poor agent

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    poor agent

    Hi

    We're hoping for some sound advice please, if you can help.

    We're a professional couple running our own business. We've been renting a 3-bed property for just 6 months and one day, previously on a 6 month AST and now into monthly. Commencement was 28th of the month.

    We've had a long drawn out problem with rising damp, penetrating damp and condensation since 6 wks of moving in. 4 rooms affected, one bedroom is in appalling state and unsafe to enter, mould everywhere, slugs to downstairs. Agent wouldn't recognise our requests for urgent assistance, specialist survey and possible de-humidifiers. Also, a lot of work which should have been done before tenancy started was not attended to until last month - as a result of us raising hell, etc.

    Finally had a survey, rising damp, black-spot mould, etc but still nothing done and now we discover there's no insulation in the loft and that is causing the condensation.

    everything in writing, with photos for 4+ months. meetings in the house with agent, another with agent and LL. asked for action - nothing. asked for compensation - nothing. asked for rent reduction - nothing. very angry and also a lot of tears for 4 months.

    Finally called in EHO. He agrees. Have decided to seek action for disrepair through courts and our stress, anxiety, etc, have asked for landlords address - nothing. have now served section 48. The response as expected - was a s21. The dates are incorrect, so not valid. Bond not protected - so not valid. Now receiving more harassment from agent.

    Hate the thought of litigation but no alternative now, we're so upset. The agent is an a** and we told the LL this. LL is inexperienced and has accepted their advice. <sigh>

    any advice would be most welcome please

    #2
    As I have posted on many threads before you might have legal redress by writing to the landlord or agent stating that if remedial action if not instigated within 7 days you will obtain 3 quotes from specialist tradesmen and instruct the one offering the most competitive quote and deduct it from the rent.

    Before you do this however I'm surprised the EHO has not written to the landlord as this property appears not to comply with HHSRS Regulations, and they are able to serve disrepair Notices on the landlord if necessary.

    Condensation can be due to lack of ventilation but severe damp and mould might be as a result of a design fault in the premises. You make statements about this such as "penetrating" damp presumably as a result of your "survey" (was this by a Chartered Surveyor?). Why did you commission this at your own cost (presumably), as you could try and reclaim this by deducting it from the rent.

    Finally, I'm just wondering why you didn't move out at the end of the fixed term which you could have done without serving any notice on the landord.
    The advice I give should not be construed as a definitive answer, and is without prejudice or liability. You are advised to consult a specialist solicitor or other person of equal legal standing.

    Comment


      #3
      I really wonder why you'd rent a house with mould and slug trails. But hey ho.
      If you are in a 'poor'area you might be able to get loft insulation for FREE and other house insulation on the Green Deal with your LL's agreement.

      Comment


        #4
        Find a new property, whilst there are courses of action they are always long drawn out and usually unsuccessful. Do not sign a new agreemnent therefore your contract is "rolling" and you only have to give one months notice. Find new house this LL is only interested in money not looking after people, you health is more important than "living in hope". good luck

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by two View Post

          Finally called in EHO. He agrees. Have decided to seek action for disrepair through courts and our stress, anxiety, etc, have asked for landlords address - nothing. have now served section 48. The response as expected - was a s21. The dates are incorrect, so not valid. Bond not protected - so not valid. Now receiving more harassment from agent.

          Hate the thought of litigation but no alternative now, we're so upset. The agent is an a** and we told the LL this. LL is inexperienced and has accepted their advice. <sigh>
          Unless this property is somehow unique, then it would seem sensible to serve notice and find a new, better property that you're happy with. Yes, you could remain in situ and see it through to the bitter end, but is that in your best interests?

          If you serve notice to quit and move on you can still claim against the current landlord for damages for disrepair, if you want.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by westminster View Post
            Unless this property is somehow unique, then it would seem sensible to serve notice and find a new, better property that you're happy with. Yes, you could remain in situ and see it through
            a couple of really caring answers here, thankyou.

            The property seemed immaculate when we viewed and moved in. Its well placed too and an easy tube ride for work. The problems are easily resolved, that's the crazy thing and we've said that if they were resolved - that we'd stay. We wouldn't sign a new AST of course. Everything that we've asked for has been refused by the LA and we had 3 months of pure hell N/D/January. I cant say everything on here, because it would make LA aware if he were to read it.

            The LA has attempted to bully us many times and has lied about several things, the LA has acted fraudulently too (have strong evidence) and some of it is quite unbelievable! very serious. (cant say on here).

            we'd like to do the repairs and stay. we need to warn LL of the costs first - we know that, that's why we asked for address. we have 3 quotations.

            we'd seek damages if necessary. we're able to go to higher court, but wonder if its morally right as the LA hasn't told the LL anything until last week and is now advising him very badly and is clearly still not telling the LL all. He's been advised that we're trouble makers and to get us out.

            you're all going to say 'move' but we don't want to. prepared to 'rough it' a bit if necessary, as we have come this far.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by two View Post
              a couple of really caring answers here, thankyou.
              You have stated that you are considering litigation and claiming for damages for disrepair. I assumed you were seeking legally informed responses, not emotional sympathy.

              we'd like to do the repairs and stay. we need to warn LL of the costs first - we know that, that's why we asked for address. we have 3 quotations.
              The procedure established by Lee-Parker v Izzet[1971] is given in Shelter's website.

              This link.

              But it's possibly easier to chase the EHO to enforce the LL's s.11 repairing obligations.

              we'd seek damages if necessary. we're able to go to higher court, but wonder if its morally right as the LA hasn't told the LL anything until last week and is now advising him very badly and is clearly still not telling the LL all. He's been advised that we're trouble makers and to get us out.
              If you wish to claim damages for disrepair, you claim against the legally liable party, which is the landlord, however uncaring that may seem. The agent acts purely on behalf of the LL, and you informing the agent of disrepair is the same as informing the LL of disrepair

              If you'd prefer to feel that you're caring and morally right, then don't claim damages for disrepair against the LL.

              you're all going to say 'move' but we don't want to. prepared to 'rough it' a bit if necessary, as we have come this far
              The LL will eventually work out how to serve a valid s.21 notice, and he will eventually obtain a possession order.

              Therefore, it is sensible to consider moving on, because a court will make a possession order as and when the LL applies for possession with a valid s.21 notice.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by westminster View Post
                The LL will eventually work out how to serve a valid s.21 notice, and he will eventually obtain a possession order.

                Therefore, it is sensible to consider moving on, because a court will make a possession order as and when the LL applies for possession with a valid s.21 notice.
                The advice seems that we must assume that LL knows all about our problems, and it's chase the EHO to force the work to be done.

                So (having removed rose-tinted specs) at sometime in the future the LL will get a possession order, until that time, we don't have to be bullied by the LA for access to view, erection of boards, etc

                thanks to all for taking the time to reply.

                Comment


                  #9
                  It is not clear. Do you have an address for the landlord?
                  You can't "serve" a Sec 48, so it is a bit confusing.
                  Allow tenants to protect their own deposits. I want free money when they do it wrong

                  Comment


                    #10
                    we have no address for LL. we asked in writing for an address, this was refused. we asked again and received an s21 for our trouble. we understand that we must receive a section 48 notice within 21 days and that proceedings against us cant begin until that's complied with?.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      What address is on the tenancy agreement? A c/o address, belonging to the agent?
                      You have no duty to pay the rent until you don't have an address to serve notices.

                      Once you have this address(if you don't have one at all)all rent that has been witheld becomes due immediately.
                      Allow tenants to protect their own deposits. I want free money when they do it wrong

                      Comment


                        #12
                        the AST has a c/o address of the agent in London. the bond isn't registered with any of the protection schemes

                        Comment


                          #13
                          You say that proceedings against you can't begin until you receive a "Sec 48 notice".
                          What proceedings?

                          I can't see any threat of legal action from the landlord.
                          Allow tenants to protect their own deposits. I want free money when they do it wrong

                          Comment


                            #14
                            This is a mess and will remain a mess and get messier. The LL is clearly not interested in anything but money and will have you out and some new unfortunates in there when he is able. You are probably too much trouble for him now anyway so he would possibly prefer to start again with the new T and no repairs! Get out, find a new place, there are always other decent options but you need to seek them out rather than waste time here.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by two View Post
                              we understand that we must receive a section 48 notice within 21 days and that proceedings against us cant begin until that's complied with?.
                              This is s.48 Landlord and Tenant Act 1987. I can't think of any other s.48 you might mean.

                              http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1987/31/section/48

                              48 Notification by landlord of address for service of notices.
                              (1) A landlord of premises to which this Part applies shall by notice furnish the tenant with an address in England and Wales at which notices (including notices in proceedings) may be served on him by the tenant.
                              (2) Where a landlord of any such premises fails to comply with subsection (1), any rent or service charge otherwise due from the tenant to the landlord shall (subject to subsection (3)) be treated for all purposes as not being due from the tenant to the landlord at any time before the landlord does comply with that subsection.
                              (3) Any such rent or service charge shall not be so treated in relation to any time when, by virtue of an order of any court, there is in force an appointment of a receiver or manager whose functions include the receiving of rent or (as the case may be) service charges from the tenant.


                              You'll see that it requires a LL to give a T an address for serving notices on him. There is no 21 day deadline. Failing to comply doesn't mean the LL cannot start proceedings (of whatever kind you mean). The result of failing to comply is that no rent is lawfully due before the LL has complied. Once he has, then any arrears which have built up immediately fall due.

                              You say:
                              the AST has a c/o address of the agent in London.
                              This may well be the address for serving notices under s.48. *If so*, you can write to the LL c/o this address. You can also serve a claim on the LL at the address.

                              Comment

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