COLUMN: Landlords cannot evict tenants without reason says Citizens Advice manager

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A question asked by many is: ‘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?’

Citizens’ Advice Derbyshire Districts manager Roger Naden explains...

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 October 1 2015, you are protected from eviction provided you report the problem using the right procedure.

First, 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 1, 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, contact us so we can give you options on your next step.

For the most up-to-date advice, visit www.citizensadvice.org.uk.

For more drop into the office in the Town Hall, Bank Road in Matlock, or call 0300 4568390 weekdays from 9am to 4pm.