Who is responsible for securing locks in a flat?

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    Who is responsible for securing locks in a flat?

    Hoping someone can advise us!
    We moved into a flat this weekend, and along with a whole number of problems (flat not having been cleaned, no keys to garage or postbox, no gas cert etc) the main one is that we only have the key to the top lock of the front door, and both our balconies are open with no keys. One is infact locked open, so it doesn't even close over fully.
    The estate agent, who we picked the keys up off, say they were just doing the tenant introductions and so wont do anything about it. The landlord wont answer his phone, its been switched off all weekend.
    I have to go to work on monday, am I within my rights to call out a locksmith and hold the cost off next months rent? Obviously we aren't insured with the doors not closed properly so we can't leave the flat at the moment.
    We are good tenants and this has really spoiled our new home, and added a lot of frustration and stress.

    #2
    As you probably know, the property has to be inhabitable under s11 of he 1985 L&T Act, and the HHSRS states that to be inhabitable, the property has to be secure. However, if you can't get hold of the landlord then that will be of little comfort.

    Does he live near enough to go round and see? I can't tell you if you have a right to do this, if you do it and the landlord disagrees, you will always be (say) 2 weeks behind with your rent. You would have to argue if it was a valid deduction to the deposit company or in court at the end of the tenancy. Of course winding the landlord up (even if you are in the moral right) isn't going to enhance your chances of staying in the property long-term.

    This may help. http://england.shelter.org.uk/__data...et_repairs.pdf

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      #3
      thanks for the reply, much appreciated.
      There is only an office address, but no one is there and the phone just rings out.
      As you say, we just dont want to be stuck with a huge bill for changing locks. Its just been very frustrating that we dont have all the keys we need and no one has even bothered to turn on their phone to check up if everything is ok!

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        #4
        Follow the repairs protocol, but in ths case you cannot wait, have you left voicemail for the LL?? I would get 3 quotes and get the cheapest one done. Get receipts keep copies of the quotes and send it all to LL with the reduced rent for next month.

        A quick call to the LL telling him via voicemail that unless you have the property secured in the next few hours you will hold him responsible for anything that goes missing....
        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!

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          #5
          I think you are going to have to go with 'justaboutsanes' suggestions, though I would also be calling the agency, not because they will do anything, but to show you have made every effort to contact the landlord. If you have an email for landlord or agent, use that as that way you will have proof in black and white that you tried to contact - and if you use spypig you will know if and when either reads the email (spypig would probably not stand up in court!!!!)

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            #6
            Without full details of the window and its accessibility, no one can advise whether your home is secure to the point where your landlord would be liable.
            Allow tenants to protect their own deposits. I want free money when they do it wrong

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              #7
              as an interim solution can't you secure the balcony doors (assuming sliding doors) with some pieces of wood laid across the door jamming it shut? I can see your predicament but if the keys can be sourced tomorrow it's a bit expensive calling a locksmith out.

              Sorry if its patronising just trying to help.

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