Unprofessional Landlord and Estate Agent!

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    Unprofessional Landlord and Estate Agent!

    Hey there - TLDR; Do landlords have a responsibility to fix issues in a property within a specific amount of time? Also is it absolutely required for an estate agent to inspect a property before renting it out to another tenant?

    I ask because my brother moved into a property back in June and after a couple of weeks he noticed a damp smell and very humid conditions in the property (turns out the shower is faulty and is leaking causing damp in the entire property)
    He also noticed the plug in his open plan kitchen sparks whenever its used

    When I visited the property, although its nice you can tell whoever built it wasn't a professional, everything is put together very poorly and looks as if he's cut every corner possible

    The landlord is dragging his heals to fix the problems and keeps telling my brother he's waiting for his rent payment to arrange for these issues to be fixed

    I contacted the estate agent involved and they accidently said "Oh, I assumed he fixed that when the last tenant left the property" - in my opinion, admitting they didn't inspect the property before renting it out to someone else (the previous tenant is apparently taking the landlord to court)


    My brother suffered a traumatic brain injury 6 weeks ago and has been back home now for 2 weeks and he desperately wanted the issues fixed or to be rehoused with as little inconvenience as possible - I want to try and sort everything out for him without putting his tenancy at risk


    Any help/guidance would be appreciated

    #2
    Originally posted by r33c3 View Post
    Hey there - TLDR; Do landlords have a responsibility to fix issues in a property within a specific amount of time?
    I believe there is no specific time, but LL does need to advise how the issue(s) will be addressed, including timescales for resolution. Timescales must be "reasonable".

    Originally posted by r33c3 View Post
    Also is it absolutely required for an estate agent to inspect a property before renting it out to another tenant?
    I believe not.

    Originally posted by r33c3 View Post
    I ask because my brother moved into a property back in June and after a couple of weeks he noticed a damp smell and very humid conditions in the property (turns out the shower is faulty and is leaking causing damp in the entire property)
    He also noticed the plug in his open plan kitchen sparks whenever its used

    I contacted the estate agent involved and they accidently said "Oh, I assumed he fixed that when the last tenant left the property" -
    Then the LL has probably breached the provisions of the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018.
    I would suggest talking to Citizens' Advice or your local council.

    Originally posted by r33c3 View Post
    The landlord is dragging his heals to fix the problems and keeps telling my brother he's waiting for his rent payment to arrange for these issues to be fixed
    Not having the money is not a defence in Law.

    It sounds like this person is not suited to being a landlord.

    Originally posted by r33c3 View Post
    Any help/guidance would be appreciated
    Is the agent managing the property, or was it just a tenant find service?

    Has your brother put these defects to the LL or Agent in writing?
    If not, then I would suggest that he does so now, pointing out that they are now causing or could cause damage to the property.

    Comment


      #3
      a) The landlord only has to fix issues that need to be fixed. So it depends on the issues. You have not so far provide sufficient details to allow any sensible determination of that.

      Where exactly is the shower leaking?

      What sparks (every plug on earth makes a spark when the switch is flipped -- that is what electricity does. So again you need to explain.

      b) Are you suggesting that rent is not being paid when it is due. That is hardly going to help your position (although as above that is not a factor determining the need to do work if it does need doing)

      We really don't have enough details to decide if "this person is not suited to being a landlord"

      Please let us know more details and then I am sure you will get informed advice.

      Comment


        #4
        1) pay the rent if any due
        2) call the council

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by Anna1985 View Post
          2) call the council
          Why at this stage? I see no reason based on the information provided so far (although that may be useful depending).

          But that will immediately destroy the relationship with the landlord - not really desirable if the brother wants a happy life. Happy lives come from sensible cooperation - with silly acts (like complaining to the council) when that becomes necessary (which it certainly sometimes is).

          Comment


            #6
            Thanks for the responses

            Apologies for not wording it properly, the rent is being paid on time every month, the landlord is saying "I'll fix it when I get the next rent payment" etc...

            The spark is from one plug on a two-gang unit in the kitchen area and the leak isn't visible but was confirmed by the LL after my brother complained about the damp smell

            He initially blamed it on my brother leaving clothes on the clotheshorse next to the french doors (there's no washing line, tumble dryer or sufficient radiators to dry them anywhere else - he then said it was the shower as it has leaked into the next property (also owned by him)


            I know the landlord has the resources to fix the problems, just seems to me he has no intention or wants to get away with it as long as possible - he owns atleast 5 other properties

            Comment


              #7
              Neither the agent nor the landlord have to visit the flat personally between tenants, but someone acting for the landlord, possibly via the agent, has to check the smoke alarms on the day the tenancy starts,and, if they don't obtain an initial condition report, they will not be able to claim for any damage when the tenant leaves.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by r33c3 View Post
                He initially blamed it on my brother leaving clothes on the clotheshorse next to the french doors (there's no washing line, tumble dryer or sufficient radiators to dry them anywhere else
                Nowhere else to dry clothes doesn't mean that drying clothes inside isn't going to cause problems.

                There's a protocol on the shelter web site that if followed precisely might allow the tenant to get the repair done and deduct the cost from the rent.
                It's possible the suggestion might prompt the landlord to act.

                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
                  Were the French doors open when the clothes were drying. Clothes drying behind closed lounge window is a common site in rented property, but looks bad and is a likely cause of condensation.

                  Although racks for drying clothes on radiators are sold, probably mainly to tenants, they are never a good idea.

                  There are no fixed times for repairs, but housing associations tend to have categorise them into up to four bands, typically.

                  1) Make safe in 24 hours (e.g. an external door cannot be locked, no heating in Winter);

                  2) One week (e.g no hot water in Summer);

                  3) One month (e.g faulty ball cocks);

                  4) The next time major work is scheduled (

                  Making safe is not the same as actually repairing, e.g. electric heaters will resolve the urgent problem with central heating in Winter.

                  These examples were taken from http://www.gatewayhousing.org.uk/repair-timescales/ whose only claim to fame is being the first housing association policy that came up in a Google search.

                  Private landlords are likely to respond slower at the emergency end of the scale,as they are more difficult to contact, and are not practised in sourcing contractors at short notice.

                  Investigating the sockets might be a 24 hour response, for housing associations, and the shower problem a one month one. However, I'm not certain that the sparking is not normal. Depending on what is plugged in, and whether its switched on, there may well be a spark between the tip of the plug and the contacts in the socket, when the connection is broken.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    I'm still not 100% sure what the problem is here. We only seem to have two:

                    a) A sparking plug -- which may be normal

                    b) Some story about a shower leak. What is this exactly? Is the suggestion that a pipe is leaking into a wall -- in which case there would be evident and serious local damage in order to cause damp in a whole flat.

                    If you must dry washing indoors get a couple of £150 dehumidifiers and run them continuously. Otherwise drying washing indoors WILL cause damage and damp. The fact that there is no washing line is no excuse. Nor should clothes ever be dried on radiators.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      No domestic electrical plug/socket or switch should spark visibly when used.
                      One that does is defective and possibly dangerous.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        There's nothing in the design of them to stop arcing. They will arc if you break the circuit under load, especially if the load is inductive. Any suppression for that will be in the device itself.

                        The arc should extinguish and the parts where the metal is close enough together to arc should concealed by the plastic.

                        I think it would help to have a better description of what is going on, as I think it is difficult for there to be a fault that would result in a visible arc. Maybe this just audible or maybe there isn't enough filler in the plastic, so it is too translucent.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          As an update, hopefully someone can asssist-

                          My brother has been visiting family and has been out of the property for over a week - he came back (the electrician was due to come while he was away) to the news that the electrician hasn't apparently fixed the plug thats sparking but has advised HE NEEDS to put a door from my brothers apartment to the landlords appartment, so he could access the electrical cabinet when necessary????!?!

                          The landlord is insistent on having access to my brothers apartment and apparently regularly just walks in without any notice.

                          I genuinely don't know what to do now, my brother isn't in any fit state to move to another property but this is becoming a bit of a joke.

                          I think the only way forward is to get him in another property but I can't help but feel like this landlord is taking the piss and my brother should be compensated for being forced to move somewhere else outside of his control

                          Comment


                            #14
                            I know you are struggling to help -- but you are not helping us to help you. We asked questions of you before -- like exactly what this sparking was, and what exactly you meant by the leaking shower (and without such information your various queries were impossible to fathom and confusing).

                            Now we have new stuff where we really have problems figuring it out. What does putting a door mean -- that would be pretty hard in most properties without blasting a wall down -- so what sort of property is this? What sort of tenancy agreement is this? Might your brother be a lodger for example? What electrical cabinet is this?

                            Did the landlord have permission to enter to carry out or investigate the issues of which you were complaining?

                            You should address the old and new queries so that we can get a proper view not a partial picture.

                            Has your brother stopped drying clothes indoors or bought a couple of dehumidifiers and kept them running 24/7?

                            Comment

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