Problem Landlord, need some good advice.

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  • Problem Landlord, need some good advice.

    Hello Landlords,

    I'm wondering you anyone could help me out and I am really stuck on what to do with my landlord.

    I don't know where to start as there has been so many problems but I really need to find if there is anything I can do. ill try keep the problems short but with the right information.

    the info i now know is: it is a 70's build flat, NO certificates of any kind (i have asked for them), insulation problems on the roof, no gas, only electric. he hasn't stuck my deposit in the DPS system. I havent signed a contact because i wanted to see all the certificate but this dragged and after these problems below i still haven't signed one. ive not missed any rent at all and been keeping to my side of the bargain.

    There has been problem after problem with this flat and all of my correspondence with him have been because of major problems - not because of a door handle that fallen off...

    When I viewed the property it looked fine to me, there were traces of mould on the roof and the tenant said there was a little problem with mould. the landlord forgot to turn up to show me around, but overall it looked decent.

    when I moved into the home i'm renting (private landlord) he mentioned to me that there was a damp problem (which was ok with me) and that he needed to paint over the roof. I saw that he had left Matt paint to use in the flat so I did tell him that I've experienced damp before and that Matt paint (water based) wont help. Sure enough 2 weeks later damp was back..... this is continued later in the post.

    that wasn't the only problem when I moved in, the negative head pump kept cutting out so the water kept stopping half way through showers. He said to me that it was overheating but I told him that the pump message said the problem was air in the system and its possible because the bath tap was leaking and the kitchen tap kept dripping.

    The next thing to go wrong was the boiler burnt out. Apparently a 4mm cable instead of a 6mm cable was used so it fused the wire. The fuse didn't blow and there was NO battery in the fire alarm. We was without heating for 5 days and he supplied me with a hot air blower that a hair dryer was better for producing heat. after it was fixed i ask for certificates again.... but got told that the boiler and the pump was fine and that it was fitted by a professional who i found out to be the previous tenant.

    when the heating worked again we heated up the house and the roof was soaked with condensation and that ALL turned to mould. I told the land lord and the went around the house without my permission and moaned that I'm not using the vents or the condensation machine properly. I've had no instructions at all on how to use them.

    Almost straight after that the Washing machine broke, it was old and sounded like a pneumatic drill and I did tell the landlord that this washing machine was on its way out but he just told me that it was loud but worked fine.

    I moved in on Oct 11 all this was before mid December 11.

    I had a phone call off of his wife (who seems to do all the dirty work) telling me in a nutshell that I was a problem and that if I didn't like it then move on. and that an that but I did tell her that all these problems are major and that its unfair to call me the problem when the flat is the main problem. she also said that I'm not looking after the property properly. I told her that I didn't have any information on how to maintain the property and if it was this difficult then maybe I should have some. This was agreed and I got some a couple weeks later.

    In the new year (over 3 weeks where I couldn't was any clothes - got rejected when asked for help for the laundry bill) we got a new washing machine the plumbing sorted and the taps replaced.

    after that he pained the ceiling's again to cover the mould with a proper treated paint but dripped paint all over my new TV and cabinet its sitting on. he also left all of his equipment in my hall way for over a week. I asked him twice to take it.

    after this everything seemed ok...

    then in early in February I got a letter for a £500 electricity bill for a MONTH!! this is shocking. I instantly thought something might be wrong asked about. I've tried to tell the landlord, asked for his help but he isn't interested in the problem AT ALL. I pushed for an electrician to come down and check the system, he said he would sort it but he didn't, it took two weeks but then I got one off my own back who told me that the boiler (9KW) was one of the most inefficient about. he also told me to check the EPC, which i know hasn't got one. Even in January I checked on the government register and found this flat not to have one.

    this with the constant heat loss through the vents for the condensation as per advised and thought the un-insulated roof mean that I had to keep the heating on when we are in, when you turn it off the the house is cold within 20/30 mins.

    to make sure it was the boiler I kept taps on the reading for over a month and even with me being careful I reckon that my new bill will be 350/400. for a month.

    I told the landlord my findings and he said for me to get a EPC engineer down and my convenience and he will pay. But then I text him to say ''im sick of having people round and that if he could help me with this bill then I just want to move on with saving for a deposit and buy a place''
    i got a reply ''ok''...then i went away to work for 4 days.

    I got in contact a week later asking for him to call when he can but nothing, then i got a text (from his wife) 2 days later saying to drop off the electricians invoice and that the bill is my problem so to pay for it or move on to more affordable accommodation.

    So now I've had it, I want to sort this out properly and Ill go court if needs be and the debt is now with debt collectors in my name!

    Ive spoke to shelter, CAB and im in contact with my council too. they're not much help though. from pillar to post seems to be applicable
    Please help me.

  • #2
    Not sure about all of the issues you have, but on the EPC issue, go to Trading Standards at your local council. It is a legal requirement to have an EPC if the property is let.

    Also try environmental health dept at local council if the damp/mould is a real health issue. They may also be able to help you. Likewise on lack of of electrical safety certificates etc

    Hope this helps a bit.

    Jane
    Jane Needham

    Whilst the advice given is believed to be correct, I hold no liability for any actions taken on the basis of the advice.

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    • #3
      If you used the elctricity it's your bill to settle. Make sure the readings they have taken are accurate and not estimates. You may also be able to make enquiries on the previous level of elctricity use in the property to compare with yours.

      I can believe it would be possible to spend £500 in a very cold month if your heating is all electric, you have had it on for long periods of time and the insulation is poor.

      If environmental health are not willing to help you then I think you should cut your losses and look for a better place.
      All posts in good faith, but do not rely on them

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      • #4
        Bel, are you my landlord?

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        • #5
          when does the fixed term end?
          Unshackled by the chains of idle vanity, A modest manatee, that's me

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          • #6
            ive not signed a contact as all the things ive asked for have not been produced then all these problems happened soon after...

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            • #7
              OK fair enough. I think in your shoes I would certainly have had enough. I would want to move. I would find a new place and give notice requiring return of the deposit. If he would not return it I would take him to court for it. I would use the £750 to pay the electricity bill (sadly I do not think however much you are in the right you will get away with that one). I am sure that this is not what you want to hear but it is absolutely clear that you will not get this LL to do up the house or fix its problems. I would report him for everything and cause as much trouble for him as possible BUT this will only give you a sense of satisfaction rather than financial recompense. I hope someone else will come up with a better response for you, I reallly do. Good luck.
              Unshackled by the chains of idle vanity, A modest manatee, that's me

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              • #8
                thanks islandgirl

                i've had problem landords before but this one is up there with the worst. Im going to explore routes so that it can't happen to any other tenant. a neighbour tolds me that the previous tenant moved out over bills too!!

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by boomshake View Post
                  Bel, are you my landlord?
                  No I'm not
                  All posts in good faith, but do not rely on them

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