Private letting advice

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  • Private letting advice

    My partner and I have recently moved into a private let with our 7 month old son.
    now the flat was in a right state when we moved in - bathroom hadn't been cleaned, kitchen was a mess, oven absolutely caked in grease from the previous tenant (it still is, I refuse to clean it so I'm just not using it until we can get someone to clean it professionally).
    The filth isn't my biggest concern. We've cleaned it all up aside from the cooker, and even decorated it. What's concerning me is the repairs. One of the kitchen cupboards has been so water logged at some point that the wood is rotten and the door completely fell off when I opened it, which isn't fixable without replacing the entire wood. The landlord thinks this is acceptable. Also the kitchen window has a broken hinge, though fair enough the handy man said he's ordered the part to repair this. The bath is covered in chips, the tiles are falling off the wall, not to mention the hole in the bathroom wall.
    Now the part worrying me the most is the hob. Its a built in cooker and hob, so we can't use our own cooker we bought for our previous flat. One ring in particular on the hob looks like its about ready to burst into flames, and by the looks of the black ring around it that won't clean off, it already has before. Again, the landlord says there is nothing wrong with it.
    Any advice on what to do would be much appreciated

  • #2
    Were none of these issues apparent on the viewings for the property? Were you promised rectification of these issues if they were?
    "I'm afraid I didn't do enough background checks apart from checking her identity on Facebook" - ANON

    What I say is based on my own experience and research - Please don't take as gospel without first checking the gospel yourself.

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    • #3
      Did you rent the flat for less than the market rate in view of its state? Or are you an (undesirable) benefit tenant? Then I'd say you got what you paid for, didn't you?

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      • #4
        Not sure if you have a gas cooker or not. Either way, please check that you have a valid Gas Safe certificate. You do not mention the boiler but given the other issues, I hope this is safe for you.
        You may wish to ask for a PAT on any electrical items.

        Not sure why you moved in given you must have been aware of these problems.

        Hope you had approval to decorate.

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        • #5
          Wannadonnadoodahl - a few of the issues were noticeable when we moved in, however the landlord reassured us they would be dealt with within a week or two, its now been 6 weeks

          JK0 - we aren't on any benefits, we both work and have been full rent of £150 a week, which feels like robbery given the current situation

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          • #6
            You can ask your local council to carry out an HHSRS inspection of your property and they can force your landlord to make improvements where they deem necessary.

            Be aware though, this is unlikely to go down well with your landlord and once he's carried out the necessary repairs he will almost certainly kick you out.

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            • #7
              HantsAgent,

              Not sure they would find actual hazards to meet their specifications from what is listed in OP. Not nice at all but some dirt and a cupboard issue. Biggest danger to worry me remains the cooker.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by HantsAgent View Post
                once he's carried out the necessary repairs he will almost certainly kick you out.
                not quite... he can serve you notice to leave which you can ignore and cause him more bother than he might want to deal with.

                You also have defence against illegal eviction in this case. For more see Shelter's website:

                https://england.shelter.org.uk/housi...sk_for_repairs

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Landlord1206 View Post
                  HantsAgent,

                  Not sure they would find actual hazards to meet their specifications from what is listed in OP. Not nice at all but some dirt and a cupboard issue. Biggest danger to worry me remains the cooker.
                  Probably not from what they've written, but at least they'll then know where they stand.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by tatemono View Post
                    not quite... he can serve you notice to leave which you can ignore and cause him more bother than he might want to deal with.
                    Well yes, but rather than write an essay on Section 21, I just went with the shortened version.

                    Same possible end result.

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                    • #11
                      possible but serving notice as a result of asking for necessary repairs is unlikely to stand up in court and if it doesn't it will cost the landlord a lot more than fixing a cupboard.

                      It's a bargaining tool that well-informed tenants should be using in cases such as these to force the LL to do what he should have done before they moved in.

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                      • #12
                        Does 'move in Inventory' mention the defects you list?
                        How did you inform LL of the falling bathroom tiles and the hole in the bathroom wall?
                        If the cooker & hob still functions then LL correct.
                        You could ask LL to go halves with you for a professional cooker clean, which you or he arrange.
                        £150/wk may not be an excessive rent for the area.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by tatemono View Post
                          possible but serving notice as a result of asking for necessary repairs is unlikely to stand up in court and if it doesn't it will cost the landlord a lot more than fixing a cupboard.
                          If the notice is a s21, asking for repairs won't be any kind of defence, so it would stand up in court.
                          When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
                          Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

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