Engaging with your landlord

Sections in this chapter:

What is meaningful engagement?

Meaningful engagement is not a legal process. It means that you and your landlord meet and honestly try to resolve the issues that led to you receiving a notice to vacate. If your landlord meets with you but does not properly listen or entertain your suggestions, they are not engaging meaningfully.

Resolving issues with your landlord before they escalate to the point of eviction is always the best way to avoid any legal action.

If you receive a Notice to Vacate and cannot resolve the issues through meaningful engagement your eviction could become a legal matter and go to court to be decided. Going to court to dispute an eviction is a time consuming, emotional, and expensive process. It is advisable for both you and your landlord to settle issues out of court. You should look to make an agreement out of court, but ONLY if you are certain that you can stick to what has been agreed. Broken agreements will look bad for you if the matter eventually goes to court. You must be reasonable and fully able to perform what you agree to.

Keep records of engagement

It is helpful to have proof that you attempted to resolve your issues with your landlord and that they were the ones who did not want to engage. Keep a record of all communication between yourself and your landlord.

Taking action

Contact your landlord and arrange a meeting

As soon as a problem arises, you should contact your landlord by telephone and arrange a time and place to meet. You should also send them an email, SMS or Whatsapp message. This is important because this message can be saved as proof of attempted engagement.

Prepare yourself

In order to negotiate you need to know the law and your rights. Read the rest of this guide and, if possible, attend a Reclaim the City Advice Assembly to prepare yourself for the meeting with your landlord.

Take someone with you

Engaging with your landlord can be stressful. If possible, take someone with your for support. This person can also be a witness to any statements made by your landlord.

Don't let yourself be bullied

With knowledge and support, you are less likely to be bullied. If you are bullied, explain that you know your rights and that what they are doing is unlawful and can be used against them in court or at the Rental Housing Tribunal.

Record the outcome

Keep a record of any documents or conversations with your landlord. Write down the date and details of any conversations as proof that they happened.

Take further action if an agreement cannot be reached

If a solution that suits both you and your landlord is not reached, you should approach the Rental Housing Tribunal and seek legal advice.

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responding to legal documents