deposit. Request the return of a unprotected deposit Word

Homes Fitness for Human Habitation

 

The Homes Fitness for Habitation Act 2019 came into force in March 2019 and applies to both social and private rented landlords alike.  The Act sets out standards that landlords must meet to ensure that all parts of the property they rent out is fit for human habitation.

This means that landlords need to make sure that their property is free from hazards which are so serious that the dwelling is not ‘reasonably suitable’ for occupation.  

Most landlords already provide safe, warm and secure homes but where a landlord fails to meet the standards set, the tenant has the right to take action in the courts for breach of contract on the grounds that the property is unfit for human habitation. 

Using the Act tenants will be able to apply for an order by the court requiring the landlord to remedy the problem, and/or claim damages to compensate them for having to live in a property which was not fit.

For more information and guidance on how to use the Act go to our Guide to Homes Fitness for Habitation Act