Tenant suffering repeated equipment malfunctions

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  • Tenant suffering repeated equipment malfunctions

    I was hoping that someone could give me some advice regarding monies owed by our previous landlady. I will try to be brief, but excuse me if I waffle..

    We have recently moved out of a rented property into our own property. I believe that the landlady owes us £165 due to our paying for a plumber to repair the heating over a year ago. She is now disputing this saying that she has just had to spend £500 on new carpets. Whist we would rather not write off this money it has now turned into a matter of principle and I would appreciate some independent advice, as I am not sure that I am thinking straight given that I am 8 months pregnant! I just feel that I did everything that I could to be a good tenant, and was so accomodating that I am really upset over how she is treating us

    We moved in Nov 2004 - Agents said that the house was not ready for living in due to things needing doing (i.e. broken window upstairs, doors hanging off cupboards etc). We agreed that we would be happy for the window to be repaired once in and repair doors etc ourselves. We also clearly agreed that she did not need to clean the carpets as we have a dog, and thus would prefer that she uses the money once we moved out. The inventory states that most carpets are either fair condition with wear marks, or marked throughout. I did however clean the carpets when we moved in and then again the following year as I am a bit clean obsessed!

    HEating broke down 2 days after moving in - we had to organise repairs and went without heating for 2 weeks, an going saga with heating

    Dishwasher broke in March 2005- she asked us to pay for one and she would reinburse, given that she hadnt paid the plumber and he was chasing us decided we would wash up and wait for her to replace (which she never did).

    Shower broke - we had to organise and pay for replacement - she claims
    that she paid us back but I disputed this (see below).

    Ongoing problems with heating/water, She would always leave to us and had some real problems - one plumber said heating system should be condemed, but we sorted out second opinion, took time off work to be there etc.

    Had to get my stepfather in to do a number of small jobs (re connect bath as was overflow worn and leaking through ceiling, replace plug hole bit in sink, reseal bath repair odds and ends) never charged her for these which should have

    1 year lease up with agent and we verballly agreed another year - intially agreed rent reduction as she would be saving £100, but she then put it back up!

    Winter 2005, heating problems- I paid £165 for plumber s (he refused to do the work if she was paying as she took over 4 months to pay him!) she never paid us back, still no replacement window. I wrote to her Nov 2005, outling all points above, and others (7 large points including downstairs toilet not flushing since we moved in, her not paying us back, smells on the bathroom carpet since we moved in - we offered to replace with tiles as I found disgusting). She didnt even acknowledge the letter!

    May 2006 she decided to have all the windows in the house replaced. It was assumed that the we would take time off work for this to happen. Morning of the first day the men came in my grandfather passed away. I had also recently found out I was pregnant. Despite all this we still dealt with the workmen. She had refused to pay them the addtional £100 to clear up and they left the house in such as mess (I have photos to prove this). I rang her in tears as it was all too much. She said that she had replied to my letter, that she had paid us re the shower, although at the time I was in no state to dispute this. She agreed for a cleaner to come in. Yet again me being nice, had friends around we scrubbed the house and cleared up the garden, and didnt invoice. She never even thanked me

    She then gave us notice to leave in June as she wanted to move back in - as we never signed a new contract we didnt dispute, and she agreed to pay us the £165 when we left. Despite my being 6 months pregnant, I cleaned that house from top to bottom, scrubbing skirting boards and clearning all the carpets. My friends and family said it was in better condition than before we moved in.

    I recently wrote to her sayin could we have this money. She has replied saying
    "carpets were cleaned when we moved in, we agreed to have them cleaned when we moved out" - they were not, and we agreed that she could use the money she would have used to have them cleaned after we moved out

    "small bedroom was new carpet and so was hall"= in inventory compilled by agent these are described as marked throughout and wear marks, fair condition respectively. I couldnt even wash the carpet in the small bedroom as it was so thin from wear and tear I was scared I would go through it

    "both bedrooms smelt of dog and she has had them replaced" - the dog wasnt actually allowed in one of the bedrooms and I cleaned both of the rooms on leaving. Both of these are described in inventory as either marked throughout or wear marks, fair condition

    She is not asking for money but I am assuming that she is implying you chase me and I will chase you.

    The only thing that was broken was a door on a very old dresser which she has never mentioned.

    I am just so angry and annoyed by this - I did everything I could to be a good tenant as it is so hard to find somewhere with a dog. we could have insisted that she sort out plumbers etc, that she was there to accept workmen etc, that she had the window replaced sooner, husband wanted withheld rent when she didnt pay us back. But I wanted to do it all above board.

    If you have got this far what would you do? Has she a case re carpets? Is it worth it? Am I mixing emotions with law?

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