Landlord hid damp and structural problems

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    #16
    Incidentally, have you advised your landlord of these issues? Your post doesn't say.

    If not I would suggest doing so before involving anyone else.

    He may be more helpful than you think?

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      #17
      Originally posted by jghomer View Post
      Incidentally, have you advised your landlord of these issues? Your post doesn't say.

      If not I would suggest doing so before involving anyone else.

      He may be more helpful than you think?
      We called them as soon as we found the problems. As soon as we mentioned the damp they hung up and every time we call now we get told the landlord is "unavailable"

      I'm writing a letter to him and I'm going to post it along with the keys before the end of the week

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        #18
        Sounds like a rogue then really.

        Although do consider your plan carefully.

        You may end up with a rental bill for a house you don't live in until your tenancy ends!

        Especially if these problems are more easily addressed than you think, although seeing daylight though a crack doesn't sound great!! That said, other structural cracks in old buildings are very common and mostly not a danger to anyone.

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          #19
          The damp stems from the floor upwards, there is no (Or very little) damp near the ceilings.
          But doesn't affect the wall below? It could be condensation or residual damp that hasn't been cleaned up properly.

          That aside, the LL sounds like a 'wrongen'. Unfortunately, you're in the wrong for witholding rent and the court will [rightly] take a very dim view of such behaviour.

          EH will be a good starting point. They should be able to advise on how to progress with regards to maintenance items too although you may need to address these issues separately / alongside any actions by EH.

          If the flat is bad enough then the EH can issue a closing order which would give you leverage on getting out of the tenancy.

          However, all this could take longer than the term of the tenancy.
          There is always scope for misinterpretation.

          If my posts can be interpreted in two ways, one that makes you feel angry and one that doesn't, I meant the latter.

          Everyday is an opportunity to learn something new.

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            #20
            Don't at this stage post keys back! You will prevent your own experts (who you will need if this goes to Court) from gaining access to the property.

            Call the Environmental Health and ask for a full HHSRS inspection. Closing Orders no longer exist but if the property is as bad as you say the EHO has the power to issue an Emergency Prohibition Order thus making the property uninhabital and your LL will have to provide you with suitable alternate accomodation; or the Council will have to rehouse you.

            As you have a young baby get your Health Visitor to inspect the property as they can also act as an expert witness should this end up in the Court arena.

            Also contact your local TRO and see what advice / help they can offer; they may well have dealt with your LL in the past.

            Good luck whatever happens

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              #21
              I recognise this form an old Victorian terrace we lived in for a while and later rented. The kitchen extension had damp on one outside wall right up to the ceiling. It smelt damp and cleaning and painting it made no difference. We had a number of companies out and they were all puzzled but all said it could not be rising damp as that only ever goes about 3 ft high (can't be anything to do with a damp course in your case because it is upstairs). Eventually we took the plunge and removed all the plaster and the problem was simply that the plasterboard had been stuck directly on to the brickwork with no gap between. All that was needed was wooden batons between the wall and the plaster and we painted the outside wall with a good exterior paint. We have never had a problem since and the smell has vanished.It wasn't that expensive to do as it was a handyman kind of a job. Recently the tenants in the same property - which is very old after all - called the agents to say a crack had appeared around one of the windows and they could see daylight through it. It sounded awful but in fact cost just over 100 quid to put right. These old places are prone to this kind of thing but it isn't difficult or that expensive to put right.

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                #22
                Originally posted by kittikat View Post
                Closing Orders no longer exist
                Could you clarify?

                One was mentioned here last week:

                http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums...688#post290688

                ML
                Refer Mad Regulators to Arkell vs Pressdram.

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                  #23
                  ML Closing Orders have been taken over by Probition Orders under new / current legislation. This now gives the LL the opportunity to defer any action if they state that T is not responsive etc ... but a long awaited case will be heard in Lowestoft, Suffolk soon that may shred some light on this. EHO's really do need lots of training is theynare going to take this on and have to act as Expert Witnesses .....

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                    #24
                    Ok so here's an update.

                    The landlord (Or his secretary at least) called me yesterday asking why I had not paid the rent. This gave me a chance to mention all of the problems we found.

                    I mentioned the "damp" and cracks in the wall and ceiling and as soon as I mentioned that I would be prepared to go to court to resolve this she said "Oh, well you'll have to sign a surrender agreement (Or something like along those lines)". The fact that she didn't even attempt to talk me out of it said to me that this isn't the first time they've had complaints like this.

                    She then asked me to hold while she went to get someone else (The landlord I assume) and she never came back on the phone.

                    So I've not idea where to go from here, any advice would be great.

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                      #25
                      Sounds like they've had issue before. If this is a genuine offer to surrender the tenancy then it sounds like a good option to get out of the place. Depends on the terms they propose though.
                      There is always scope for misinterpretation.

                      If my posts can be interpreted in two ways, one that makes you feel angry and one that doesn't, I meant the latter.

                      Everyday is an opportunity to learn something new.

                      Comment


                        #26
                        Originally posted by mk1fan View Post
                        Sounds like they've had issue before. If this is a genuine offer to surrender the tenancy then it sounds like a good option to get out of the place. Depends on the terms they propose though.
                        She said I would either have to pay half of the outstanding rent, which is about £900 (It was a cheap place) or pay the weekly rental until they can find a new tenant.

                        Comment


                          #27
                          Originally posted by Nineteen85 View Post
                          She said I would either have to pay half of the outstanding rent, which is about £900 (It was a cheap place) or pay the weekly rental until they can find a new tenant.
                          On the face of it, the LL offering to let you out of the tenancy and pay half of what you owe to date doesn't sound too bad to me? Even given the problems you have had.

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