I'm a landlord who also rents- EVERYTHING is broken and filthy- what should I pay?

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    I'm a landlord who also rents- EVERYTHING is broken and filthy- what should I pay?

    Hi Everyone, I rent out my home in London and have just started renting in another city. I own my own business and have done for 6 years, it is successful but I rent alone and want a 2 bed house so I can have an office. I offered up to a years rent UPFRONT and still landlords via letting agents wouldn't touch me. So I went via a private landlord and was trigger happy. Anyway as soon as I moved in I realised EVERYTHING was broken and the house hadn't been lived in for around 6 months- so far the things that I have found to be broken and unusable have been the boiler, toilet, shower, bath, oven, taps in kitchen and the bins have been full of the previous tenants rubbish and so unusable and the council won't remove the rubbish so the bins are unusable, also rubbish left in the house and the house tuned out to be filthy. The landlord has refused to clean or get proper workmen to fix the problems aside from the boiler and toilet and so it has taken a total of 6 weeks to fix these problems, of which I had to move in for 4 of these weeks meaning I had to use the shower at a friends. Thankfully he had fixed the sink and toilet by then. He still refused to clean. He offered me initially £50 off a rent of nearly £1500.

    I like the house. I love the location. But it has left a sour taste to say the VERY VERY least. What do I do and what do I pay in rent? What is reasonable? I don't want to be kicked out as it seems impossible to rent round here but have no idea what a reasonable rent would be. I paid 2 months rent upfront plus deposit so £4500 for a house with no working bathroom facilities that was filthy. I very much doubt the money went into a deposit scheme and yes, I do know the legalities or lack of, but I was desperate. So as such, the contract probably doesn't stand for much in either direction. HELP.


    #2
    You didn't actually view the property then? - or did you have it in writing that the property would be cleaned and rubbish removed from inside?

    If you did neither of the above then you have yourself to blame and just need to clean and fill a few bin bags I guess.

    Someone will have been paying or be liable for Council Tax while it was empty - so the Council have a duty to empty the bins.

    All the other issues would have been better reported to Environmental Health if not fixed within a reasonable 2 week period.

    The Landlord MUST produce a Deposit Certificate within 30 days of receiving your Deposit - sorry, you DID say you are a Landlord yourself didn't you.

    This will not end well so I'd get the Council involved and seek legal help - of course others may say stay there and then go after the LL for not protecting the Deposit - did he give you all the other forms he should have? including EPC, Gas Cert and Electric Safety stuff?
    My views are my own - you may not agree with them. I tend say things as I see them and I don't do "political correctness". Just because we may not agree you can still buy me a pint lol

    Comment


      #3
      Sorry to read your story: Bad landlords eh?

      You write (yes, write/email) landlord, keep copy, with a calm polite letter listing all issues using the draft letter on the wonderful Shelter's website...
      https://england.shelter.org.uk/housi...ivate_landlord

      - then see what happens..

      If not resolved sensibly promptly the Shelter link gives advice on what else to do, including withholding rent (tricky that) and council involvement.

      IMHO if a landlord has been that bad I suspect other things might not be perfect: e.g. permission to let/BTL mortgage, rent declared to HMRC, insurance , gas & electric safety, EPC, deposit protection etc etc etc...

      £5 says council already "know" about him.

      Good luck, keep us informed on progress (either forwards or backwards progress...)

      PS Are you sure he owns it? If no evidence, check with land registry for £3.. see
      https://eservices.landregistry.gov.u...EnquiryInit.do

      PPS Take LOADS of photos, ideally date/timestamped and with a witness. High definition: (When you move out, low definition: If taking them as a landlord, other way round...)

      PPS See also...
      https://landlordlawblog.co.uk/2012/0...end-a-tenancy/
      I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

      Comment


        #4
        Maybe give us more of an impression of your understanding of the concept "broken and unusable".
        How are these things broken.

        They may be, but I am just wondering. If I apply a certain standard to my own home there are hundreds of things broken at any point in time - and yet it is all OK.

        A clue comes from your concept that the bins are unusable because they are filled with rubbish (not good, but not unusable).

        Which of these things (like the state of filthiness) was not visible when you viewed?

        Why would all the other letting agents and landlords apart from this one "not touch me" despite your offer to pay 2 years rent upfront?

        Comment


          #5
          Majority of people who have walked away, when you entered the property, I would have assumed someone would have accompanied you from the LL or LA, if you picked up the keys from the agent, the normal reaction would have gone to their offices and handed the keys back.

          Was there no photo's/ video prior putting down the money....... something odd about this.

          Comment


            #6
            Thanks all for your posts- some good points made. It did feel pretty ropey but I went with my gut that the Landlord I met and who showed me round was a good bloke. I stand by this, he himself has been as helpful as he can be albeit somewhat slow and incompetent, but it seems when it comes to the purse strings, he doesn't hold them, so it must be a joint thing. It was a private let so no letting agent. I did look round but didn't inspect things hugely closely so the things that were broken- boiler leaking water the water on the floor appeared to come from the washing machine they were removing (turned out, it did not), flush on toilet broken, bath plug hole leaked and so water dripped into downstairs kitchen, ditto tiles in bath used for shower, shower also did not have a washer but that was easily fixed. In terms of cleaning, it was the deep cleaning which was the problem, thick dust on skirting, marks on doors, skirting, light switches, banister, thick grime and burnt on oven (took me about 4 hours to properly clean). I was quite happy to vacuum and do normal cleaning, just not be on my hands and knees for hours at £1500 and then not be able to have a shower afterwards. The bins were full of rubbish not in black sacks which overflower the council bins, this is why they were unusable- the rubbish needed to be taken to the tip and removed so that I would then be able to use them properly. Essentially prior to my moving in the house, I later found out was a student house and had not been cleaned at the end of the tenancy- so this sort of picture if you will.

            The rooms had been painted so on initial quick view (of a desperate woman) and I was the first person to look, I snapped it up. The letting agents said that landlords always just will go with a couple in permanent jobs over a single person who is self employed, and that was what I kept being up against as i was looking at 2 and/or 3 bed properties. Each house had a viewing waiting list of 10s of people and usually would go up on a site and the viewing list be full within about 20 minutes. I offered a full years rent upfront, wrote a letter explaining my circumstances, offered to pay more pcm than they wanted for some places- still I was refused time and time again. Other self employed people have found the same in this area of the South.

            Hope that helps to clarify

            Comment


              #7
              I still fail to understand how you cannot see the amount of grime you claim there is, when you visited the property.

              ALL of the other stuff I can totally understand not being aware of before - why would you even think to check any of those things pre-tenancy BUT as soon as you discovered them you should have taken action immediately.

              If they still haven't been resolved and you have asked the LL to rectify them, I would involve the Council.

              Personally, I wouldn't wish to stay there with such a useless, penny-pinching LL - but you will probably get an S21 and not have to worry about it.

              HORRIBLE I know, but there are some terrible LLs out there and you don't want to be dealing with one.
              My views are my own - you may not agree with them. I tend say things as I see them and I don't do "political correctness". Just because we may not agree you can still buy me a pint lol

              Comment


                #8
                Don't think most sensible landlords will have any problem with self employed people so long as you can show your tax returns for the past several years. Self employed people who evade tax nobody would want.

                The repairs things you talk about fall into two totally different categories

                a) The grime and deep clean/bins aspect --- really those are priced in to the purchase unless you received some sort of specific written promise as to what would be done. You are buying the grime....... and would rightfully have complained if it was not there after the viewing of it... I would not let grimy properties, and price them accordingly -- but it is a free choice

                b) The various leaks and so on. These do have to be sorted, and it sounds as if the landlord's property will be damaged if they are not.

                Most of your issues seem to be in (a) and the (b) parts were sorted anyway.

                Haver the bin men not visited for 6 weeks? It is quite normal to leave filled bins depending on the cycle of Council clearances. Did you not leave them out for collection.

                Overall I think I would accept that you purchased a relatively lousy item at a discount and get on with cleaning it and living your life. You are free to return it in the same grimy state.

                What of the actual (non dirt - which is a very subjective thing) issues are still outstanding.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by SplashLandlord View Post
                  I later found out was a student house and had not been cleaned at the end of the tenancy
                  This explains everything

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Oh dear. Another poster who has just joined. Another tall story...

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by royw View Post
                      Oh dear. Another poster who has just joined. Another tall story...
                      I cannot comment on this particular post of course as it is reasonably new, but i agree with you that recently we have had a number of new posts with very complex and extravagant ' problems '.

                      Most of the posts are to do with one dimensional issues which we all can see happening within the PRS...... but some are extraordinary.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by royw View Post
                        Oh dear. Another poster who has just joined. Another tall story...
                        Hmmm. Not sure what to make of this response. I decided to leave the actual ridiculous bits of the tale out. These were just the basic facts otherwise it really would seem tall. I take all your points onboard and am fully aware that it was my own fault for not looking around properly at the grime and the reasons I have become so frustrated and things have dragged on have often been because I do actually like the landlord he is just quite hopeless and very much a penny-pincher. He seemed to want a medal for buying a part to fix the plughole rather than 'just bodging it'. Sigh. And I am a fairly laid back person, you would have to be to be living without a functioning shower for weeks on end but I have also reported all issues immediately when I have found them and have made myself available at all times to try and resolve any issues. I take a very different approach to my own tenants and just want them to be happy so would likely go over and above (so I am told) what might be expected. But I only rent one property and it is a flat I used to live in so it has more sentimental value and I think that probably makes a slight difference.

                        So, aside from the cleaning issue, which I decided to suck up anyway and despite him agreeing he would pay for, then changed his mind on that and so I agreed he could leave it. Do you think that having not had a shower for the duration of a month, I should be expected to pay the full £1500 for the month? And if not, what is a reasonable discount?

                        To a point raised in an earlier post- I also found the whole self employed status being detrimental for landlords via the lettings agency quite strange, although I can understand the security of having 2 tenants over 1 which might also have swayed things. I really couldn't understand it, especially as I was a landlord myself, was offering a years rent in cash and all my books, tax etc were all ready to go via my accountant. The lettings agents themselves were always super impressed at how prepared I was- not to mention all my things were in storage so my move in date was 100% flexible. Totally baffling!

                        Sorry to hear you are getting tall stories on here anyway, I would love someone to shed some light on what the benefit of that would be to the poster or what the content of those types of posts would be. As you can see, I am new, as you might expect, having never run into a situation requiring advice like this before.

                        Many thanks

                        Comment


                          #13
                          I for one didn't take it as a tall story. More a case of expectations not matching reality.

                          The issue with the shower was that it leaked into the room below due to missing grout on tiles (ditto bath leak so no possibility of bathing or showering without causing damage to the building)?
                          I'd have thought a reasonable discount would have been in order for that.

                          The issue of you being seen as undesirable to any landlord at all because you are self employed makes no real sense if that is a straightforward story - but bear in mind you are living in a reality where government interventions have made almost every type of tenant in need of extra special examination for potential problems or historical problems or simply the wrong kind of feel.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by SplashLandlord View Post
                            Do you think that having not had a shower for the duration of a month, I should be expected to pay the full £1500 for the month? And if not, what is a reasonable discount?
                            As an extremely rough example, not taking into account loads of other factors;

                            Work out what the rooms/garden/attic/garage individually are worth as a proportion of the £1500 for the whole property.

                            Wildly and generously guessing the bathroom is worth 20% of the whole property. = £300

                            Of that £300; toilet, wash basin, bath (you've already said there's a, presumably fully working, bath), drains, heating, structure, extraction etc.......

                            Functioning shower? Maybe 50 quid, on a good day.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by AndrewDod View Post

                              The issue with the shower was that it leaked into the room below due to missing grout on tiles (ditto bath leak so no possibility of bathing or showering without causing damage to the building)?
                              I'd have thought a reasonable discount would have been in order for that.
                              Didn't pick up on there being no working shower or bath at all. If that is the case, then it's a different kettle of fish.

                              Comment

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