Writing to Landlord - How would you feel?

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    Writing to Landlord - How would you feel?

    Hi All,

    I'm a tentant in a privately rented property (in England) that is managed by an agent. I've been having some issues with the property, one of which is potentially quite dangerous. I was hoping to get some advice on writing to the landlord to let them know how the property is being "managed".

    Here's the quick(ish) version.

    - Electrics tripped out. Turns out it was a leak under the sink dripping into a socket that has been positioned right under the pipes (stupid/dangerous place to put it btw).
    - Report to agent. Plumber comes out 2 weeks later to tell me I need a new tap. Electrics trip a couple times despite my best efforts.
    - A month goes by and (eventually) plumber comes back to fit new tap. Now the seal around the sink is broken and it's leaking worse than before.
    - Electrics trip again 2 minutes after plumber leaves.
    - It's been 6 weeks since I reported the initial leak.

    Don't get me wrong the property is in good condition, it's just the agent doesn't seem to hire particularly good people to do the maintenance (standard on a few other jobs is also questionable). It's also not the first issue I've had with the agents/their workmen messing me around.

    To my mind, water and electrics isn't something you should drag your heels on.

    However, I don't want to come across as a moaning tentant and end up getting the boot at the end of my tenancy. I like it here, but thus far the agent aren't earning their money (IMO). I'm not going to send a rant, just a letter saying that I understand my landlord pays the agent to manage the property, but they're not doing a good job. I'll also outline the timeline/chain of events for her reference.

    How would you feel if you received a letter from one of your tentants complaining about the agent?

    Thanks for any advice/input in advance

    #2
    Originally posted by gmarno View Post

    How would you feel if you received a letter from one of your tentants complaining about the agent?

    Thanks for any advice/input in advance
    I'd definitely want to know if the agent I was paying to manage the property wasn't doing their job properly.

    See also this link on LL failing to carry out statutory repairs, which outlines your options in case writing to the LL doesn't work:
    http://england.shelter.org.uk/get_ad...n_private_lets

    Comment


      #3
      Thanks for the reply/link westminster.

      I've never got the impression that the LL wants to skimp on the property, I think it's just the agent and the people they send round who aren't fulfilling their obligations. I dread reporting a fault, because they never do a particularly good job on repairs.

      I've asked the agent for my LL address, and got the old "Not sure I can give that to you, blah blah etc". I've told them I'm more than happy to put it in writing, so I'll send them a recorded letter if I haven't heard back in a few days. I know they have to provide it by law, so it'll be interesting to see what they say.

      Like I said, it's not like I'm living in some rat infested shack. It's actually a very nice property, but the agent simply aren't doing their jobs. If I were to electrocute myself, I think the LL and agent would be in all kinds of trouble, especially as it's 6 weeks since I reported the initial leak. I'm also going to ask them to move that plug socket, because I can't believe it isn't illegal in some way. It's right under the pipes in a perfect position to get dripped on/into.

      Comment


        #4
        If you WRITE to the agent asking for the landlords address, they HAVE to give it to you withing 21 days - it is a CRIMINAL offence not to.

        Section 1 - 1985 Landlord & Tenant Act.

        Comment


          #5
          As a LL myself, if I was paying for agency management, I would expect them to give me my money's worth. It may not be just down to the LA though, they may employ cr@p maintenance people because they are cheap!

          I would be only too pleased to receive a letter from my tenant in these circumstances to take along and beat my agent around the head with.

          You could include a statement along the lines of

          "The Letting Agent's apparent lack of attention to my requests for repairs is not only detirmental to my whole renting experience, but may also harm your reputation as a Landlord. I am obviously keen to maintain the property to a good standard for my own benefit, but also feel neglect of such repairs could also lead to further deterioration and damage to your property".

          Make it sound not as if you are complaining too much, but more that you are giving the LL a heads-up that his property will suffer as a result!

          Comment


            #6
            Thanks for the replies everyone. I'll write to my agent and request the LL address. It's the only way the LL will know whether the money they are paying the agent is well spent.

            Comment


              #7
              *facepalm*

              Saddens me to hear LA's/L's arent straight onto something like this. If this was reported to me it would be resolved the same day.

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                #8
                Surely what's needed is an electrician (to move the socket) and a plumber/handyman to sort the seal?
                'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

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                  #9
                  What I suggest you do is this:

                  As suggested get the LL address quoting the above re. criminal offence not to provide it.

                  Write to the Landlord not phrasing it as a complaint, but instead say that this problem is a potential fire hazard - you are doing your best to look after his property and not burn it down and is there any way you can work together to prevent damage to his property - perhaps by applying pressure to the agent from both sides? This makes it likely that the Landlord will want to keep you on and at the same time should get the issue addressed.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by LesleyAnne View Post
                    I would be only too pleased to receive a letter from my tenant in these circumstances to take along and beat my agent around the head with.

                    [...]

                    Make it sound not as if you are complaining too much, but more that you are giving the LL a heads-up that his property will suffer as a result!
                    I'd certainly go along with both the above.

                    I wouldn't necessarily get too hung up on the position of the plug socket being wrong (ie under the sink) - it's not illegal and a very common location to have one, for dishwashers/waste grinders/washing machines etc. (Though if I was fitting one, I'd at least ensure it was away from obviousl potential drip sources.) If the plumbing is OK and the sink sealed to the worktop, there's no reason at all for water to get in to that cupboard.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Thanks for the replies everyone. I called the agent the next day and told them I wanted the plumber back that day to fix it. The plumber came back to fix the botched job, though he ended up having to repair some of other joins on the pipes that had miraculously started leaking.

                      The plug socket is really just in the most stupid place you could imagine. Directly under the pipes, right at very bottom of the cupboard so you have to use one of those 3 way adapters because there's no room for moulded plugs. It wasn't illegal when it was installed, but it would be now. I've said that I want it moved so the agency are going to send out their electrician to take a look (at some point).

                      The seal on the sink isn't really the best, and it was leaking at the back the other day after the plumber had been. Saying that, he did turn the mains back on with the taps on which poured water all over the back, so that won't have helped

                      The letting agent asked if I would place my complaint through them to pass onto the landlord, as they felt they had acted in a reasonable time frame. Obviously I told them no, and to be fair they coughed up the landlords contact details pretty quickly after that.

                      So, I'm going to fire off a letter outlining the timeline of events with what contact I had with the letting agency. I'l basically say that unless someone tells them, there's no way to know the letting agency are doing their jobs properly.

                      Will keep you updated if there's anything interesting to report.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by gmarno View Post
                        just in the most stupid place you could imagine. Directly under the pipes, right at very bottom of the cupboard so you have to use one of those 3 way adapters because there's no room for moulded plugs. It wasn't illegal when it was installed, but it would be now. I've said that I want it moved so the agency are going to send out their electrician to take a look (at some point).
                        While almost certainly against building regs, the fact that it trips out is a good thing and proves the RCD is doing its job. However the RCD has little interest in the fact you may have food in the freezer!
                        Liability statement. My liability to you is not to exceed the amount you are paying for my recommendations or advice.

                        I see a bright new future, where chickens can cross the road with no fear of having their motives questioned

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by Wickerman View Post
                          While almost certainly against building regs, the fact that it trips out is a good thing and proves the RCD is doing its job. However the RCD has little interest in the fact you may have food in the freezer!
                          Agreed, VERY glad it's doing it's job. But like you said I don't want to come home from a business trip to a defrosted freezer when I've just spent a small fortune doing a bulk buy of meat (hmmmm steak for tea I think).

                          Plus there's always that really fun bit where you're wiping the plug socket (with all the power off I might add in case anyone was wondering) in the dark, and REALLY hope it's still doing it's job

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Just thought I'd keep this thread up to date for anyone who's interested.

                            Wrote to my landlord and they were VERY surprised when I laid out the information for them. The agent had told them the very bare minimum, and had not even mentioned the electrics tripping. I don't know what the agency thought they were playing at, but if I were a landlord I would want to know about that kind of thing.

                            My landlord was an unimpressed with the letting agency as myself, so I'm glad I took the time to write to them. Sounds like the agency are going to get a bit of a tongue lashing (rightly so IMO).

                            At least I have a direct contact for the landlord now as well should I have any more issues in the future.

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