A string of problems with landlord

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    A string of problems with landlord

    Hello, I'd really appreciate some advice. I moved into a very old property about 5 mths ago. Quite shabby but no problem I like that kind of house! My landlords are a very elderly couple who own numerous property's in our village and are somewhat known for being um difficult to extract money from!

    Since moving in I have had some issues with the house which haven't been resolved and the agents are AWFUL, don't pass messages on, if I ask them who is responsible for something they never know and say they will call back but don't. Here are the problems

    Heating is via a Rayburn and fireplaces. On moving in I was told the Rayburn needed welding on the flue which would be done. It hasn't. I purchased a carbon monoxide alarm which goes off every time the Rayburn is lit. I paid for the chimneys to be swept, the sweep said they hadn't been done for years (I was told they had just been done) he blocked the leak with tin foil so now the carbon monoxide alarm only goes off periodically!

    No fire alarms anywhere in the property.

    Rotting door frame. A small pane of glass fell out when I shut the front door, I got a glazier out myself after no reply from LL/agent. He wouldn't fit glass as the frame is so rotten.

    Carpets not glued or fixed down. In the bathroom there is a very musty smell I picked the carpet up and it's slimy and mouldy underneath (just carpet on concrete).

    I pay my water rate to my LL as my house sits on his farm. He charges £50 a month, way above normal rates and he wants to put it up to £60 a month.

    The bedroom floor has considerable sag. I was told it was checked by a structural engineer who said it was safe. I have since been told by a neighbour that isn't true. It's got worst since I put my bed in the room. If I put anything on the floor it rolls to the centre! The floorboards are also moving apart, there are gaps between them that weren't there before! The room underneath is supported by timber beams which are chewed up by woodworm in places, LL says it has been treated??

    Sorry for the long post, I would like to stay here, always pay my rent in time but these niggly problems are sending me running!

    Any advice would be great (and sorry for typos I'm on my phone!)

    #2
    I would move out, as soon as you can as simple as that, Chech how many months are left on your AST and get prepared to move.

    Comment


      #3
      Check not chech

      Comment


        #4
        Forgot to add the carbon monoxide alarm going off is worrying that is a serious issue.

        Comment


          #5
          Sounds terrible, you have my sympathy.

          I agree with move out if possible as doesn't sound like these idiots are going to fix stuff soon.

          However, if you wished to get things fixed - either for you or the next poor soul - then three courses of action...

          a) Write (yes, WRITE - keep copy) to landlord, copy agent, listing politely & calmly the problems & inviting LL to reply - within say 10 days - telling you when he plans to have them fixed, please.
          b) Follow Shelter's sensible advice here...
          http://england.shelter.org.uk/get_ad...n_private_lets

          b) Contact local council "environmental health" department (or similar name...) and mention CO alarm going off, request HHSRS inspection..
          http://www.bracknell-forest.gov.uk/h...ingsystemhhsrs
          Do not expect LL or agent to necessarily give you a glowing reference after all this: Wrong, unfair I know but it happens.

          Is your tenancy an AST - Assured Shorthold Tenancy??
          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...

          Comment


            #6
            Thanks!

            7 mths left on my contract. I really can't lose any of my deposit as it was lent to me by a family member. I forgot to add that all the electrics upstairs blew last week. No lights at all. The electrician took one look and refused to touch them. The LL got a 'friend' to come and fix it. Since then 3 lights have blown and are unusable.

            It's quite complicated because my house is on his farm. So the LL is around everyday, I don't really want to get on bad terms with him. The electrician told me that they did some work on the farm electrics and the junction box? had been buried under concrete just wrapped in a plastic bag! I just want to go to sleep without the Co alarm going off or worrying that every time I turn over my beds not going to fall through the ceiling!

            Comment


              #7
              Is your tenancy AST or some sort of agricultural tenancy??

              Next time "friend" or whoever turns up to do leccy work ask to see his certification for doing such work.

              I'd not (small private landlord) use an unqualified sparks to do work...

              Call Shelter **free** helpline 0808 800 4444 for advice (open weekends..) see..
              http://england.shelter.org.uk/get_ad...dvice_helpline

              Stuff on being charged for water...
              http://www.adviceguide.org.uk/englan...e_a_tenant.htm
              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...

              Comment


                #8
                AST, 12 mth contract. The agents are useless because they don't want to lose his business, at best guess he takes around £20000 a mth in rental from the village, I'm guessing they don't want to lose their percentage. Every tenant who has been here has done their 12 mths and gone.

                I wonder if I can get the council to do an inspection without the LL knowing I asked them? Do they do 'spot' inspections?

                Comment


                  #9
                  I think even a doddery elderly couple may work out it woz U.. I think council should advise LL/agent of inspection (not sure, not my area..)

                  If you wanted to be on stronger ground write to LL, wait until your time limit expires & then invite HHSRS... (so you can show you gave them a chance...as long as you live that long...)

                  I would however seriously worry about the safety issues though (CO etc...)

                  It is beyond me why any LL with half-a-brain does not put in smoke alarms, if only to protect their own investment.
                  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...

                  Comment


                    #10
                    UPDATE.

                    We had a CO test done on Monday which showed the Rayburn was emitting 371 ppm of CO into the house! Obviously this is way above code so as its our main source of heat/hot water my children have gone to stay with their father for the week. I spoke with the agents on Tuesday and provided them with a copy of the test and gave them 48 hours for the landlord to provide a soloution to the problem. I greas nothing for 3 days, so fired off a email and letter to the agents cc landlord to tell them that if I didn't have a reply within 24hrs I would have no option other than to report to Enviromental health. They sent a chimney sweep round! The chimney does not need sweeping I had it done 2 mths ago. He agreed that the cowl needed to come off the chimney and it needed lining and we agreed a date of Monday for him to do the work (so were now at a week of no heat or hot water).

                    This morning I received a phone call from the landlord shouting at me that they had received a letter from the council reporting them and how dare I report them. (I haven't!). The landlord informed me that they will not be allowing the work to be done as they don't want the sweep on the roof in icy conditions, and then hung up!

                    Any advice on where to go from here? There is no break clause in my contract and I still have 4 mths to run. My children can't even live here at the moment!

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Apologies for typos, I'm on my phone

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Sorry to hear of your terrible landlord: Suggest you phone Shelter's **free** helpline 0808 800 4444 ..see..
                        http://england.shelter.org.uk/get_ad...dvice_helpline

                        Shelter provides a free, national telephone advice line staffed by trained housing advisers. We have helped thousands of people, from finding them a place to sleep to suggesting how to handle mortgage arrears.
                        Ring 0808 800 4444

                        8am-8pm Monday-Friday
                        8am-5pm Saturday-Sunday

                        Calls are free from UK landlines and main
                        mobile networks (Virgin, Orange, 3, T-mobile, Vodafone and O2).
                        Make a note (handwritten is fine) of date, time & whatever this landlord or agent does (including the shouting today..) - this could all end up needing evidence...

                        Such behaviour is unacceptable

                        Best wishes, hope it works out...
                        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...

                        Comment


                          #13
                          I'd report them to EH. They've had plenty of opportunity to resolve matters and have refused. Based upon what you have put (an assumption of accuracy) then they are liars and bad landlords. If they are not then they have nothing to worry about the EH inspecting their property.

                          Quite frankly a CO leak and no heating are grounds to vacate the property.
                          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


                            #14
                            Whilst it is impossible to state before a judge has heard all the facts, I'd be inclined to agree with mk1fan that the situation you find yourself in is bad enough to warrant ending the tenancy and (when they refuse to pay it back) suing the landlord for the return of your deposit.

                            You really do need to hear what the EHO has to say, a written report from them would add considerably to your position if you did decide to leave.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Just another quick update! Work was completed on the chimney/Rayburn and all was working well.

                              The children and myself became unwell yesterday and throughout the night. The CO alarm hadn't gone off so we stayed at home for the day with "the flu" after my daughter vomited I thought to check it quickly and one of the batteries had been removed. Upon plugging it back in it instantly sounded the alarm....

                              We've been in hospital for most of the day being treated for CO poisoning. I won't be returning to the house and will be calling EH in the morning.

                              Comment

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