Compensation for poor living conditions

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    Compensation for poor living conditions

    Hi All,

    Moved into a new rental property with my two little girls on 7th Feb. Numerous problems with the basically unfinished property, such as:

    - fire alam not working
    - Radiators not working
    - Pilot light going out on (not up to current safety standards) boiler
    - front door not closing
    - poor water pressure
    - wires under carpets which my daughter tripped over
    - No silicon around bath and extremely shoddy grouting in bathroom (has to be seen to be believed)
    - Shower not fitted properly

    Over the month since being in, many of the issues have been fixed, some by myself, but for the whole month, we've had to wear many layers in order to keep warm in the front room because of the radiator not working.

    I just wonder where I stand with trying to claim some rebate for the conditions we've had to live with. The landlord has now suggested that I can be let out of the contract early 'if i'm that unhappy', which makes me think she has no intention of fixing the remaining issues.

    So unhappy, this has been my most unpleasant renting experience ever. Any tips for forcing the letting agent and landlord into some action?

    Thanks and sorry it's such a long post.

    paula

    #2
    You can not automatically have compensation - you will have to negotiate or sue.

    Heating issus are a breach of the landlords repairing obligations under s11 of the 198 Landlord and Tenant Act - the Environmental Health Officer at your local council will be able to offer practical help and advice with that.

    This may help as well: http://england.shelter.org.uk/get_ad..._doing_repairs

    - fire alam not working No statutory requirement except for HMOs
    - Radiators not working See above
    - Pilot light going out on (not up to current safety standards) boiler May indicate a lack of gas safety certificate - have you seen one? If it is certified, how do you know it isn't up to current standards?
    - front door not closing EHO should help - if it genuinely doesn't close, then EHO can get it fixed as your security is covered by the Housing Health & Safety Rating System
    - poor water pressure Not likely to be any landlord liability for that
    - wires under carpets which my daughter tripped over Doesn't sound that safe to me, but British law is a little perverse, in so far as no injury, no compensation. However,it may also be dealt with by EHO/HHSRS
    - No silicon around bath and extremely shoddy grouting in bathroom (has to be seen to be believed) Not likely to be any landlord liability for that
    - Shower not fitted properly If it still works, then not likely to be any landlord liability

    Comment


      #3
      fire alarm not working - not compulsory except in HMOs
      Radiators not working - falls under LL's statutory repairing obligations
      Pilot light going out on (not up to current safety standards) boiler - ditto
      front door not closing - ditto
      poor water pressure - caused by what? If it's simply the mains pressure, then LL not liable.
      wires under carpets which my daughter tripped over - how do you trip over a wire under a carpet?
      No silicon around bath and extremely shoddy grouting in bathroom (has to be seen to be believed) - but you didn't see it when you viewed the property? Might fall under Housing Health & Safety Rating System (enforced by EHO).
      Shower not fitted properly Does it work or not?

      Over the month since being in, many of the issues have been fixed, some by myself, but for the whole month, we've had to wear many layers in order to keep warm in the front room because of the radiator not working.

      I just wonder where I stand with trying to claim some rebate for the conditions we've had to live with.
      There is no automatic entitlement. If you cannot negotiate a rent reduction with LL, you would have to bring a claim against LL for damages for the broken heating system, and it would be advisable to get legal advice first.

      BTW have you reported the disrepair in writing?

      So unhappy, this has been my most unpleasant renting experience ever. Any tips for forcing the letting agent and landlord into some action?
      As Snorkerz suggests, you can contact the EHO at the local council; there is also a procedure whereby you can arrange for the repairs to be done and deduct the cost from the rent. N.B. the procedure must be strictly adhered to, and applies only to LL's statutory repairing obligations, e.g. the boiler and radiators, the front door, and the shower if it's actually broken. You will find the procedure in the link Snorkerz provided.

      Edit: here's a link explaining statutory repairing obligations
      http://www.letlink.co.uk/index.php?o...ets&Itemid=103

      Comment


        #4
        Many thanks both for your responses, much appreciated. In answer:

        - Still haven't seen Gas or Electrical safety certificates. Asking the letting agents on a daily basis. Homecare came to fix radiators two weeks into let, but front room one broke immediately after and so have been without that one since. His report highlighted the flue and boiler as not being up to current safety standards.

        - the water pressure was simply due to the LL having the stopcock almost closed completely. So silly, but took me weeks to sort that as I had no clue where it was and the landlord's handyman (son) kept saying that it was down to the mains and nothing to do with the house, which was utter rubbish.

        - the wires under the carpet are really thick and located just by the entrance to her bedroom. The landlord skimped and didn't put underlay down with the new, very cheap carpets and my daughter tripped over them.

        - Bathroom was incomplete on my last viewing and myself and the chap from letting agency both laughed at the grouting job, thinking that they'd clean it up. Bath wasn't installed at that time.

        I'm going to get in touch with EHO as my next move, but unsure if I have the time or inclination to sue the landlord. Will see if she starts behaving in a more responsible manner first.

        Thanks again, very very grateful.

        Paula

        Comment


          #5
          Have you written Agent, copy Landlord, a calm & polite letter listing these issues, inviting them to fix, kept copy & **free** proof-of-postage from local post office?? If not, do so! Telling agent (face2face or by 'phone) is all well and good but they'll probably deny conversation ever happened...,
          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

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