I was interested to hear today about concerns being raised by politicians over existing legislation that deals with problems that can occur with rented accommodation. These can range from tenants causing damage or nuisance to landlords failing to fix faulty appliances or charging unexpected fees.
Many people living in Sneinton Nottingham over the past few years will be well aware of the extended impact of nuisance neighbours & rogue landlords, particularly the disruption it can cause to the peace in an area.
We've personally suffered a string of noisy neighbours and thier negligent landlord for well over a year & a half now, in the worst cases losing income due to being kept awake in the small hours as well as having to fix extensive damage due to water leakage from next door that the landlord of that property failed to address in a timely manner.
In our case we believe many of the problems are really down to the landlord of the adjoining property who persists in taking on problematic tenants whilst failing to take responsibility for the problems that have arisen. The motive is, of course, money. We've been made aware of lists of potentially problematic tenants made available to landlords for housing by local authorities for extra cash - you can see the obvious incentives.
But what's become apparent to us over the past couple of years is the lack of tooth in the system to ultimately deal with both nuisance tenants & these rogue landlords. While there are a plethora of council departments to deal with individual cases of noise, environmental pollution etc (and the officers from those departments really do work extremely hard to find solutions, if sometimes failing to join up all the dots), the real problem is that most of the powers at their disposal result in little more than shifting the problems on to new locations. In the case of noisy neighbours the ASB officers can force a landlord to evict, but that problem family then moves on to potentially cause other households the very same problems - this can go on and on (we've heard of families evicted six or seven times in the same immediate locale over the course of a year or two for exactly thd same behaviour). Undiscerning landlords are also free to carry on putting problem families in their houses without fear of any council or legal repercussions when they fail to act, in spite of the devastating impact that their actions can cause to neighbouring families & whole communities.
Dealing with issues via existing local authority policy usually takes a lot of time & effort on the part of those affected, and because of the lack of powers that could fine &/or shut down persistently negligent landlords, people living next door to some of these rented properties often find themselves having to start the whole process all over again when the problems start over with new tenants.
I'm hoping our politicians can give our struggling local authorities the powers they require to do their work effectively and save all affected parties potentially years of suffering in their own homes, be they the tenants, their neighbours or even the landlords. In my case, if I lose many more lost days to noisy neighbours and unnecessary bills to put right damage we didn't cause, I may well be joining the ranks of the unemployed.
For anyone who finds themselves suffering from any of these problems, all I can say is complain to your council authorities....relentlessly. Call the police, make logs, be a squeaky wheel. The system is constantly under the cosh trying to deal with the problems as best they can - you will be ignored if you don't make them aware.