Landlord tries to charge tenant £25 per email claiming it is a ‘breach of terms and conditions’

The tenant’s emails featured her complaints about damp and mouldy spaces in the house

Canqi Li
Friday 26 April 2024 15:08 BST
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Tenant complaining of mouldy and leaking ceiling charged £25 per email by landlord

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A North London landlord threatened to charge her tenant £25 for sending an email due to an alleged “breach of terms and conditions”.

Renters’ union ACORN area organiser Fredi Gentz, from north London, said the tenant contacted him after she received a Section 21 eviction notice from her landlord without explanation following her complaints about poor living conditions in the house.

The tenant “got in touch with us while she was trying to fight her eviction notice and buy herself more time with the landlord to find somewhere else to live,” Mr Gentz told The Independent.

“A whole host of issues came up around mould, dampness, severe leaks, and poor installation,” he added.

According to Mr Gentz, the tenant’s complaints about living conditions resulted in a “long back-and-forth” with the landlord.

“It was quite unproductive – the landlord was behaving in quite an erratic way, sending really long emails at strange times of the day,” he said.

The landlord kept emailing “really long paragraphs” of text, he said, eventually culminating in her asking the tenant to pay £25 for each of her emails, according to exchanges seen by The Independent.

“We told her not to pay any of it because it’s a ridiculous, ridiculous nonsense fee,” Mr Gentz said. “There’s an imbalance of power there.”

The tenant decided to move out, demanding the return of her initial deposit and the fixing of the mould and dampness for the other tenants at the property.

“Sometimes, she completely disappears and then comes back and sends three pages of emails with random accusations,” the tenant told The Independent, claiming the landlord has been threatening her with lots of charges that are not her responsibility.

Mr Gentz said: “The housing process can seem really hopeless sometimes, but if we can stay together and fight back against cases like this, then we can win really big stuff.”

Campaigning against the current Section 21 legislation, which allows landlords to evict tenants without reason, Renters’ Reform Coalition – which ACORN UK is part of – has withdrawn its support for the Renter’s Reform Bill.

ACORN UK suggests those with complaints about their landlords to send an email to info@acorntheunion.org.uk and consult their website for further information.

The Independent contacted the landlord for comment.

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