Dodgy landlord(5 Posts)
Posting on behalf of my best friend...
She lives in a 1 bedroom flat that is privately owned but was put there by the council.
Quite frankly, her landlady is a fucking dick.
My friend has been in the property for a couple of years and has no end of issues - she also has 2 children aged 3 and 1. The cooker stopped working and took the LL 6 months to get it seen too and repaired, which was repaired by the LL's son at 9pm at night.
Due to my friend being a DSS tenant, they have stopped her housing benefit due to her circumstances changing (DP left her) and are reviewing it. LL was informed of this. Suddenly my friend is being harassed for rent (has been paying more than half out of her TC for her children) and council are still reviewing the claim. LL has threatened her with eviction for the last 2 months and every single time the eviction notice was due to be given - it never surfaced.
Friend has been to council numerous times with relevant paperwork and has receipts given from them to prove she has handed in the paperwork to them. She will be backdated her DSS once the review is completed. Housing won't do anything about the landlord harassing her. My friend is in tears daily due to the abuse she gets over text and whatsapp from the LL which starts from 6am to gone 11pm at night on most days.
LL also turned up at the property yesterday whilst my friend was in hospital for an appointment. I was at the property watching the children. I asked the LL to leave as she was breaching her side of the contract by not giving 24hrs notice of her arrival and that it was not an inspection nor emergency for her to be at the property. She gave me a lovely mouthful of abuse calling me a "stupid little bitch" and "a fucking thick slag" - she has NEVER met me before. Also, I private rent from a family member so I know my rights to occupy the property in peace and about notice being given before a LL can come into the property.
Council are reluctant to rehouse her even though she is overcrowded and she is being harassed and verbally abused. She cannot afford private rent and definitely could not afford to scrape a deposit together. I've borrowed her money so she could get gas/electric and also bought her food because of the kids, she don't have a pot to piss in.
LL husband is apparently hand serving them the notice day - we will soon see.
The cooker issue was not good and there id nothing I can say about that.
However the rent issue is entirely different. Sorry to sound harsh but you need to face the situation.The HB situation is nothing to do with the LL. Your friend has a tenancy which sets out what rent is due and she must pay it (not just over half of it) to comply with the tenancy. If she gets 2 months in arrears the LL can evict her. It is possible that she gets the 2 months in arrears hence the threat but then makes her 'half' payment which means she is only one and a half months behind meaning the court proceedings can't go ahead.
Asking for rent to be paid or threatening eviction for nonpayment is in itself not harassment - it is business. What exactly do the messages say? Is it asking when payments will be made, or when she is likely to hear from DSS, or how she intends to pay or even asking her to contact the LL . All of these would be reasonable and the timing may be around the LL's work hours.
Perhaps you friend has not responded to requests to discuss the matter (head in sand?) so the LL called by to discuss not inspect but was met with you. It sounds as though you might have met her in a hostile manner (bearing in mind that you seem to think it is ok for your friend not to pay her rent and call chasing for it harassment) and it is possible that if she is now in the 5th month of half payments then she will alwsys be 2 months in arrears and eviction will be inevitable.
If your friend is just ignoring the LL it is no wonder the LL seems to be at the end of her tether. Your friend must realise she is in breach of the tenancy - a business arrangement. Does she really think it is the LLs responsibility to house her despite her not paying her rent?
My friend has paid the rent every month on time until the council suspended her housing benefit, they pay in full to her and she pays the landlord. She has paid £350 for the last 2 months on a £470 property so more than half... And hasn't physically withheld rent, as it has still been paid, just not in full and has explained why and even shown her paperwork to prove she's been to the council and given the forms and documents they need. She's even given the LL all the codes and information to speak to housing about the case but LL still don't want to know...
The council housed her in the property, but it is privately owned and LL was aware of that she is a DSS tenant when allowing her to live there and providing a tenancy agreement.
LL has been texting and phoning threatening to kick her head in, to change the locks when she ain't in, for her to get off her fucking arse and get a job and stop breeding, she's a "fucking dirty tramp" and even more has been said... My friend would love to work but has 2 children under 5 and also has numerous medical conditions.
As far as I'm aware now, LL's husband is friends with her ex-DPs parents but never put two and two together... and they were there on the day the notice was being given to her, to his surprise it was the ex-DIL who answered and the husband retracted the notice and ripped it up. The ex-DIL works for council so has had things sped up and she is due the back payment this week I believe so she's transferring what is owed over so she will be in the clear again.
I didn't say I agree with her not paying the rent, but when she has constantly told the landlord what she has handed in and when and kept her informed then there was no need for the LL to be giving her grief.
Also LL DOES have to give notice at any point of visiting the property, she may legally own it but she does NOT reside there.
Yes with the more details provided the LL is being unacceptably abusive and out of order. However even if the council placed your friend there and the ll knew the tenant was DSS I am sure you realise it would always be your friend's responsibility to pay the rent in full. It is not for the LL to speak to the council to check etc. I suspect the relationship may now be at a stage where they can't have a sensible conversation about how/ when arrears will be cleared as emotions are running high. Has your friend perhaps contacted the CAB to see if they could help. She does realise hopefully that she will need to be proactive or she could find herself homeless and without references for future LL.
The fact that benefits can be stopped so abruptly etc is ine one of the main reasons LLs are reluctant to let to DSS tenants.
Hopefully if there is some form of relationship connection things may calm down and be resolved amicably.
landlords can be in big trouble for harrassing tenants - even if the rent is not being paid. All a landlord can do is write letters or message - in a professional fashion. If still no rent, section 8. Calling round to demand rent without notice is not allowed, let alone the kind of things you mention.
It is indeed not for the landlord to chase the council for payment.
the whatsapp and text problems are easily solved, block/turn off. The in-person harrassment/abuse can be reported via 101 (not to the council).
I hope the situation is now resolved following your update. Your friend should read 'how to rent' on gov.uk to check her rights, as the landlady clearly doesn't know her obligations.
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