New house but very bad landlord, help.

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  • New house but very bad landlord, help.

    Hi everyone,

    My new landlord is extremely lazy and isn't taking his responsibilities seriously. There are so many repairs that need doing and for the past 3 weeks when I moved in with my children, he's been evasive, ignoring my calls and texts and fobs me off with pathetic excuses. Some of the repairs that are urgent constitute a life and death situation where there are highly flammable materials used on the ceilings. The back garden door is not fitted with the recommended locks which would jeopardise his landlord insurance in the event of a burglary. He promised me a new bathroom in January as the present one is old, crusty, not working properly, dated and falling apart. Now he denies saying this. I'm livid cos I feel that I'm failing my kids. The electrics have not been tested either and I have no certificate to show this. He claims his electrician has been so busy for the past 3 weeks and hasn't been able to fix my lights. Two radiators are not working either and tonight when he came round after I called a meeting, he brushed me off again. I said I would sue for negligence because my toddler fell down the stairs. He said, fine, I will serve you a notice to quit. I don't want to leave as its a good house and its very upsetting that I've been conned into a house like this. What can I do?

  • #2
    how can it both be a good house and a health and safety threat?

    Anyway, can you say what the issues are? If there are indeed significant H&S issues, you can speak to your local council. Obviously, if you are outside of your fixed term, the landlord can start possession proceedings if he wants you out.

    Why would you sue the landlord because your toddler fell down the stairs? Is there something wrong with the stairs? And when you say highly flammable materials on the ceilings?? As far as i know, the LL has no obligation to test the electrics. If you want, you can do so yourself. Not sure you can do much about the bathroom either. Unless it was a condition for the tenancy. He has no obligation to have a new bathroom, if you dont like it, you can leave.

    And what is wrong with the radiators?
    All views posted reflect my personal opinion only and do not constitute professional advice which I am not qualified or knowledgeable enough to provide.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Yasmeen View Post
      its a good house
      It doesn't sound like that good a house from the rest of your post! I don't think the LL will change, but it sounds like he is happy for you to leave. Negotiate with the LL to release you without obligation from the reast of the lease, and find another 'good' house,

      Comment


      • #4
        Ok, two of the radiators leak and give off no heat. I have asked him several times to get his plumber to take a look. Nothing. My child fell down the stairs cos the electrics which he said he'd fix were not fixed. She went down the stairs in the dark, coming back from my room in the middle of the night. The new bathroom was a verbal agreement, and he reiterated it while I wrote it down. The flammable ceilings in the toilet are dangerous, I have been told and the downstairs toilet has wires sticking out of the walls. My son has no curtain pole in his room, again something which the landlords agreed to do but still hasn't. The house is good in the sense that it has large rooms and good storage but everything seems to be a struggle. The taps won't stop dripping as they are very, very old and he will not replace them.

        Comment


        • #5
          I think you need to concentrate on the important things, telling LL that the back door locks will cause problems with his insurance will not help you.

          What is wrong with the lights? Have you checked for a blown fuse or tripped circuit breaker?

          What do you mean by "I have been told and the downstairs toilet has wires sticking out of the walls"?

          What do you mean when you say "highly flammable materials used on the ceilings"?

          Comment


          • #6
            Have you put any of these "reported" problems in writing?

            There is no obligation for LL to get electrics checked and certificated, but if there are faults, he should address them. However, whether you could pass the blame for your child falling down the stairs in unlikely. Have you checked the fuseboard to see if it is just a breaker switch gone - on modern RCD boards, they often blow a switch when a bulb fails and you have to reset it once the bulb is replaced. If you call out the LLs electrician for something like this, he will charge you as it is something you should be able to sort out yourself.

            Dripping taps are probably worn washers, and this is usually down to tenant to repair.

            The locks issue is irrelevant - telling LL things like this will likely wind them up more.

            As you have only recently moved in, you should have insisted on these repairs being done before you accepted the property, or atleast got the LL's confirmation in writing that he would address them.

            There is no obligation for the LL to upgrade the bathroom unless there are actual H&S issues there.

            Write a polite letter to the LL, reminding him of your report that the electrics were causing concern, plus the radiators leaking, and ask him to address these issues within the next 10 working days, otherwise you will take further advice on is lack of attention to repairs. Your next step would be to get the Council EHO involved, but you need to prove you have reported the faults in writing and given the LL adequate time to sort them.

            Beware though, that this type of LL is unlikley to change their ways, and will probably look to end your tenancy as soon as you fixed term expires.

            Comment


            • #7
              Flamable materials (I'm assuming you mean polystyrene tiles) are only dnagerous in a fire. There is no requirement for them to be removed from a property.

              There is no requirement to have the electrics certified and tested. They do need to be safe. Being safe and meeting current standards are not the same thing.

              New bathroom - should have had it written in to the contract.

              The locks. The LL has no obligation to indemnify you against being burgled. If there is a break-in you would have to claim of your insurance for any items of yours taken. If you do not have 'renters' insurance covering your possessions then you're not covered. Decent locks are relatively cheap and improving the security of a timber door is easy. Take then with you when you go.

              You need to formally and concisely list out all the problems to date - devoid of emotional toppings - and issue this to you LL. Copy it to your local Environmental Health office.

              Alternatively, negociate an early surrender and leave.
              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


              • #8
                Poor Landlord... Stop making demands, if he doesnt do what he says, sue him for the things that you can sue him for.
                [I]The opinions I give are simply my opinions and interpretations of what I have learnt, in numerous years as a property professional, I would not rely upon them without consulting with a paid advisor and providing them with all the relevant facts[I]

                Comment


                • #9
                  is it not a parent's responsibility to fit a stair gate to prevent their children climbing or falling down the stairs?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Dottie View Post
                    is it not a parent's responsibility to fit a stair gate to prevent their children climbing or falling down the stairs?
                    I think its the Landlords fault for not converting the house into a bungalow personally.
                    [I]The opinions I give are simply my opinions and interpretations of what I have learnt, in numerous years as a property professional, I would not rely upon them without consulting with a paid advisor and providing them with all the relevant facts[I]

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Definitely the parent's responsibility to fit a stairgate if there is any risk of their child wandering around at night. Even with a working light, children can still stumble and fall when sleepy.

                      OP, without seeing the house it is hard for us to judge how serious your concerns are but to be honest, you seem to be expecting too much from your landlord.

                      And I'm still intrigued by the nature of the 'flammable substances' on the bathroom ceiling...
                      '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

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by bandontherun
                        If its a new house it cant very well be polystyrene tiles... maybe australian flooring?
                        I don't think she means 'new' as in 'newly built', just new to her.
                        '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

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Quite a useful thread...inhabiting as it does that grey area between What the Landlord Must Do, What the LL Should Do, and What the Tenant Should Realise.

                          It is always a balance. The T in a friend's property (which I help manage) is testing our patience at the moment by incessant demands, some of which I think are reasonable, others less so. Context of the letting: it's a middle of the road property, unfurnished, clean but basic - but she got it at 25% below market rent for a quick let and declared it to be 'perfect' when viewing. She is now asking for a new shower cubicle, new blinds (existing ones are serviceable if tired-looking), a new cooker(old one is OK), a vacuum cleaner, all wall cupboards and shelves to be fixed more robustly to the wall (nothing wrong with them!), she's called the boiler engineer out three times for an alleged leak which he cannot find, she expected free help to dismantle her large items of furniture, take them upstairs (cottage with narrow stairs) and reassmemble it all, claims taps are dripping when they are not, says she wants underlay under the carpets (for some reason there isn't any) - the list goes on.

                          The result is that the LL is so fed up with here that she'll be serving a s21 at the earliest possible point...and I don't blame her.
                          '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

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by mind the gap View Post
                            Quite a useful thread...inhabiting as it does that grey area between What the Landlord Must Do, What the LL Should Do, and What the Tenant Should Realise.

                            It is always a balance. The T in a friend's property (which I help manage) is testing our patience at the moment by incessant demands, some of which I think are reasonable, others less so. Context of the letting: it's a middle of the road property, unfurnished, clean but basic - but she got it at 25% below market rent for a quick let and declared it to be 'perfect' when viewing. She is now asking for a new shower cubicle, new blinds (existing ones are serviceable if tired-looking), a new cooker(old one is OK), a vacuum cleaner, all wall cupboards and shelves to be fixed more robustly to the wall (nothing wrong with them!), she's called the boiler engineer out three times for an alleged leak which he cannot find, she expected free help to dismantle her large items of furniture, take them upstairs (cottage with narrow stairs) and reassmemble it all, claims taps are dripping when they are not, says she wants underlay under the carpets (for some reason there isn't any) - the list goes on.

                            The result is that the LL is so fed up with here that she'll be serving a s21 at the earliest possible point...and I don't blame her.
                            I have a new tenant just like that! 11 call outs and only 3 of them were reasonable/appropriate. My handy man went to the property to shave a bit off a door which was a bit hard to close and she had him cutting down some of her own wardrobes!

                            I went and had a chat with them and said this is not acceptable - I explained which was acceptable and which was not (it's a lovely property too!) and told them that I was very unlikely to renew their contract. They have apologised and the silly nonsense calls have now stopped.

                            I even had a phone call to say a light bulb had gone and a plug in the bath was leaking/worn.

                            Enough - I like my properties to be good to live in, but I'm not a 5 star maintenance company!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Claymore View Post

                              I even had a phone call to say a light bulb had gone and a plug in the bath was leaking/worn.
                              Ha! The low point for me with our student house was being rung at midnight by one of the girls to be told that one of her housemates was bitching about her outside her bedroom door...oh, and being expected to replace a light bulb for them in a cloakroom because they 'couldn't see to replace it as the bulb had gone'.
                              '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

                              Comment

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