Bed problem - can I get my own bed and put one in?

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    Bed problem - can I get my own bed and put one in?

    Hi,

    I'm hoping some landlords can give me some good advice - this might be a bit long but please bear with me as I think you need context to be able to help.

    I am about to move into a shared house on Saturday.I was originally going into a bedroom on the first floor of the house, but then the ground floor one became available so I have swapped rooms - but haven't seen my new room yet apart from the pictures online advertising it (would have gone to look first, but family was very ill so I couldn't physically make it, but went for it because being on the ground floor is better for me because stairs make my legs hurt due to chronic illness. I had to go for this house as needed somewhere near to my uni due to my poor health and there was nothing else available at the time near enough).

    For the first bedroom which I viewed before signing the contract for it, it turned out when I saw the room for a second time after having signed the contract that the bed was really mank - it was sagging in the middle and the room was also absolutely filthy (unlike before). The tenant of the room I was meant to be moving into looked like he was high at the time and was behaving very oddly, so given that combined with the very poor hygiene in this room I was worried about bedbugs on the mattress too. The landlord does apparently get a professional cleaner in at the end of each tenancy which is paid for by the tenant - but I doubt a professional cleaner would be eradicating bedbugs off mattresses.

    So, I wanted to change the bed. The landlord didn't want to pay for a new bed, so I offered to put a spare bed of my brother's in if he could move the old one and store it somewhere to save him the cost of replacing it - even though this old bed was well and truly wrecked as beds go. He didn't want to do that, because he didn't want to have to pay for somewhere to store the bed. The estate agent also said he didn't want me to even swap the bed at all, which I felt was inappropriate. I managed to say to the estate agents I would be able to store the old bed in a friend's house in a spare room just down the road to prevent it being damaged, and reluctantly, they said there shouldn't be a problem with doing that provided the old bed was not damaged in any way. But I'm wondering if the landlord should if I want to have my own bed in because his bed is unsuitable, store his own bed somewhere else rather than me relying on a friend.

    Also, now I'm going into this ground floor room instead, I don't know what condition the bed is in and I won't be able to find out until I move in on Saturday morning. The problem is, due to my friend having had an accident, they'll be delayed moving into their house with the spare room to store my landlord's bed if it is unsuitable until late September at the earliest - so if there's a problem with the bed I can't move it and I can't just sleep on a bad bed because it makes my chronic illness much worse.

    The only thing I can think of is if this other bed in the ground floor bedroom I'm now going into is also well and truly past it i.e.either damaged/bedbugs/hole in mattress/sagging in the middle or anything else faulty and the landlord refuses to move it or get rid of it, I'd have to prop it on a wall on its side until my friend moves in and get my brother's old bed in. However, putting the landlord's bed on it's side for a few weeks might damage the bed and being a double bed it will make it a nightmare for me to move in - also if it does have bedbugs, that would mean they could spread onto all my other stuff in my room. The bed might be ok (hopefully), but given how bad the other bed was, I feel I should have a plan of action in place just in case.

    Has anyone got any suggestions? I realise it's not the landlord's problem I am ill, but I'm just wondering should the landlord be storing the old bed himself if I decide to put my brother's one in because his is so bad? Also if the opinion between me and the landlord differs as to if the bed is unsuitable or not, is there an independent person (outside of court)with authority that the landlord has to listen to i.e.some kind of bed inspector or the council to decide if the bed is fit for purpose or not?

    I don't want to be an awkward tenant at all, but I really need to make this move work for me and I don't want to get walked all over either. I hope to be able to stay for a few years if everything goes ok with the other tenants as I like the house and its location is ideal for me. Any help would be much appreciated.

    #2
    If the bed is manky, having it on its side for a few weeks isn't going to make it significantly worse.

    The only person who may vaguely match your descripton of a 'bed inspector' would be the HMO officer or Environmenal Health Officer at the local council. I would call the HMO officer (Housing Dept) and pretty much say what you have said here. Hopefully they will be able to advise - they may even be able to check it before you move in - but that's unlikely.

    Is the building 3 floors or more? Are there 5 let rooms or more? If so, the HMO department should have the property on their lists as a licensed HMO. Did you notice a license pinned up on a wall in the place? It should have been if it meets those criteria.

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      #3
      Rather than mess about with storing a manky old bed, why not just ask landlord if he minds you replacing the manky one?

      Then you and the landlord get a new bed, and you leave it when you move on.

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        #4
        Hi Snorkez,

        Thanks for your advice - I think I'll definately follow it up and make a couple of phone calls today. I have been in contact with environmental health before (was renting a flat from a private company and the heaters were too small for the size of the rooms, so students were living in temperatures up to -7 in the winter, and there were silverfish even though this block of flats were only built 7 years ago) so they probably won't mind hearing from me again lol. I was right on a boundary line so at least now I know who is meant to be dealing with me rather than getting bounced between councils like I was before!

        It's good to know that propping the bed on its side for a few weeks won't make it much worse if it turns out to already be mank.

        As for the information about the house - 6 bedrooms are rented out in total but with individual contracts and the building has 3 floors, however I never saw an HMO licence when I viewed the house (although I could have missed it because when I was viewing the property I wasn't looking for one).

        However, I did a bit of research because I was wondering about locks on the bedroom doors (4 of the other people in this house are post-grad students I have never known before and there are no locks on the bedroom doors, so was wondering if there should be locks on the doors or not given the house is being shared by people who are pretty much strangers and was worried about my stuff getting stolen by house mates or their friends). I had asked the landlord if a lock could be put on my door, but he said he couldn't because it would affect his insurance (do you think this is genuine?). My research lead me to believe that locks were a very grey area, partly because it depended on the definition of the house (it said HMO definitions were complicated and varied depending on the local area) and partly because of fire rules with health and safety and needing to evacuate in an emergency - although my step-dad seems to think that a fire escape route in a rented property should not go through someone's bedroom. Given my room is on the ground floor, it would be much easier to exit via the front or back door than to try and climb through my window anyway...so I'm just hoping with the other tenants being post-grads they'll be less likely to steal my stuff. However, I am getting a bit puzzled - it seems like renting rules and definitions on HMOs are really complicated.

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          #5
          Hi Jamesknight,

          Well I don't want to spend money replacing a bed - I'm a student and need to save money wherever possible. Plus I don't feel it's right me paying for a new bed and leaving it there - forgive me if I'm wrong but I thought that ultimately it's the landlord's responsibility to make sure that the furnishings in the rooms that he provides under his contract are suitable and if they go from normal wear and tear it's his responsibility to pay for replacing them, rather than the tenant forking out.

          If I could buy my own bed and took it in with me, I'd definately take it with me afterwards when I left, but that's not an option for me given my (and my family's) financial circumstances.

          Comment


            #6
            It sounds like it should have a HMO license. So make your first call the HMO officer as you don't want to be moving into a place that doesn't conform with health and safety standards - you're worth more than that.

            If you will have an individual tenancy then security is an important thing. The Housing Health & Safety Rating System certainly puts a high emphasis on security - it is managed by the EHO -but if licensed, the locks to the doors should be of a specification that allows YOU to get out without a key. Your room would not be a fire exit route, the landlord would have to make other arrangements for that.

            TBH I would be thinking again. Places like this were common 30 years ago, but from what you have said about the place and the landlord I would be running a mile.

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              #7
              oh heck - I hope to God I haven't gone from one rogue landlord to another!!!

              The thing is (adding to the alarm bells), I haven't even had direct dealings with the landlord - the estate agent has (I'm assuming they're being truthful) been contacting the landlord on my behalf rather than me being able to speak to him or email him direct, which I feel is rather strange. Literally all I know about my landlord is he's a guy called Dan - and that's what the estate agent happened to say! The contract just names the landlord an Investments limited company with underneath saying (by the Landlord's Agent)...and there are bits of the contract that even the estate agents have said they know are unenforceable because they've had parents of students who are solicitors saying clauses in their contracts would not stand in a court of law. But when you walk into the estate agents it's been long-established, and it looks professional (although the staff are not but if I'm honest I've seen particularly a lot of unprofessionalism after having lived 'up north' as they say for a few years so I was kind of expecting that). A friend of mine has gone through this estate agent renting and had no problems, so I hoped I'd be ok...

              Why didn't I get on here before I signed the contract?! I only just dicovered this place's existence yesterday, I wish I'd found it sooner. It's funny how you say places like this were common 30 years ago - the place is in Nottingham and compared to certain parts of the country I have lived in before now it is very backwards (although to be fair not as bad as Chesterfield, there it's like being in the time-warp and the motorway goes round, not through it!)

              Yep definately will be contacting the HMO officer after the shower and talking about the status of the house, bed and locks. Thanks so much for your help, being a tenant is a nightmare - I feel like I'm going from one rogue landlord to another and it's just such a minefield!

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by Sarahmcdj View Post
                Well I don't want to spend money replacing a bed - I'm a student and need to save money wherever possible. Plus I don't feel it's right me paying for a new bed and leaving it there - forgive me if I'm wrong but I thought that ultimately it's the landlord's responsibility to make sure that the furnishings in the rooms that he provides under his contract are suitable and if they go from normal wear and tear it's his responsibility to pay for replacing them, rather than the tenant forking out.
                The LL's obligations only extend to ensuring that furnishings comply with fire safety standards and are pest-free at the start of the tenancy. LL has no obligation to provide a new bed just because it's worn out. If you don't like the bed and the LL will not replace it you have two options: 1) don't rent the room, 2) provide your own bed and pay for the existing one to be stored for the duration of your tenancy.

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                  #9
                  It is not unusual to not deal with the landlord - he pays the agent so he doesn't have to deal with the 'front end' of the business. You might want to check that the company on the contract is legit - Put their details in here and let us know what it comes up with (obviously skipping company name/address) http://wck2.companieshouse.gov.uk/17...essCompanyInfo

                  This place sounds like my first ever bedsit as a renter - and yes, that was 30 years ago

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Thanks Westminster, that's interesting to know - you learn something new everyday.

                    Snorkez - that's also interesting to know you don't have to deal with the landlord direct. I've tried typing in the company name and it hasn't come up - the closest match in yellow that is dissolved looks like another company name, so I don't think it's my one :s I want to try and enter a company number in the seardch instead to see what comes up but it doesn't seem to be on the contract - am puzzled

                    about your first bedsit - although that being 30 years ago is not a bad thing - with age comes wisdom!

                    Oh yes btw snorkerz I'm sorry I've just realised I've been spelling your username incorrectly! Been a bit slower than usual over the past couple of days lol

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                      #11
                      FWIW, if the limited company doesn't exist, then your contract can't exist. Maybe check with the agent that the company name is correct - because if it is not on webcheck, it is a figment of somebodys imagination! Getting dodgier (sp?) by the minute.

                      The company number doesn't have to be displayed on the contract. Maybe the agency could call the landlord to verify that. Claiming to be 'Ltd' when you are not is a serious offence.

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                        #12
                        Yeah this is odd - I don't know if I entered the details in incorrectly so not to panicking yet, but now when I click on the link it says I've timed out and I can't work out how to get back to where I was before =S confused!

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                          #13
                          Ok I've managed to get back on =) the organisation listed as the landlord in my contract does exist (I made a silly mistake) and has a number, so that's a plus! Also there is nothing in the action/event column so at least they seem to have a clean record. Now to ring the council to ask about HMOs and locks - thanks so much for your help through this, I've learned a lot from you and it's been a great help.

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