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Problems in private rented accommodation

This page is for tenants and landlords in the private rented sector. It covers deposits, harassment, Notices and possession proceedings, rent arrears and repairs.

New rules on evictions

There is new government guidance for landlords and tenants during Covid-19. It covers when and how Notice can be given, possession proceedings, rent and mortgage payments, and repairs. It takes priority over the tenancy agreement. For details see: GOV.UK: COVID-19 and renting: guidance for landlords, tenants and local authorities

What is the problem?

Deposits

Are you looking for somewhere to rent but struggling to find the deposit, or a landlord looking for a suitable tenant? We run a WiltsLet scheme to help both tenants and landlords. It can provide a deposit bond and rent in advance for qualifying tenants. Landlords who sign up can benefit from introductions to potential tenants, help with viewings and to deal with any problems. For more details see Wiltslet.

Otherwise landlords must put deposits into a government approved tenancy deposit scheme on any property let as an assured shorthold tenancy after 6 April 2007.  These schemes ensure tenants get their deposits back if they meet the terms of their tenancy agreement, do not damage the property and pay their rent. There is more information about this at Tenancy deposit protection.

Harassment and illegal eviction

For information about harassment and illegal eviction see Domestic abuse and harassment.

If you think this applies to you, contact Housing Options.

Notices and possession proceedings

The link in the green box at the top of the page will take you to the Government's latest guidance on Notices and possession proceedings during Covid-19.

If you are at risk of homelessness because of a Notice or possession proceedings contact Housing Options.

Rent arrears

Some charities and government agencies offer free money advice. They can check your income and benefits, and help you deal with debts, unpaid bills and rent arrears.  For details use this link Worried about losing your home.

If you receive housing benefit or housing costs through Universal Credit, and it does not cover all your rent, you may qualify for a discretionary hardship payment.  For details see Discretionary hardship payments.

Repairs and maintenance

There is information about repairs and maintenance in private rented accommodation online.

There is information about problems with damp and mould online.

Tips on problem solving

  1. Each party should check their rights and responsibilities to help them decide the best thing to do. The occupancy agreement should set these out.
  2. Check for any other guidance:
  3. Use this information to discuss the problem and agree a way forward if possible. For example a landlord could agree not to give a Notice if the tenant sets up a repayment plan for rent arrears and keeps to it. Write down any agreement so that everyone is clear about it.
  4. The Council's Housing Options service can also offer advice and mediation to prevent homelessness Housing Options contact details.

If you need advice

If you cannot come to an agreement, you may need advice. We advise anyone who has been summonsed to court to take advice.

  • Confidential, free advice on legal problems may be available from Citizens Advice, Shelter and Wiltshire Law Centre. For details of these services see Worried about losing your home.
  • You may qualify for help with the costs of a solicitor.  Details for local legal aid solicitors can be found online.  The solicitor won't charge to advise you whether you qualify.
  • The National Residential Landlords Association has lots of information for landlords on its website and offers advice and other services to members.