Polystyrene and ceramic tiles falling off - rented flat

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    #31
    Originally posted by jpkeates View Post
    I meant when was it revealed to us (on the forum) that the property was an HMO.

    HMOs have a mandatory requirement to have a fire risk assessment and there doesn't seem any way that the ceiling tiles would pass that.

    Why do you think it's an HMO that's rare for a flat?

    How many people live there and how many of them live "together"?
    Sorry I must have forgotten to mention.

    There’s 5 of us. We’re unrelated and all have our own room and we have separate ASTs.

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      #32
      Originally posted by BTL investor View Post
      Have you heard anything back from the agent that you emailed yesterday?

      Yes they want more details. Oddly enough they are saying the bathroom was retiled in the last month? I am very confused.

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        #33
        Originally posted by cfdh View Post


        Yes they want more details. Oddly enough they are saying the bathroom was retiled in the last month? I am very confused.
        It does sound terrifying and confusing!
        Have you checked recently to see if the tiles are still falling off? It could be that they’ve been replaced without you being informed. Have you asked the four flat mates (HMO mates) that you share with if they noticed anybody retiling the bathroom last month?

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          #34
          Originally posted by BTL investor View Post

          It does sound terrifying and confusing!
          Have you checked recently to see if the tiles are still falling off? It could be that they’ve been replaced without you being informed. Have you asked the four flat mates (HMO mates) that you share with if they noticed anybody retiling the bathroom last month?
          No one came, I was home every day so I am sure of that. Our bathroom tiles are covered in mould so I think we would have noticed too, not sure what they are on about!

          Tiles still falling off, I was actually able to put one of my fingers in the gap between the plaster and one of the tiles.. as terrifying as that sounds!

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            #35
            OK, 5 people would normally need to be licensed, unless it's exempt for some reason.

            Next time you speak to the agent, I'd ask about what the HMO situation is and why it's not licensed.
            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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              #36
              From what I can see and understand, none of the exemptions apply. We do get some “serious” mail for the landlord here so probable he hasn’t informed his mortgage lender/the freeholder. My guess is that the flat was first rented out before licenses became a thing, and that he doesn’t realise that just because he’s the leaseholder, it doesn’t mean that he can do whatever he wants with “his” flat. But if that’s the situation, that kind of ignorance is scary from a tenant’s perspective.

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                #37
                Are RROs available for unlicensed HMOs?

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                  #38
                  Originally posted by MdeB View Post
                  Are RROs available for unlicensed HMOs?
                  Yep - good thinking.
                  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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                    #39
                    I’ve heard of these but aren’t they notoriously difficult to get without paying for a sollicitor?

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                      #40
                      I don't know about "notoriously" because it's only been possible for a relatively short while.

                      They're most likely to be successful after another action has made the landlord's position obvious - so an eviction being declined because there's no licence, or a local authority prosecution for the same issue.

                      In which case a solicitor would quite possibly take the case on a conditional fee (no win no fee) basis, because it's hard to imagine the case being lost.
                      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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                        #41
                        I won’t lie, I feel quite stuck now - because I feel like pointing out the lack of license to the agency could have a negative impact on my flatmates and I in the short term?

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                          #42
                          Originally posted by cfdh View Post
                          I won’t lie, I feel quite stuck now - because I feel like pointing out the lack of license to the agency could have a negative impact on my flatmates and I in the short term?
                          Do you mean eviction under S21 Housing Act 1988, or illegal eviction/harassment, or something else?

                          A valid S21 notice cannot be issued if the property is an unlicensed HMO (https://www.camden.gov.uk/documents/...e-310135c1a832), and current notice period is 3 months.

                          Maybe discuss it with your flatmates?

                          You do not have to point it out to the agent; you could report it to the local authority.

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                            #43
                            It depends what the landlord is able to do.

                            If you've just moved in, it would be difficult to evict you.
                            And why would you want to stay somewhere that's unsafe?

                            But there's no need to do anything until you hear back from the agent with more than a request for more information.
                            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


                              #44
                              Originally posted by cfdh View Post
                              I won’t lie, I feel quite stuck now - because I feel like pointing out the lack of license to the agency could have a negative impact on my flatmates and I in the short term?
                              But the loose tiles could have a long term negative impact on you, your flat mates or any guests if they were to fall and land on your head whilst using the toilet. Ouch!
                              The long term negative impact of a fire being accelerated by the polystyrene ceiling tiles far outweighs any short term negative effect of raising any safety or legal issues.
                              Also have you checked the room sizes meet minimum requirements? Five bedroom fourth floor flats are uncommon so it’s possible some of the original rooms have been divided up.

                              Comment


                                #45
                                I replied to the agency with pictures of the problem and also nicely outlining the council’s policy on fire safety and I expressed my feeling that there were several areas in which the communal parts of the flat could be made safer, like damp and mould, the polystyrene tiles on every ceiling. They gave the number of their contractor so I can arrange for them to come and assess the works that need to be done.

                                I took over someone’s tenancy so it will end in a bit less than two months. My tenancy agreement being less than for 4 months total I am guessing this pretty much means I couldn’t be served a section 21 anyway?

                                I’ve checked with the deposit protection schemes and our deposits were not protected so my biggest worry is not actually eviction but the agency not returning the deposits if they deemed us too annoying about repairs or if we started mentioning any legal consequences re: the management of the flat. I don’t think anyone wants to go to court. I had asked them multiple times about the deposit around the time I moved in and they always said they would get back to me, without actually doing it.

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