is it too late to do something about this???

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    is it too late to do something about this???

    I rented a property in 2002, from a private landlord, i know it was a long time ago but id like to see if anyone can put my mind at rest over a query.

    the house we had was always cold and damp, the electricity we used to try and heat the house cost us a fortune, which we told out LL about.
    there was a main drain that was covered because the LL had built a ramp over it, so when a plumber came to look things over he couldnt get access,.
    the drains constantly blocked and we had to try and fix it ourselves as the LL woudnt do anything.
    the damp was so bad in 1 bedroom, the wall was green and the room stank, we moved everything out and didnt use it again, the bathroom next to it had a cracked tray in the shower, we asked many times for this to be fixed as obviously the water was escaping everywhere which made things worse.

    when we left our LL kept our deposit , saying it was because of the dampness we had created, saying that she had to pay someone to have it all fixed, we asked for recipts but never got any.
    Was she right to keep our deposit when there was a dampness problem when we moved in and it got worse, we phoned and wrote letters to her so many times asking for it to be fixed.
    Even if she was wrong in keeping it, is it now to late to do anything?

    Thankyou for any advice

    Within the limitations of what you've described, IMHO opinion she had no right whatsover to retain your deposit.

    You don't say whether you still have copies of your written complaints.

    Regardless, I think she relaised your naivety at the time and played it to her pecuniary advantage.

    I am not sure if there is a time limitation for bringing action in the small claims court and you would in any event, I believe, need evidence of the problem, your written complaints and written evidence that you have tried to resolve the matter continuously between leaving the property and initiating the court action now.

    Without this, and possibly more, I believe you would have little chance of a successful action even it it were allowed. The first question that would be asked of you is "why have you left it this long before seeking redress?"

    Other more knowledgable members may know something I don't with regard to the small claims track, so I could stand to be corrected.

    Today, of course, there is a piece of legislation called the Housing Health & Safety Rating System that clearly places the onus of responsibility for dealing with such disrepair issues very firmly at the door of the Landlord, be he (she) a private or social landlord. It became effective in April 2006.

    If you were in a similar situation now, you could have asked the local Environmental Health Department to inspect the property and if they felt there was sufficient risk to your health & safety, they could force the Landlord to carry out the repairs even by intiating the repairs themselves and subsequently charging the Landlord for them. But it is only for use for a property you are currently living in.

    Neither is it any good if the Landlord has already started dealing with the disrepair.

    To give you, and others, an idea of the scope of this legislation here is a link to some guidance notes on the subject
    Any information or opinion given in this post is based only on my personal experience, what I have learned from this, other boards and elsewhere. It is not to be relied on. Definitive advice is only available from a Solicitor or other appropriately qualified person. E&OE


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