Unprofessional landlord

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    Unprofessional landlord


    I'm looking for some advice, I'll try and keep this as short as possible, feel free to ask any questions.

    My wife and I along with out 2 daughters have recently rented a property on a 6 month AST. The landlord lives in Dubai and we have only dealt with his sister so far who was the previous tenant. We have no contact details for the landlord.

    So far the problems have been as follows:-

    Numerous issues with the plumbing meaning no hot water or toilet facilities. When informed the sister has asked me to fix them everytime as I am a plumbing and electrical contractor. Despite being short on time I have done what I can as I live here, but some of the work will need thorough investigation and possibly major remedial work. I was told we would come to an agreement on remuneration but any attempt I've made to discuss this has received no response. As such I'm reluctant to continue with this 'arrangement'. Irregardless, some of the work needed is gas work which I'm not qualified to do.

    Problems with lighting constantly tripping, again I have been asked to fix.

    There was a washer here when we moved in, it broke after 2 weeks. The replacement was delivered at 10.30pm one night and the old one has sat in our kithen for the last month. So far, despite asking numerous times we have just been told that she is 'going to see to it'.

    There is a garage with the property, which my wife was using to park. One day a car just turned up in it. It took us 4 days to get a response, when we did it was a text stating that it was her boyfriends car, he doesn't use it, its just an old banger that he stores his tools in. No response when we asked when it was going to be moved, its been here for 3 weeks.

    One day I was in through the day unexpectedly when she let herself in, checked for mail then left. She wasn't aware that I was watching her as I don't think she knew I was there. She then went to her car, let her dog in our garden to relieve himself and then left.

    Finally, I have checked with the deposit schemes and as far as I can tell it hasn't been protected. We have received no prescribed info.

    My questions are:-

    What is the best way of getting rid of the old washer and car? Am I within my rights to take the washer away myself?

    Can I involve the police if she lets herself in again?

    Am I within my rights to withold rent for the work I have carried out? (I won't be doing anymore work for her, when viewing the property we were told they were on a Homeserve contract and if we had any problems just to call them out. We've tried and Homeserve have never heard of them)

    What is the best way of getting the required work done? Would the council be interested?

    What would be the best course of action regarding the deposit? Right now I would settle for simply getting it protected, though if the tenancy carries on this way I would be prepared to fight for compensation. However, I don't know if this is realistic and I'm not a particularly spiteful person, I would just like to relax in my own home!

    Thanks in advance, I appreciate any advice and welcome any questions.

    Write to your LL. She is responsible for your sanitation, elec and is required to carry out a yearly gas inspection. If she refuses contact the council.

    If I were you I'd also inform her that you have changed the locks and will return her locks at the end of your tenancy.

    Check on your tenancy agreement about the garage and if you have sole use of it, again change the locks and inform your LL as above. Request that she remove the car.

    The washer - ask LL if you can dispose of it, get it in writing. Leave it in the front garden and the rag and bone will collect it as they did my old fridge!

    Deposit - request details of where it is kept. Your LL HAS to put it in a protected scheme or you can claim compensation. Tell her this.

    Give her a set time, say 2 weeks to get all this sorted, and inform her that you will have no choice other than to seek legal advice, and that you will be forced to ask for the council to enforce her to make your house habitable with regards to sanitation, gas and elec.

    Keep you letter to the point and unemotional.

    Hope it works out for you.


      As Berlingirl says, good advice.

      You might also enquire of LL is you could see evidence that he has written agreement from HMRC over tax - if not you might perhaps be better advised to hold onto 20%-odd of the rent for the taxman. See..

      It's not this one is it??

      If you have NO contact details for LL in England & Wales (but it's OK is it is, say, c/o sister or to a mail-box..) then the rent is not due, you do not have to pay it. There must be some address for whoever is named as LL in the tenancy agreement surely??

      However, don't get excited, if & when LL gives you an address (any address..in E&W) for "serving notices" ALL outstanding rent becomes due..

      Unprofessional landlord eh?? Sadly Landlords, agents need no training, no qualifications, no regulation, no criminal records check to set up in business... and even sadder sometimes it shows...

      Best wishes
      I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...


        If the house is fine apart from these niggles, I would:

        1. Send the sister an invoice for the work done with a letter saying that it will be deducted from the next rent payment.
        2. Give a quote for the tripping light, and ask her to get the work done, or you will be deducting it from the next rental payment after the work is completed.
        3. Ask what they wish to happen with the washer. If you have no response and/or it is still there in 7 days, you will first find out if the council will remove it for free. If not, you will deduct a reasonable amount for its disposal.
        4. Tell her to get the car removed. If it isn't removed within 14 days, you will have it towed onto the street, and you will deduct whatever you are charged from...

        What does it say on your tenancy agreement (if anything) in regards to changing the locks?
        I would not get the council involved at this time.
        I would not mention the deposit concerns either.

        All the above is if you wish to stay in the property.
        Allow tenants to protect their own deposits. I want free money when they do it wrong


          Originally posted by bandontherun
          this case is right up their Ali.
          An infelicitous choice of phrase, given the whereabouts of the LL...
          '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


            Thanks for allk the replies guys.

            As Berlingirl says, good advice.

            You might also enquire of LL is you could see evidence that he has written agreement from HMRC over tax - if not you might perhaps be better advised to hold onto 20%-odd of the rent for the taxman. See..

            It's not this one is it??
            Im unfamiliar with this scheme. Does this mean we as tenants could become responsible for his tax? Would the HMRC chase us or him for the money? I'm at work at the moment so I'm really only giving thngs a cursory glance, my apologies if I've misunderstood.

            It could be the same landlord, I've been told they have a few properties and we aren't far from Bradford.

            I'll go over the tenancy agreement tonight when I get back and reply to other points made.



              Landlords who no longer live in the UK, but rent out property here are still liable for tax on the rental income they receive from property here. As they cannot be chased direct by HMRC when they live abroad, they have to appoint someone in England or Wales to pay that tax for them. If they have failed to register someone on their behalf - agent, relative, close friend, to handle tax for them, the HMRC can infact chase the tenant to deduct the tax at source, so yes, in theory they could come after you!


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