Here housing legal expert Madeleine Lindsay explains the simple steps to follow to find out if your landlord is licensed to provide rented accommodation and what your rights are as tenant?
All private landlords in Croydon must be licensed by the Council. You can check
if your landlord has a licence by going online and searching ‘Croydon private rented property’, or call: 0208 726 6103.
If your landlord doesn’t have a licence, let the Council know. Go online and click ‘Report an unlicensed property’, email: propertylicensing@croydon. gov.uk or telephone. You can do this anonymously so your landlord will not know who reported them. It’s quick and free plus anyone can make a report.
Why should I make sure my landlord has a licence? First, it’s a legal requirement. No licence means a landlord shouldn’t rent the property and if they have rented it to you without a licence, they can’t legally evict you.
Second and most important is that your safety and security will be better protected. Your landlord must have given protected your deposit. They must have a valid Gas Safety Certificate, meet fire safety requirements and ensure electrics are safe. Your home must be inspected regularly and be properly maintained.
If you live in a large shared house, it might be a House in Multiple Occupation that needs a different sort of licence, which can be found on a different register. Details from hmo@ croydon.gov.uk or call 0208726 6000 extension 61450.
WHAT IF MY LANDLORD DOES HAVE A LICENCE, BUT THERE ARE PROBLEMS
WITH MY PROPERTY? Contact the team who can advise and or inspect.
WHAT IF MY LANDLORD WANTS TO EVICT ME FOR COMPLAINING? If you have any problems in your home, put them in writing to your landlord and complain to the council. If your tenancy started or was renewed on or after October 1, 2015 and the council serve your landlord with a notice to do works, you are protected from eviction for six months. Remember, a landlord without a licence can’t legally evict you.
Tenants have responsibilities too: you should report any problems with the property to your landlord, keep the property in a decent state and not cause a nuisance to your neighbours.