Help with bad landlord

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  • SacreLao
    started a topic Help with bad landlord

    Help with bad landlord

    I have a friend who has rented a property on an assured shorthold tenancy for 3 years now. The tenancy has long expired and so has automatically converted into a periodic tenancy.

    Recently following an inspection the boiler in the property was condemned and switched off as a result. She asked the landlord to resolve this issue and the landlord (knowing she is not familiar with English language and law) told her that as there was no boiler fault on the last inspection the damage must have been caused by the tenant and so she is liable for the repair.

    At this point I got involved and it took several emails (in which she continued to claim it’s the tenants responsibility and also claimed that there was nothing wrong with the boiler and asked her to switch it back on) and a complaint to environmental health in order to get the landlord to agree to repair the boiler. This has left my friend with no heating or hot water for over a week so far while we have tried to resolve this.

    Now the landlord lord has finally agreed (although not yet arranged) to repair the boiler. On the same email as stating she will repair the boiler she has also stated she will be asking my friend to sign a new tenancy and is increasing the rent. Now I know that it is illegal to make tenants financially liable for repairs and increasing the rent on the same day as agreeing to repair the boiler is an attempt to recover these costs. I have therefore replied to the landlord explaining this and stating my friend does not agree.

    The increase would also rise the rent above the market value for that house type in that area and as the property is in poor condition (mould on walls of kitchen extension as leaking roof join etc.) is not worth it at all. If my friend simply refuses the increase in rent what is the next step?

    I believe the landlord could also be prevented obtaining a section 21 notice as this would be seen as a revenge eviction due to the complaint to environmental health and the threat of enforcement action.

    Thank you

  • MdeB
    replied
    Originally posted by leaseholder64 View Post
    Having a boiler in a bedroom is strange
    My daughter's house, about 10 years old, has boiler in wardrobe in a bedroom (as built).

    Leave a comment:


  • MdeB
    replied
    Originally posted by leaseholder64 View Post
    Fourth sentence. Engineer is protecting themselves but seems to be saying it is safe.
    Saying "no gas leak".
    Earlier bit about flue is saying "it is NOT safe".

    Leave a comment:


  • MdeB
    replied
    Originally posted by SacreLao View Post
    .
    Do not do as LL suggests in her message. i.e. do not give notice to end the tenancy until somewhere else has been found.

    Despite what she says, tenant giving notice is not what is required if T does not agree to the increase.

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  • SacreLao
    replied
    It was rented as a 2 bedroom house so I guess the landlord. There is no where else for the boiler to go. It’s a tiny Victorian house. Downstairs bathroom and kitchen has been added later as an extension, apparently can’t go in there because it’s in a separate circuit or something. Living room is so small no room for it there and upstairs is the 2 bedrooms with no hallway so I guess it was out there because of space issues. Plus the boiler was at least 25 years old according to the person who fitted the new one so maybe it wasn’t unusual back then.

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  • leaseholder64
    replied
    I was asking whether the landlord nominated it as a bedroom or the tenant did. Having a boiler in a bedroom is strange and I wondered if a room that was not intended as a bedroom had been repruposed, possibly because of overcrowding.

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  • SacreLao
    replied
    Yes the property was sold after my friend moved in.

    I’m not sure what you mean about who is responsible for the bedroom being used as a bedroom. It was obviously my friend who put the children in there but it’s an upstairs bedroom and not a dining room being used as a bedroom etc. It’s a 2 bedroom house and the boiler is in the 2nd bedroom. The new one has also been installed there, is that a problem?

    The landlord came today as planned. No one was home and she has not entered. She has posted this through the door however and asked my friend to sign and return it. Does this mean she is trying to protect the deposit? And so it wasn’t protected in the first place? She also posted the section 13 rent increase form.

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  • MdeB
    replied
    Originally posted by SacreLao View Post
    .
    The attached picture mentions "previous landlord".

    Is this a property that was sold after your friend moved in?

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  • KeepTheFaith
    replied
    Did you show environmental health the email where she told your friend she could turn the condemned boiler back on?

    Is the property in England? If so also ask council if it is in a landlord 'selective licensing area'. If in Wales all Landlord’s have to be licensed. I would imagine that asking someone to commit an offence by turning a condemned boiler back on this would be a breach of license?

    Leave a comment:


  • dazwalsh
    replied
    Judging by the unsealed and unsecure flue it cant have passed its previous Gas safety checks? Im betting the landlord dodnt even bother with them.

    At this point i would say get onto environmental health about the other issues in the property, refuse to pay the rent increase and hopefully landlord mucks up the section 21 process so that you can delay for as long as needed to find somewhere more suitable.

    There are new laws and regulations thought up on a frequent basis to try and stamp out these types of landlords and they still seem to be able to do what they want. Was the deposit protected? I bet that wasnt either.

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  • leaseholder64
    replied
    Flue not properly secure nor sealed. No co alarm and in children's bedroom.
    Boiler intermittent and sometimes doesn't work.
    Customer suspects smell of gas (however no gas leak).
    The first sentence is what condemns it. Landlord problem.

    Boilers are not normally in bedrooms. I suppose that might require a CO alarm. Who is responsible for the room being used as a bedroom?

    The third sentence. Not, I think, a gas safety issue. Could become an HHSRS issue. Landlord problem.

    Fourth sentence. Engineer is protecting themselves but seems to be saying it is safe.

    Leave a comment:


  • SacreLao
    replied
    It keeps shrinking the image, it’s really clear until I upload it

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  • SacreLao
    replied
    Is that better?

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  • leaseholder64
    replied
    The engineer's description of the fault is too small to read.

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  • SacreLao
    replied
    And then when we refused to switch it back on and reported to environmental health they contacted the landlord and she sent this email. It has been replaced now and is working fine but she only did it because environmental health contacted her. If she had proof it was safe or my friend caused it why would she then pay for a new boiler?

    Leave a comment:

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