Renting privately

Find out about your rights and responsibilities when renting a property from a private landlord:

Landlord harassment

Landlord harassment is both a criminal and civil offence.

Examples of harassment are:

  • threatening you with eviction
  • turning off your utilities
  • interfering with your personal belongings.

If your landlord is trying to evict you, you should make your landlord aware of your concerns in writing and inform them that their actions are affecting your peaceful occupation of the property.

Your landlord should give you at least 24 hours notice if they intend to inspect or visit your property. You are legally entitled to refuse entry if no notice is given. It is a criminal offence for your landlord to visit your property without your prior permission.

If you feel threatened or if you are being intimidated by your landlord, contact Sussex Police, and seek legal advice from either a solicitor or your Citizens Advice Bureau.

Inspecting houses in multiple occupation

Your home is probably an HMO if:

  • three or more unrelated people live there, forming more than one household
  • the people living there share basic amenities, such as a kitchen or bathroom

The local authority has a duty to inspect all such houses in their area on a regular basis. Local councils inspect properties before sending a report to the owners of the building, with a list of fire and safety requirements such as installation of an automatic fire detection system and escape routes.

For more information about visits to houses in multiple occupation contact your local council or see their website: district and borough councils.