A traumatised tenant who was victimised by his hoarder landlord who illegally sub-let him a room has vowed to fight for justice and compensation.

The 24-year-old from Torquay, who has autism and PTSD, wasn’t given a house key and had to beg to be let into the two-bedroom flat he shared with the landlord – he was sometimes even forced to sleep in a storage unit he was renting.

The tenant, who wishes to remain anonymous, wasn’t allowed to use the washing machine more than once a week and often couldn’t get into the bedroom due to his landlord’s hoarding, so had to sleep on the floor.

The man was claiming a carer’s allowance for looking after him but was definitely not a carer, he tells LandlordZONE: “He’d told me he owned the house, but not long after I moved in, I found out that he was sub-letting.

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“I also discovered I was paying nearly all his rent and bills; he claimed the rent was £650 and I was paying him £325 but his original contract stated £500.”


His ‘landlord’ falsely told him that he owed him £900 and when he refused to pay, became physically violent – as he’d done on many occasions.

Following visits from police and social services, as well as a petition started by a neighbour to evict him, the tenant finally got the courage to leave after more than two years.

He now has his own flat and is working, although he admits it took a lot of persuasion and six months’ deposit to convince a landlord to finally accept him as a tenant.

“Having been in care as a child I was scared to go to the council about the situation,” he explains.

The tenant has now started the process of court proceedings but still has anxiety attacks about his terrible ordeal.

“I can easily be taken advantage of and this man was a groomer of vulnerable adults who exploited that,” he adds: “He even told me when to eat; after I left, it took me a long time to realise I didn’t have to wait to be told anymore.”


  1. I wonder what a landlord can, realistically, do about this?
    I had a tenant and the house was a filthy mess. I gave her a list of things to do to clean it up and had to get the council environment protection and children’s social services involved due to me starting the eviction process and there being a child with health issues, and other children, living in the house. The house wasn’t as bad as the one above but still not suitable for children. The council didn’t really want to do anything and just left it to me, and of course , the house was left a stinking mess when they eventually moved out into another house I found for them with an association.
    Another tenant had his wife move into a single bedroom in a HMO, without my permission, in fact with my explicit refusal, causing overcrowding, and, again the council gave me no support.
    With the S21 now being 6 months and the likelihood of the eviction process in general taking much, much longer, what can a landlord do?

  2. The pictures here could be from my flat which I rented to a young family, and i had the exactly same experiences as Berlingogirl. Yes, we are powerless as landlords in these situations and it would be great to have some advice in one of the next newsletters, what small private landlords can actually do about it.

  3. Keep ensuring that the public hear the landlord’s side of things as well as the tenant’s! With the plethora of renters groups, and organisations such as Shelter, who have a frighteningly polarised view of property ownership and rental, and a fairly large clout with the media, it takes constant effort by landlords (perhaps ‘property proprietors’ would be a better term?) to unwind the continual skew.
    It is naive and childish to allow the 1990s ‘mustn’t upset anyone’ attitude now so prevalent to conceal, disguise or manipulate behaviour which is often proved to be characteristic and continual, such as that of the tenant mentioned in your comment. We have had so many like that (but without the children, except in a case practically of sub-letting, and in which, as you state, we were powerless to intervene other than to withhold permission), and, although I risk my neck here, they were ALL from the same type of personality, which is what the do-gooders keep trying to tell us we can’t say. Since refusing referrals from the local council, filtering tenants through an agent, and being very particular, we have had a complete and utter absence of these problems. Properties are kept clean and decent, there is no abusive behaviour or flagrant disregard of the rules of the tenancy agreement, the neighbours are happy, and the rent even gets paid. What upsets me most about the type of person who habitually causes trouble is that the only part of their bodies which seem to function effectively is their reproductive system, and they never fail to utilise it, and pass on their appalling behaviour, attitude and general vileness to a new generation of problem-causers. Possibly if child benefit was refused to such progenitors, they might find contraception rather more appealing?

  4. There is no doubt that the Landlord has become powerless with the type of tenants that you mention especially with the current eviction rules, however there is one thing we can all do is Landlords who have had good tenants that pay thier rent on time and take care of the property can make a good tenant register, like they have a rogue landlord Register. We should have the same for tenants. Best way to get tenants that can afford the rent is working people and small families filtered by the estate agents.
    The council should have the other tenants as the government pay their rents then the councils and Housing Associations
    can house them.
    It should be an obligation that the tenant go on a tranning course on how to be a good clean and responsible tenant.
    , and how to managing their rent budget as well as how to live in a rented home .
    Then the council deal with the losses instead of giving landlords the clamp. They can apply their rules on to them selves and leave us to get on with Housing the people that give mutual respect to the good standards we are obliged to have and get rent for.
    I have had good tenants and have never had to evict anyone and most deposits have been refunded fully.
    The only time I made a mistake was when I took on a tenants who was the previous good tenants family member to take on the new contract , while the previous tenants left . No references!! it wasn’t done throught the agent . I lost 4k! And the stress was enormous! Couldn’t claim a penny as they had no assets and would cost me an Arm and my head! Good luck with the new screw the landlord/lady rules still to come !

  5. We all know who the wrongun tenants are.
    LL should avoid these types as they will surely degrade your business income.
    If the wrongun type of tenant is all that you can attract then best off selling up.

    Always worth investing in areas where the wronguns don’t tend to let.

    The easiest way of achieving this is to choose an investment property where the market rent is far more than the LHA.

    That way you avoid the dross straightaway.

    My rent is more than double the LHA rate so I am never troubled by HB types.

    Letting to the dross of society really is a thankless task.

    Always worth investing in property which is too expensive for HB tenants.

    HB tenants are just too much hassle.

    Of course there isn’t much a LL can do if a tenant has to claim UC after they have been a normal tenant.

    Most of mine have needed to claim UC while on furlough.

    Not their fault.

    But no way would I take on any tenant if HB was needed at the outset of a tenancy.


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