Just moved in - keys, locks and fire safety

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    Just moved in - keys, locks and fire safety

    Hi people

    Looking for some advice on how to approach these issues

    Firstly, we do not believe we've been issued with the right set of keys. We have no key that opens/closes backdoor, and no key that fits the upstairs front bedroom. I do not know if this is due to problems with the locks or the keys. The upstairs middle bedroom door is jammed shut, with the key on the table inside the room (again, a faulty lock?). As there is no burglar alarm, a letterbox that doesn't fully close (thus you can probably attempt to open the front door from the outside with a hook) and the front door is just about still on it's hinge, this is quite concerning. In the last 5 days there have been multiple burglaries in this area (student-ish street), and 4 break ins to cars just on this street (including my own). What can I expect to happen with those issues? How can I argue the case for additional security?

    Secondly, there are fire and electrical hazards. As mentioned, the back door is not usable - is this is a significant fire escape hazard under the Housing Act 2004 and does it relate to the landlord's duty to provide access to escape routes at all times. (the living room and a corridor with a ground floor bedroom are between the stairs and the front door). In addition, there is a loose set of wires and socket in the living room, which could present a hazard either through tripping or perhaps an electrical hazard.

    Other less immediate issues include a garden that hasn't been tendered to in a couple of years clearly (letting agent used Covid-19 as an excuse?), internal locks not working, a few cracked kitchen tiles etc. For sake of balance, the house interior was in a very good and clean condition upon moving in however, and white goods and furniture in good state.

    #2
    You have just moved in. Were you provided with a move in inventory in first week, to amend/highlight your concerns to be returned within 7 days?

    Comment


      #3
      Voice your concerns to your landlord/agent, but I'd avoid quoting Acts of Parliament initially.

      Comment


        #4
        Apart from the issues with the keys, how were the other issues missed when you viewed the property?
        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


          #5
          Originally posted by jpkeates View Post
          Apart from the issues with the keys, how were the other issues missed when you viewed the property?
          Agree, most of this would of been available to see when you viewed...... and the burglar alarm.... well again that would of been obvious it was not fitted, why is it an issue now. As said, simply speak with the landlord/agent to try and sort some of them out but i suspect things like the alarm will be a NO, given you viewed it and agreed to let it without this fitted.

          Comment


            #6
            The letterbox flap not closing fully does not make it any more likely that somebody will try to unlock the front door from outside with a hook, the only way to prevent somebody doing that is to have no letterbox or to fit a restrictor to prevent the letterbox being opened fully.
            The problems you are more likely to get from the letterbox not closing fully are wind draught, and rain or insects getting in.

            Comment


              #7

              Originally posted by jpkeates View Post
              Apart from the issues with the keys, how were the other issues missed when you viewed the property?
              Viewing was in October last year (student lettings market, it's mad in this city). House was occupied and full of things and people. Perhaps I could've been more diligent but student lettings at least in this area are like this - you don't get much time, agents always pretending to be in a hurry etc. It is what it is for the location. At the viewing, I was not locking people doors and naturally, I didn't open or close the front and back doors.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by mariner View Post
                You have just moved in. Were you provided with a move in inventory in first week, to amend/highlight your concerns to be returned within 7 days?
                No. Someone was sent round to do an 'inventory check' (?) on the 4th.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by 7HE9R View Post
                  Viewing was in October last year (student lettings market, it's mad in this city).
                  Makes sense now.

                  You can probably fix or replace the back of the letterbox more easily than persuading the agent to do it.
                  Same with the door itself.
                  The wiring sounds like a danger and I'd report it straight away.
                  Report the keys not working (the agents won't have tried them either).

                  Gardens in student properties are never looked after - you're not going to do it either.

                  There's no obligation to have a burglar alarm, and, again, they're either a waste or a disaster in most student environments.
                  You can buy alarm sets that don't require installation (usually connected over wi-fi) if you're concerned and want to beef up the security.
                  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


                    #10
                    Hi jpkeates

                    You're probably right. Previously with rentals I've took the view that if I can do it in less than an hour and £20 I'll sort it out myself so I'll see what I can do. Agree about the wiring, and have reported it, along wit the keys.

                    The issue with the garden is that the grass is 2m high, and combined with not particulary robust fences and alleyways a few doors down, I'm concerned about risk of entry from the back (there is a large window at the back of the house). In a previous property I found that a neighbouring property with a garden like that also attracted rats.

                    I've just bought some of those magnetic alarm things and will set them up later today.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      All sounds sensible.

                      The problem with grass that's high is that it's impossible to cut with normal tools - you need a brush cutter (at least) and it takes a fair amount of time.
                      And if it's 2m high it's not grass.

                      It might just die back a bit over the winter.
                      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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