Our fault?

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    Our fault?


    Q1 – Where is the rented property located (England / Wales / Scotland / N Ireland)?

    England

    Q2 – What type of Tenancy Agreement (TA) is this e.g. sole tenant / multiple tenant / room only?

    Joint AST

    Q3 – What date did current TA start dd/mm/yy?

    01/06/2017, Renewed 01/06/18

    Q4 – How long was initial fixed term (6/12/24 months / other)?

    Both 12 months

    Q5 – Does the TA state that rent is due weekly? / 4-weekly? / per calendar month (if so, on what same date each month)?

    1st of each month

    Q6 – Did the TA require a tenant damage deposit to be paid? If so, on what date was this paid (dd/mm/yy)?

    09/05/17

    Q7 – If your query relates to a notice for repossession from the landlord (a Section 8 or Section 21 notice) or a tenants's notice to quit to the landlord, please provide the exact date the notice was sent/received (dd/mm/yy).

    They will be serving it on 01/10/18

    Q8 – Does the landlord live in the same property as the tenant?

    No


    Hi, I'm looking for some advice.
    I'm sorry this is so long!

    We have 5 children that are home all the time because we home educate due to their extra needs and not enough support at school.

    Our landlords are brother and sister and renovated the house themselves before we moved in last year. Very, very gradually the kitchen floor has split at the seams. It's a vinyl laminate type thing that has 2 fake tiles on each plank.

    As I've been mopping, whilst making sure I don't use too much water, I think it has caused the split seams to erode.
    During our first proper inspection, our landlords accused us of having a flood, which we completely deny. We would have told them. Why wouldn't we?

    Anyway, the letting agents they're with arranged a "structural inspection".

    A couple of days before I noticed that on the opposite side of the kitchen where the flooring is fine, the ceiling has water marks and a bit of flaky paint along the edge of where the bath is.

    ​​I investigated and noticed the bath wasn't sealed at the flooring or vertically along the untiled walls. I mentioned this to the structural report clerk but I don't know if she put it in her report. I showed her that the in the kitchen below the tap end of the bath in the boiler cupboard, the fixed pipes had mould at the wall, as well as around the fixed pipes behind the washing machine wall.

    ​​​​​
    I don't know what this report said, but my landlords were furious. They said we had flooded the house again, that kids splashing wouldn't cause the water to go through the way it did. Then they went on about how carpets were soiled - my 2 year old had got hold of toothpaste and had dropped a splodge on his bedroom floor and I hadn't realised until I'd put him to bed that night. Our downstairs hallwayhis looking a bit tired but I hadn't steam cleaned it in a while because we had been busy arranging my mother in law's funeral. They weren't at all happy dogs were upstairs, even though there is nothing at all that says they're not allowed upstairs.

    Anyway, they got the director of the letting agent, who just so happens to be something like their kids father in law to come with them for a meeting here again.

    They got here before the agent did and were quiet and shy, but the second he got here, they had a total attitude change. The guy started storming around the house, shouting about the carpet that has no stains or marks, just a bit dull. He shouted how we had to get rid of all the animals that they'd allowed. In front of my 5 children. He started banging the bath panel upstairs, stomped around, was rude to my children when they asked him his name.

    Anyway, they all concluded that it was all our fault, the bathroom fooor is wetroom flooring so makes it waterproof everywhere apparently (even though sealing at shower floor, though still in tact perfectly at the floor, has come away from the shower, revealing a large hole in the flooring very close to the unattached sealant. We have to leave, can do before break clause kicks in and if not will be served a S21.

    There were then a few heated emails and me gaining proof that they constantly contradict themselves regarding animals and painting over my kids drawings (they'd given me permission to paint with endurance paint but then changed their minds after and said they'd only said I could touch up with endurance paint. Why would I touch up kids drawings on rubbish paint with endurance paint that wouldn't match?), Then moaned that my paint work was patchy and there was masking tape on walls (because I was between coats).

    I finally got details for this flooring after asking at least 6 times. I checked out the specifications and it turns out, the water tightness performance wasn't tested on this specific version.
    Surely that would make it unfit for purpose?

    I don't want to have to move again but I can't deal with these landlords.

    If they go to court for possession, do courts give me a chance to put my side across?

    Also, yesterday I noticed that at the wall right behind the bath taps, it isn't sealed at all and there's a big gap, which would explain why the boiler cupboard below has mould/damp.

    Is this the landlord's responsibility?

    Another thing, they mentioned to me that I hadn't requested repairs and I hadn't thought much about why they'd said this until now, so I'm wondering if that makes them think they can serve notice as it wouldn't be a retaliatory eviction due to me not actually requesting repairs?

    ​​​​​​


    Thank you for your time 🙂


    #2
    Section 21 evictions, as implied by your reference to October 1st, are no fault evictions, so you do not have a side to put, as the landlord's case is not based on anything you have done or failed to have done.

    Comment


      #3
      I know, but I'm worried about them charging for the issues out of the deposit. I'd also like to not be evicted at Christmas time if we aren't able to find a house that's suitable before then

      Comment


        #4
        It's 4.5 months to Christmas. Don't expect all your deposit (if any) to be returned.
        Kids drawing on walls is T danage, not FW&T.
        I am not apportioning blame, but 5 kids at home 24/7 is excessive for most LLs.
        Your bes bet is to request ADR.
        You don't have to request repairs, just notify LL of any defect that may require his attention.as soon as evident.
        Your AST should note if T or LL is resp for most things.

        Comment


          #5
          It may be 4.5 months now, but it will only be just over three weeks when the section 21 runs out

          Just informing the landlord of defects may be sufficient to meet the contractual requirements, but I think this was written in the context of having a section 21 ruled retaliatory.

          Comment


            #6
            I take it that the tenancy agreement has a 6-month break clause?
            If not, then S21 notice cannot take effect before the end of the term.
            If so, then it is my understanding that the LL must issue a notice to apply the break clause as well as a S21 notice, and that break notice must be in accordance with the agreement.

            If you have written agreement that you could paint in a specific way, then provided you have done so the LL should not be able to deduct from your deposit.

            What does the agreement say (exactly) about animals?

            It may be worth while
            1) talking to CAB
            2) asking council if they can look at the issues which your post suggests may be poor workmanship causing damp and mould.

            Meanwhile, start talking to letting agents for a new place, but be upfront about the issues you have experienced; don't let them find out in a landlord's reference.
            If you find somewhere your LL may be amenable to an early surrender of the tenancy.

            Comment


              #7
              MdeB,

              Thanks for your reply.

              The break clause says they can only serve notice after the end of the forth month, with it ending after 6 months, so that would mean they can serve it at the beginning of October as the renewal tenancy started on 1/6/18.
              Thanks, I'll look into the notice for break clause.

              Re. The animals, the tenancy says
              "Not keep any cats or dogs on the Property. Not keep any other pet, animal, bird, reptile, fish, insects or the like on
              the Property, without the Landlord’s consent, which will not be unreasonably withheld".

              I have read in various places that if it says this then they have to have a reason for you to not have animals?
              The rabbits aren't allowed to be free around the house.
              The dogs sleep in a crate each at night time so they don't have free run either. I regularly steam clean the carpets with strong anti-dog smell additive too. The animals haven't caused any damage whatsoever.

              The paint I do have proof she allowed it but only recent proof where she says that she only allowed me to touch up paint with endurance paint. But why would I touch up big standard paint with endurance instead of painting a whole wall? It was to cover where I'd cleaned kids drawings and to make it easier for me to wipe any future drawing after.

              ​​​​Surely that's an unreasonable expectation, especially when they pointed out after visiting between me having time to do second coats of paint, that they were patchy. It's all contradictions with them. It's the same with the animals, I have proof she keeps changing numbers of the amounts we can have.

              I have a house to view on Monday thankfully and have been straight with them from the start 🙂

              I will contact the council to get them to look though, just as a bit of backup.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by themysciramama View Post
                Re. The animals, the tenancy says
                "Not keep any cats or dogs on the Property. Not keep any other pet, animal, bird, reptile, fish, insects or the like on
                the Property, without the Landlord’s consent, which will not be unreasonably withheld".

                I have read in various places that if it says this then they have to have a reason for you to not have animals?
                That's clearly wrong.

                The first sentence of that clause means that you can't keep a dog or cat. No reason, no exceptions.

                The second sentence says that you have to have the landlord's consent to keep any other kind of animal, and that the landlord should give consent, unless it's unreasonable for them to do so. That, in effect, means that they would have to have a reason - but it doesn't apply to dogs and cats.

                As it happens, there's a law that allows any tenant to keep rabbits and chickens and means that a landlord can't stop you, even if the contract says so. It's left over from WW2, but is still valid.

                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).

                Comment


                  #9
                  I have proof she allowed dogs though?

                  I had read about that rabbit law but didn't know how reliable it was when it came to housing.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    It doesn't matter that the landlord allowed dogs to someone else - the landlord doesn't have to be consistent with different tenants.
                    Their tenancy agreements may be different to yours.
                    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).

                    Comment


                      #11
                      No, she allowed us to have dogs 🙂

                      Comment


                        #12
                        I think that unqualified prohibitions on pets (such as the ones in your contract for cats and dogs) run the risk of being judged unfair contract terms, which is why the extra wording about getting landlords consent came about. I've never heard of a case but other forum members may.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Hi, me again.

                          I got thinking about my deposit so looked up the PI requirements and I'm not sure if my landlord fulfilled them properly.

                          It was put into DPS custodial in June 2017.
                          I didn't receive a certificate from the landlord or any terms and conditions, should I have?

                          Thanks

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Ok, I didn't even think of that part like that, despite having read similar! Thanks for pointing it out.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              You should have received quite a large multi-page document with the words Prescribed Information on the front page.
                              The format is slightly different depending on the scheme and how the deposit was actually protected.

                              Sometimes they're included as part of the tenancy agreement.
                              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).

                              Comment

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