4 months ago - 8 minute read
If you search online, “My landlord is ignoring me, what can I do?” one of the first things you’ll read is that you should make a formal complaint to get them to respond.
We’re all in favour of reporting a bad landlord, and complaining is often the best way to get what you want.
But, sometimes, making a formal complaint feels like a drastic measure. It also isn’t your only option when your landlord is ignoring you.
If you’re just looking for advice on what to do next and making a complaint seems like a step too far right now, keep reading.
We’re going to summarise as much information as we can about what to do if your landlord is ghosting you.
There are several reasons why your landlord could be ghosting you.
But the reasons will differ depending on whether your actual landlord is ignoring you or if it’s a prospective landlord (i.e., a new landlord of a property you’re interested in).
If it’s the former and your current landlord (whom you have a lease with) is ghosting you, that’s a problem.
But if it’s the latter, the reason is quite simple.
If the landlord of a new property you were interested in is ignoring you, they probably don’t want to rent to you. It sucks that they won’t (and don’t legally have to) tell you that. But it’s best to just let it go and move on.
If it’s the former and your actual landlord is ignoring you, it could be because:
Landlords shouldn’t just ignore you if they don’t like you. But if you’ve gotten on their bad side, or you’ve been abusive to them, they may not want to speak with you.
Keep reading to learn what to do if your landlord is ignoring you.
You shouldn’t have to put up with bad behaviour from your landlord. But making a complaint can be a serious thing. It can put strain on the relationship if done unnecessarily.
If you’re not sure whether making a complaint is the right next step to take, consider asking yourself these questions.
There’s no excuse for ignoring your tenant, but landlords are sometimes busy people. You might think they are ignoring you, but they may actually just be occupied with something else and haven’t gotten around to responding to you yet.
For example, they may be on holiday, in a busy period at work, or going through a personal situation, like a bereavement.
How long is too long depends on your enquiry.
If you need to speak with your landlord about some non-urgent things, them taking a couple of days, or even a few weeks, to respond may not be an issue. But it shouldn’t take months to hear back from them.
If your enquiry is urgent, like there’s a major problem with the property that they need to fix, and they are taking days, weeks, or months to get back to you, this is quite serious.
Related article: How to move from one rental to another
Another thing to consider before making a complaint about your landlord ignoring you is how often this happens. Ask yourself, is this a regular occurrence or something that’s never happened before?
If it’s a one-off, give your landlord some time before complaining. Follow up a couple more times and see if they respond.
If this happens all the time, especially when you’re asking them about repair work, that’s not good, and it’s definitely time to take things further.
It’s never acceptable for your landlord to ignore you. But the reason they are ghosting you could be because they aren’t responsible for your problem.
We’re not making excuses for this behaviour, simply stating a fact.
If you’ve asked your landlord about an issue, for example, enquiring about paying your council tax, your landlord isn’t responsible for this, nor can they help you with it. You’ll need to contact the council directly instead.
If you frequently ask “too many” questions like this, they may ignore you for a while in the hopes you’ll figure it out. Or they may just ignore you.
It’s not good, but if you think your landlord could be ghosting you because they aren’t responsible for the question you asked, do the following instead:
If it turns out that your landlord is responsible for the issue, their ignoring you could be a sign of something shady.
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Unfortunately, this question has to be asked. If you’re wondering, “Why is my landlord ignoring me?” it’s possible that you could be the problem.
Just like your landlord isn’t allowed to harass you, you aren’t allowed to harass your landlord. They are responsible for numerous things, and if they aren’t doing those things, you are within your rights to ask, follow up and complain about it.
But if you’re pestering them, frequently calling and/or messaging, never leaving them alone, or being abusive, they don’t have to engage in the conversation.
As your landlord, they should be doing other things to resolve the issue, like getting support themselves to engage with you. But ghosting your calls may be the only thing they can do right now until they’ve figured things out.
If you think you might be the problem, take a step back to assess the situation again before proceeding.
If you think you may have acted unreasonably, consider writing an apology to your landlord and asking for a more productive conversation. Or speak to your local Citizen’s Advice for help getting the relationship back on track.
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Unless you’re being abusive to your landlord, you deserve an answer to your enquiries.
However, sometimes it’s good to understand what enquiries your landlord is ignoring and the potential reasons why.
Some landlords may ghost you to try and get away with something they know they should be doing, and they may be hoping you don’t take things further.
To protect yourself and ensure your landlord fulfils their responsibilities, here are some reasons why your landlord could be ignoring you.
Landlords must undertake essential repairs on the property. It should state clearly in the lease any specifics, particularly if you’re renting a furnished property.
In addition to what’s written in your lease, your landlord is always responsible for the following by law:
Unfortunately, some landlords will try to avoid doing essential repairs on a property to save money. In these cases, they rely on you not taking things further.
Don’t let your landlord get away with this. Consider making a formal complaint if you think your landlord is ghosting you to avoid making essential repairs.
Related article: Landlord always at your house? Here’s what to do
Sadly, there isn’t a timeframe for when you should get your deposit back after you’ve moved out. We’ve heard some horror stories of people waiting months and months to get their money back after moving!
Unless you use a Lifetime Deposit (which moves with you and is a great new tool for UK renters), this can leave you out of pocket when you’re moving from one rental to another.
Landlords must protect your tenancy deposit in one of the government schemes as soon as you pay them.
If your landlord is ignoring you when you ask about getting your tenancy deposit back, it could be because they:
If you think your landlord hasn’t protected your deposit, you can check whether your deposit is protected online via the scheme websites.
When your landlord hasn’t protected your deposit, you could be owed money. Learn more about what to do if your deposit wasn’t protected.
Related article: How lifetime deposits can help UK renters
If you think your landlord is ignoring you on purpose, the complaints procedures are there for a reason. There are several different ways you can complain about your landlord.
Remember, your landlord cannot evict you for making a complaint about them. But, according to Citizen’s Advice, they may try. If they do, contact your local Citizen’s Advice for help.
Here’s how to complain about your landlord if they are ghosting you.
We know you’ve already tried to make contact, but hear us out!
Before you take things further and make a formal complaint about your landlord, it’s best to contact them one final time.
Write them a written notice, like an email or text, that includes:
This will give your landlord a final opportunity to respond and work through your issues together. It’ll also act as evidence if you have to take your complaint further.
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Your lease should contain a complaints procedure. This will vary depending on who your landlord is. However, it will usually comprise of a two-stage process.
Follow the steps within the complaints procedure.
If you’re unsure about something, need help putting the complaint together, or can’t find the complaints procedure in your lease, contact your local Citizen’s Advice.
They can help with your situation and offer advice on whether your landlord is acting lawfully. They can also help you figure out the next steps.
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If following the complaints procedure in your lease doesn’t fix the issue, you can contact your local council.
They won’t be able to help if your landlord is not replying to you, but they can help you if your complaint is about:
Learn more about how to make a complaint about a landlord to your local council.
Getting ghosted by your landlord can be a real pain. If you’re fed up with your landlord’s shenanigans and want to move rental, we have good news!
You no longer need to save up for a deposit every time you move.
For the first time ever, if you already have a deposit protected in a deposit scheme, you can transfer it to your next property.
A Lifetime Deposit will help you keep hold of £1,200 on average, which we think is pretty neat.
We are on a mission to help more people move, so if you are moving soon, don’t forget your Lifetime Deposit!
If you're a renter, we've got your back. This corner of the Fronted site is loaded with everything from moving tips, Lifetime Deposits, and anything you need to make renting, or moving, a breeze.
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