Tenants who win back whole of their rent money become social media heroes

Five tenants who took action against their landlord and won all £15,000 of their rent back have become social media heroes.

The tenants had no complaints about their property or their landlord.

The property was clean, spacious and comfortable, and the monthly rent for the five bedroom home in Leeds was a reasonable £300 per person, bills included.

The six tenants – one decided against taking part in the action – had nothing against the landlord.

Indeed, the tenants stayed until the end of their tenancy last July – which was a couple of months after a visit by a council official showed that the landlord had not obtained an HMO licence.

This meant that for eight months the tenants had been renting a home that was being unlawfully let.

The housing officer told the group that while the council was pursuing legal action, the tenants would also be able to start a case and apply for a Rent Repayment Order.

Previously only local authorities could apply for these on behalf of the tenants.

However, tenants can now make these applications themselves, and the housing officer proved extremely helpful to the tenants, giving them the forms.

The group successfully applied for a full year’s rent back at the end of last month, and one of the tenants, Ben Leonard, posted a tweet showing a picture of four of the tenants raising their fists in triumph.

Leonard’s caption read: “Just took our ex-landlord to court and won all our rent back.”

The tweet swiftly racked up almost 80,000 likes, while hundreds of comments and questions flooded in.

Leonard, 24, said he had so many direct messages he couldn’t respond to them all.

He told the BBC, which has hailed the tenants as the ‘Leeds Five’: “People were sharing their stories, saying ‘My landlord is ******** me over, how did you do this?’ The response was incredible.”

The tenants seem more than happy with their win, with one planning to pay off their overdraft and go on holiday.



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  1. Light


    1. Will2

      I am sure the  landlord will also get his own justice in the long term.

  2. kittygirl06

    Shows how low society has sunk. 

    House was fine without any knowledge about landlord maybe a mistake.

    They should have moved at 8months but with the help of the Council milked to max.

    Yet the houses with dangerous wires fire risks continue.

    Councils knew what they were doing now they have tenants shopping landlords.  Makes their job much easier.

    Fines way over the top.

    Government is fueling hatre between landlords and tenants it will all end in tears there will be no winners.

    Both main parties are not fit to govern this country. Pride standards right from wrg no longer exists




    1. Will2

      You are so right. The Government and main political parties have encourged hatred toward Landlords supported by media sensationalising and distorting the truth.  Labour in particular have generated a generational split in society for political gain. It will end in tears as you say.

  3. Gloucester_Agent

    An error by the landlord for which he was punished and that has been compounded by a generation offended by everything and ashamed of nothing. In light of them having no issues with the landlord or property this is out and out profiteering.


  4. The_Maluka

    I love the photograph of the four students (widely published elsewhere) which I hope will ensure that no landlord takes any one of them as a tenant.

    1. Rent Rebel

      Why should no landlord take any one of them as a tenant? Can you explain?

      1. Will2

        Lack of moral compass.

  5. stephen.cox@martinco.com

    It will be a hollow victory for the “I’I told you so” in 5 years time when there is a shortage of privately rentable properties due to the complete lack of understanding by the governments. Increased legislation will only drive investors out of the sector and when you are unable to evict a dss tenant because s21’s no longer exist they’ll be running to less arduous investments. The next hit will be on Airbnb’s!  

  6. Jay2Oh61

    And this is why the PRS must get rid of self managed Landlords. If an ‘HMO’ is not compliant then it is not safe to let to multiple people? The answer is simple – make Landlords either use a licenced Letting Agent to manage their property, or they need to be licenced themselves. Obtaining a licence must include competency testing and the same regulations / insurance that Agents are required to have. The problem with the sector right now is too many Landlord’s have gone the cheap route of self management, are no where near up to speed with regulation and don’t know their **** from their elbow ….(though they think they do though!) The regulators have got it completely wrong in targeting Agents. The majority run a properly constituted and compliant business. The same cannot be said for the Private self- managed Landlord. If the powers that be want to clean up the sector than more big fines for self managed Landlords please!

  7. DarrelKwong43

    how many of you have claimed PPI compensation?

    Its the culture we live in, and I would suggest the majority of you on here, would have done the same if you were told you would get back X thousands

    1. DASH94

      Respectfully, speak for yourself.

    2. Rent Rebel

      Exactly right, Darrel. They want tenants off their moral highground, thanks very much. Now we see them all out on the turf with their gangster bats. 

  8. TOZ4

    Good! I am a landlord and an agent too. Comply or suffer the consequenses is the message here.

  9. Jim S

    Is it legal and even moral that the tenants should receive the cash rent rebate when they have not actually suffered a loss? Surely this cash fine should be going towards a fund to educate other landlords and help to catch other criminal landlords. The tenants should not be entitled to gain financially from this wrongdoing.

    1. Mothers Ruin

      I agree with you in sentiment but is it not the same as a tenant benefitting from a landlord not protected a bond and the tenant claiming 3 x the bond back? It is time that landlords did things properly. The punishment in this case doesn’t befit the crime but he does deserve to be punished.

      1. Will2

        In a bid for fairness, when a tenant causes say £2000 of damages it follows a landlord should be able to claim back £6000 in cash!


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