2nd day of rented property and already problems

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    2nd day of rented property and already problems

    Advice sought please.
    We are a professional couple in our fifties who are renting for the first time. We've sold our £.5m+ home of 20 yrs and are moving into a rented house for 6 months before downsizing and buying another property as cash buyers. The rented house was found via a property management company who told us the house would be professionally cleaned prior to moving in. The lease started yesterday and the landlord went through the inventory with us. The lease included use of the double garage (although we knew some of the landlord's things were stored there), a large store which we specifically requested to store our surplus furniture and is stated as available for use in the lease, and a garden shed.
    The landlord then went on to say that the store would be emptied "sometime" hopefully before our removals company turn up on Monday and he would "hopefully" get someone round to empty the shed - which is absolutely full of the previous tennants things. The garage also has some of the previous tennants things which we should "move out if they're in the way". The house, on closer inspection, also has someone else's possessions and can in no way be described as "professionally" cleaned. Dirt and mildew around patios windows etc etc.
    Our move has been planned to take advantage of all available storage. After 'phoning the landlord we have been told to empty the shed(s) ourselves!! There's plenty of space in the garden, but I hardly want to live in a rubbish tip for six months.
    I really thought I was dealing with a professional company, professional landlords and would be treated with respect. Obviously not the case!
    Completion on our house is within 3 days, which doesn't give us enough time to find somewhere else/get return of rental (paid in advance)/damage deposit etc. etc.
    What to do?

    #2
    I would be inclined to complete the move and upon "finding" that your planned storage space is not available, arrange to store elsewhere and knock the cost off your agreed rent - of course you must mitigate the additional expense as much as is possible but I could see a judge finding in your favour if it went to court and you have everything well documented.

    Comment


      #3
      Thanks for your reply - we may well take your advice if we have insufficient storage. Today we have had to rearrange our plans and empty one of the storage sheds ourselves....following the advice of the landlord. The garden is now strewn with someone else's possessions and we've been told to contact the landlord if no one else has collected these things by Tuesday.
      While we were there, a neighbour presented us with a wheelbarrow full of rubbish bags which had been left at the end of the drive, close to his house. He objected that they had been put out for rubbish collection AFTER the collection took place and they are now also in the garden, for us to trundle down the drive in time for next week's collection.
      I am tempted to value our time and labour for emptying the storage shed, loss of amenity value re unslightly rubbish in the garden AND ask the landlord to sign a further "special condition" of the tenancy agreement specifying that NO costs of professional cleaning on vacating the property will be charged, but that the house will be left in the same state of cleanliness as it was at the start of the tenancy.
      As this landlord is turning out to be so unprofessional, I am concerned at what his response time will be for possible problems with heating, water, cooking facilities etc. Are there any standard rules to cover this? I really don't want to get on the wrong side of the landlord as he is in a position to seriously undermine our lives. It's a bit like being rude to a dentist before he drills your teeth!!!
      All advice welcome.

      Comment


        #4
        Tenancy Problems!

        It's easy to be wise after the event but you should not sign a tenancy until things are to you liking - promises, as you are finding out "are not worth the paper they are written on"!!!
        Once you have signed the tenancy agreement you are pretty well stuck and if you did move out or refuse to pay you are technically in breach of contract - the landlord can sue you for the rent.
        Hopefully you have evidence to prove your original arrangement (in writing) including professional cleaning and storage space - is this written into the agrement?
        The landlord has a legal obligation to protect a tenant's property so you don't want to be drawn into any action regarding this - hopefully you have evidence of the landlord's instructions to put it out?
        I would be inclined to have the property professionally cleaned as you originally agreed, and place your own property in commercial storage until space is made available. With other rubbish, have it removed professionally. All this cost should then be deducted from the rent - provide the landlord with the invoices.
        Before doing this you should notify the landlord in writing of your intentions to give him chance to do as he agreed in the first place.

        Comment


          #5
          Thanks for your reply. I seriously do not understand!
          Firstly, we could not guarantee the property until and unless we signed the tenancy agreement and paid the 6 week (£2400 deposit) - which we were told had to be done as soon as we had a completion date (and confirmed our removals company) - we paid by debit card. One month's rental in advance was also paid by debit card the day before commencement. Professional cleaning and storage is written into the "special conditions" of the agreement (to which the landlords attitude during the inventory check was "pish, forget it!").
          We only have verbal instructions from the landlord regarding previous tenant(s) property.
          It is now too late to arrange storage. We have professional removers arriving at 9am tomorrow for the first day of our two-day move.
          By "other rubbish" - do you mean just the garbage or previous tenants possessions? We could follow your advice and have the garbage/rubbish removed - and thanks for the advice regarding putting our intentions in writing first.
          I would seriously like to get on with this landlord and live without problems. But surely your quote that the promises are "not worth the paper they're written on" must be wrong! It is the landlord who is in breach here - not us!!
          I realise I must tread carefully, but I feel like I'm living in a nightmare.
          The best course of action is perhaps to do nothing for the moment re approaches or action to the landlord. The property management company is supposed to be contacting us tomorrow morning and I think they will want to see the property, so that could add to "evidence" - I also have photographic and physical evidence of the other problems I've mentioned. Other than that, I suspect it will be best to try for an amicable solution direct with the landlord (although it will take a great deal of effort on my part to be amicable!).
          Thanks for the advice - I really appreciate it. My computer will be disconnected first thing Wednesday morning and we'll be without internet connection for around a week - I'll hope for continued support.
          Thanks again.

          Comment


            #6
            Having read the thread there are one or two questions that need clarification!
            1. When were you first presented with the tenancy agreement to read it?
            2. When did you sign it i.e. how many days after receiving it, or was it on the day you took the tenancy?
            3. Were you invited by the landlord in writing to take the agreement to the CAB or a solicitor before signing it?
            4. Who drew up the agreement?
            5. Is a letting agent involved? (You mention a property management company as though they found the property for you) Are they members of ARLA/NAEA/RICS?
            P.S. Scroll down on any forum page and click on the "Pain Smith" solicitors icon, speak with Marveen Smith if you can and she will give you excellent advice. What's more you will probably be able to deduct any costs to her from your rent! Believe me she will smarten up your landlord into a straight-jacket if he steps out of line!
            The advice I give should not be construed as a definitive answer, and is without prejudice or liability. You are advised to consult a specialist solicitor or other person of equal legal standing.

            Comment


              #7
              A tenancy agreement was prepared dated 14th October. Some of the agreements had not been specified (e.g. we have a dog!) and a new agreement was prepared. We eventually signed the agreement on 23rd November for commencement on 9th December, once we had exchanged contracts on our home and been given a completion date.
              The agreement was drawn up by the property management company who are members of ARLA.
              We had thought the property would be managed and an appointment was made with their inventory clerk on 9th December, but the landlord cancelled this and went through the inventory with us. This was the first time we met.

              Thanks again for the help. I'll take a note of the solicitors contact details.

              Comment

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