Member Stories Rhianna Abrey 13/04/2021

System doesn't support landlords who rent to vulnerable tenants

Eleanor is a socially conscious landlord, who is keen to support people and provide homes for those who may need additional support.

Eleanor was working with the charity ‘The Wallich’, to find tenants and her most recent tenant was an ex-offender.

Issues begin to emerge

At an early stage in the tenancy problems began to emerge. For instance, after just a few months Eleanor struggled to contact the tenant and arrears rapidly began to mount and soon it was more than six months.

As time continued to pass, she started to become concerned about his welfare. After gaining access to the property in order to conduct a required electrical safety check, she found no sign of the tenant. She became so concerned about the tenant that she was on the verge of contacting the local police service to report him as a missing person.  

With few other options open to her, Eleanor reached out to one of the charities. Following further enquiries, she found out that the individual had been recalled to prison for a two-month period. Despite having a link with the probation service, nobody kept her in the loop.

A frustrating turn of events

Despite the disruption caused by this turn of events Eleanor’s reaction was mostly one of relief when she was informed that he was not missing. Yet she felt frustration at the breakdown in communication with the probation service. 

Further to this she found she was unable to communicate with the Department of Work & Pensions about how to establish a direct debit payment for Universal Credit. The system’s inability to address her queries resulted in her tenant unable to pay his rent, which could have jeopardised the longevity of the tenancy.

Eleanor has previously rented her property to a wide range of individuals. However, this experience, with frequent breakdown in communications with the probation service and unable to navigate the UK’s welfare system, has made her more reluctant to undergo the same experience again in future.

Eleanor is still not receiving rent , unable to gain possession of her property and is left with nowhere to turn. This is why NRLA Wales are calling for better support for landlords and tenants as part of the Senedd Election calls.  The NRLA is specifically calling for; help for those with short-term problems and support-needs that can affect their ability to sustain a tenancy; funding for Landlord Support Officers to help tenants stay in their homes; and anti-social behaviour to be added to the list of mandatory grounds for repossession. You can find out more here