Don’t Let Your Landlord Screw You

The best tips to help you fight for your rights.


It’s 9 o’clock on Thursday morning, I’ve just woken up and I’m about to get ready for a solid day at the library. I get up and walk to the kitchen, only to find that there’s a random man in my hallway. After scaring the life out of me, he explains that he’s here to paint the bathroom and that my landlord gave him a key.

Sound familiar? Not all landlords are as cool as film star Rob Ho which is the Tab’s peerless legal advice comes in.

Your landlord cannot enter the property without agreement from one of the tenants.

Yet another unwanted visitor

In extreme cases, a landlord coming over too often and for unnecessary reasons can be classified as harassment.

The Office of Fair Trading says: “tenants must be free from unwarranted intrusion by anyone, including the landlord.”

Your landlord must give you 24 hours written notice before coming over.

Unless it’s legendary local landlord Rob Ho, he can come over any time

Most tenancy agreements require the landlord to give at least 24 or 48 hours notice. But, even if yours doesn’t have that kind of clause, the landlord still has to give reasonable notice.

Your landlord must keep your accommodation “in a reasonable state of repair”.

This sofa is illegal

They have to look after:

  • The walls, floors, window frames, drains, gutters, pipes and the steps or path leading into the house.
  • Water, gas pipes, electrical wiring and your boiler.
  • Any fixtures, fittings and furnishings provided

Your landlord must pay your deposit into a deposit protection scheme.

If you pay a tenancy deposit, your landlord must protect it with one of the government authorised schemes within 30 days and give you certain information about the scheme. If they don’t, they could be liable to pay you between one and three times your deposit on top of the deposit you paid.


At the end of your tenancy, they must give you your deposit back as required by the scheme. If they decide to retain some or all of the money, they must give explicit and clear written reasons for doing so. You can challenge their decision through the deposit protection scheme’s own dispute resolution scheme.