Flat has rot/damage to windows/walls/etc.- tenant seeks advice

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    Flat has rot/damage to windows/walls/etc.- tenant seeks advice

    I moved into my flat on 1st April 2005 on a 12 month AST. The property required alot of cleaning as pigeons had inhabited the property before me and I agreed a schedule of works with the landlord that was written into my AST and arranged 6 weeks rent free to pay for the materials. I have decorated the flat right through, laid new carpets in the Lounge and both bedrooms and I have replaced the kitchen.

    As the flat had no heating and I qualify for tax credits I applied for a grant to have storage heaters installed. These are being fitted in the next few weeks.

    My dilemma is this:

    1) The front bedroom window is rotten. One small opening window was missing and has been replaced by Perspex the second cannot be opened as it is rotten and the glass drops out (btw I live in a maisonette above a shop! so this room is on 2nd floor!). The third small window is slowly deteriorating. The window where the Perspex now is leaks, the 3 large panes of glass have all been secured by silicone as during high winds they rattle in the frame. The wallpaper I out up only a few months ago is coming down and every time it rains it gets worse. The water was pouring through last week wetting the wallpaper curtains and carpet. There is a HUGE gap in-between the frames which is very drafty.

    2) The plaster above window on the landing is coming away and water is getting in. I have looked today and a huge piece of plaster is about to drop out, the artex is missing where it has obviously been bad in the past (I just painted the bare wall!)

    3) The baton above the back bedroom window has fallen down I have tried to put it back up but due to the concrete lintel have found this impossible.

    4) Front door has a minor leak, is also rotting and smells very bad when it rains, the smell is enough to make me feel sick.

    5) Front door weatherboard becomes like a sponge when it rains.

    6) I also believe the skylight in the bathroom to be open but do not know how to check or how to close it. Please note that the pigeons are also collecting heavy items which they then throw at the window. Although it is toughened glass is there something else that can be put on top of the window on the roof, i.e. a mesh frame of some sort that would stop them doing this, all it will take is for them to hit a weakness in the glass and it will break.

    7) The toilet may also have a leak where the pipe joins the cistern to the toilet bowl. I am watching it but there appears to have been some mould growth on the pipe. The flush handle is also cracking and will snap soon if not replaced.

    8) One of the stairs is moving when stood on, I only noticed when I followed a friend upstairs at the weekend. It drops around 1cm when stood on.

    I have emailed these issues to my landlord several times, last week he sent someone out about the bedroom window and all he did is measure for replacements.... they did that 3 months ago and told me that the window replacement was in their "long term plan" for the property!!

    I have now told him that if this is not resolved ... or at least witnessed by a building surveyor and a plan of action produced with dates I am calling in Environmental health.

    My question is ... Do I stop my rent? I have an account I can move the money to and I can show this to the landlord to prove my rent is there, my boss is my guarantor so I don't want him to be chased for the money. My rent is significantly lower than other similar properties but I have a young child with asthma, the last thing I need is for her to get ill.

    All advise gratefully received!!
    GOVERNMENT HEALTH WARNING: I am a woman and am therefore prone to episodes of PMT... if you don't like what I have to say you can jolly well put it in your pipe and SMOKE IT!!

    Oh and on a serious note... I am NOT a Legal person and therefore anything I post could be complete and utter drivel... but its what I have learned in the University called Life!

    #2
    Your only problem is that ....sorry two problems!...are that you saw the property in this condition prior to signing, and I'm not sure theres a lot environmental health can do, at first glance it doesn't look like there are any faults there that would make the property uninhabitable. Are these SPECIFIC works written into into the AST? If so, then yes I would withhold rent. If not I would write a letter stating that you will pay to get all works completed and then withhold these costs from the rent, if the works are not done within 2 weeks or so, as is your right.

    Good luck.
    Any posts by myself are my opinion ONLY. They should never be taken as correct or factual without confirmation from a legal professional. All information is given without prejudice or liability.

    Comment


      #3
      Not noticable

      MrShed, The issues documented were not noticed when viewing and have only reared their nasty heads up over time! I was informed that the issues with the landing window were dealt with and that the damp stains on the ceiling were just stains!

      As the bedroom window sill was covered in pigeon droppings... literally.. the rot was not spotted, as was the issue with opening the window. I did not touch the window frames due to the pigeon droppings.

      The leaks also need to be addressed, how was I to know that the windows would leak?

      Yes I knew the property needed TLC and I have got it looking really nice but these issues with the building need to be addressed and I feel they are a health risk especially as my daughter has asthma.

      Written into the AST are that I am to decorate throughout and and lay carpets in the lounge and both bedrooms and also to replace the kitchen. I do not have issue with these... other than my hard work is being destroyed as the landlord will not deal with the leaks and rot which were not evidant before I moved in.
      Last edited by justaboutsane; 13-10-2005, 09:03 AM. Reason: Missed stuff!
      GOVERNMENT HEALTH WARNING: I am a woman and am therefore prone to episodes of PMT... if you don't like what I have to say you can jolly well put it in your pipe and SMOKE IT!!

      Oh and on a serious note... I am NOT a Legal person and therefore anything I post could be complete and utter drivel... but its what I have learned in the University called Life!

      Comment


        #4
        Sane, you cannot use ignorance of an issue as an excuse for not observing it during the viewing. I'm not saying the landlord shouldnt be fixing the problems, he should, but in a property which you knew had problems, you should have gone over it with a fine tooth comb prior to moving in. This is not a criticism as such, just something for next time

        Anyway as I say, he should be fixing the problems, so do what I have stated above. So what you are saying is that these specific issues are not written into the AST. Pay for the works and take the money out of the rent. Your issue is that pre-existing issues, such as the rot, he can legitimately say was the original condition of the property, and so you have no right to repair. That said, I very much doubt that if you carry out the works and charge him via rent he will take you to court, the other issues are fairly bad!
        Any posts by myself are my opinion ONLY. They should never be taken as correct or factual without confirmation from a legal professional. All information is given without prejudice or liability.

        Comment


          #5
          Hi - This is not to answer your query. Just to make the point that how dare any landlord attempt to let a property in that condition, and expect you to do all this work, which should have been retifyied before letting to anyone! He should not be in the business and should be ashamed of himself. O.K. he gave you a rent reduction, but no tenant should have to do this. Its just not on. What do other members think? Susan

          Comment


            #6
            thanks Susan!

            To be honest Susan I have enjoyed working on the property and the results I have achieved. Also, if the property was up to standard I would probably not be able to afford it! Rents in this are are around £600 per month for a nice 2 bed maisonette, I am paying £380!

            I have worked hard on the property and it looks lovely. All i want is to see that hard work last. At the moment it is being destroyed. We have had a dry summer and the property has never smelled of damp. When it rains I am ashamed for people to come round as the door smells so bad and is situated right next to the kitchen and so people assume it is the kitchen that smells! The stench from the door is getting worse the more it rains.

            Some days I just want to sit and cry!

            The landlord does not even have the decency to reply to my emails
            GOVERNMENT HEALTH WARNING: I am a woman and am therefore prone to episodes of PMT... if you don't like what I have to say you can jolly well put it in your pipe and SMOKE IT!!

            Oh and on a serious note... I am NOT a Legal person and therefore anything I post could be complete and utter drivel... but its what I have learned in the University called Life!

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by susan 2
              Hi - This is not to answer your query. Just to make the point that how dare any landlord attempt to let a property in that condition, and expect you to do all this work, which should have been retifyied before letting to anyone! He should not be in the business and should be ashamed of himself. O.K. he gave you a rent reduction, but no tenant should have to do this. Its just not on. What do other members think? Susan
              Susan, that is somewhat short sighted. The entire rental market is not just for upmarket people who want the entire property spotless, many people who can only afford lower rents are happy to take properties on with cosmetic issues, or slight problems, as for lower rents it is not cost effective for the landlord to actually fix them.
              Any posts by myself are my opinion ONLY. They should never be taken as correct or factual without confirmation from a legal professional. All information is given without prejudice or liability.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by susan 2
                Hi - This is not to answer your query. Just to make the point that how dare any landlord attempt to let a property in that condition, and expect you to do all this work, which should have been retifyied before letting to anyone! He should not be in the business and should be ashamed of himself. O.K. he gave you a rent reduction, but no tenant should have to do this. Its just not on. What do other members think? Susan
                Susan - Provided he does not mislead prospective tenants and complies with all applicable legislation an LL has the right to let a property in any condition he chooses. He can let a building site if he wants to. It is entirely up to him. And as you will see from reading justaboutsane's response, some people actually prefer to rent a run-down place at an appropriate rent and do it up. For you to say, "How dare he ... " like some petulant child is not very helpful or intelligent, is it?
                Disclaimer: What I say is either right or wrong. It may be advisable to check what I say with a solicitor. If he says I am right then I am right, unless he is wrong in which case I am wrong; but if he says I am wrong then I am wrong, unless he is wrong in which case I am right

                Comment


                  #9
                  Action at last???

                  I thought I would update you all, I have emailed my landlord again today as the flush handle snapped at the weekend... petty i know but why should I spend any more time and money when it is not appreciated! Anyway... I have just had a reply stating the works should have been done... yeah right! and he cannot understand why I have not been contacted by any of the contractors... He is now forwarding a list of the numbers for me to make arrangements direct..... Seems my email today put a rocket in the right place!

                  Fingers crossed this is finally getting sorted I will keep you posted.

                  btw,.... I am still not holding my breath!!!
                  GOVERNMENT HEALTH WARNING: I am a woman and am therefore prone to episodes of PMT... if you don't like what I have to say you can jolly well put it in your pipe and SMOKE IT!!

                  Oh and on a serious note... I am NOT a Legal person and therefore anything I post could be complete and utter drivel... but its what I have learned in the University called Life!

                  Comment


                    #10
                    It is, of course, good to see that the landlord is at least acknowledging and attempting to sort your prob. However, its a bit rich for them to ask you to contact contractors...he should be sorting it! That said its a fairly petty thing to kick off about when it may result in the issues getting sorted
                    Any posts by myself are my opinion ONLY. They should never be taken as correct or factual without confirmation from a legal professional. All information is given without prejudice or liability.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Spoke to soon!

                      MrShed... I had the same thought but like you said if it means the job gets done then its better that way... excpet I fear I have been fobbed off yet again. I called the numbers given... both are to QUOTE for all of theitems on my list One is coming tomorrow and another hs yet to call me back.

                      Therefore I am calling Environmental Health. Several quotes have been prepared and I have been fobbed off once too often. I will let the workmen in as they may be able to fix some of the issues on the spot but I will be calling environmental health to ensure that this is not just delaying tactics and that once quotes are recieved the work will be done.

                      I am sick of being fobbed off.. the rotting wood in my bedroom now smells. The window has been open all day and yet it smells. Enough is enough.
                      GOVERNMENT HEALTH WARNING: I am a woman and am therefore prone to episodes of PMT... if you don't like what I have to say you can jolly well put it in your pipe and SMOKE IT!!

                      Oh and on a serious note... I am NOT a Legal person and therefore anything I post could be complete and utter drivel... but its what I have learned in the University called Life!

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Yes as I thought perhaps a delaying tactic. Get the jobs done and deduct the charges from the rent. You can call EH, but I doubt theres a lot they can do, from your description the property is not really hazardous to health, or not much(your opinions on the matter will probably differ from that of EH!).

                        *EDIT* just read in a little bit more detail. 1st of all, if they are there to quote, thats exactly what theyll do....quote. They wont fix anything on the spot, as they wont be allowed to charge. Secondly, I would probably wait prior to calling EH....it may do more harm than good, as it may make the landlord uncooperative. It is fairly standard to get a quote done prior. I would probably just contact the landlord after they have been, and reiterate that you wish to have all the problems fixed within 10 days....probably put this in writing. It isnt particularly unreasonable of him to get a quote prior to carrying out the work.
                        Any posts by myself are my opinion ONLY. They should never be taken as correct or factual without confirmation from a legal professional. All information is given without prejudice or liability.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          MrShed... in my role as a property coordinator I know how picky EH can be!!!

                          The landlord has already had quotes that is why I am still going to call EH in. this will be the third set of quotes the landlord has had!!! I am sick of it now. Even if EH just write to him it wil be a start he will know that I mean business and I am not going to sit in a rotting hell hole!

                          My daughter has asthma and damp can affect that I want to stop this before she gets ill. She has been inhaler free for almost 2 years and I don't want her to start on them again.
                          GOVERNMENT HEALTH WARNING: I am a woman and am therefore prone to episodes of PMT... if you don't like what I have to say you can jolly well put it in your pipe and SMOKE IT!!

                          Oh and on a serious note... I am NOT a Legal person and therefore anything I post could be complete and utter drivel... but its what I have learned in the University called Life!

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Update

                            Just to update this thread, I have called EHO in. The guy that came out last night did not even bring a tape measure!!! I emailed the LL and his response was that they need another quote ffs (sorry!) they have had FOUR (including the one taken yesterday!) how many more do they want!!

                            So I have the EHO coming out Friday to take a look and I have forwarded my email to him. Fingers crossed this mess will get sorted out.
                            GOVERNMENT HEALTH WARNING: I am a woman and am therefore prone to episodes of PMT... if you don't like what I have to say you can jolly well put it in your pipe and SMOKE IT!!

                            Oh and on a serious note... I am NOT a Legal person and therefore anything I post could be complete and utter drivel... but its what I have learned in the University called Life!

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Another Update!

                              Work men came out today and did everything but the windows.. its turns out that they have only had 2 quotes... one for £3.5 k and the guy who cam out minus a tape measure quoted £4.5k!! So I gave the landlord 3 numbers ... 2 came out today and teh second gave me the quote and asked me to call Landlord as there was confusion over how many wondows needed doing... his quote was les than £1k!!! So the landlord is over the moon! HE asked if any others need relpacing and I said yes the balcony but its not rotten only drafty.... so he said get a quote EHO also came out and has looked at the window they will push for the landlord to replace them but as some more quotes have been taken he has put it on hold for a few weeks... all I need to do is call and the EHO will take action.

                              Moral is.... call EHO they do work!!!
                              GOVERNMENT HEALTH WARNING: I am a woman and am therefore prone to episodes of PMT... if you don't like what I have to say you can jolly well put it in your pipe and SMOKE IT!!

                              Oh and on a serious note... I am NOT a Legal person and therefore anything I post could be complete and utter drivel... but its what I have learned in the University called Life!

                              Comment

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