Is my landlord taking me for a fool?Please help!

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  • Is my landlord taking me for a fool?Please help!

    I had been in my property for about a year when I found myself getting tired alot, the whole family was the same I asked my landlord to get the fire checked out, The landlord told me to ring british gas said he had some kind of policy with them so I did and they came out. Britsh Gas condemed my fire and said it had never been safe the hole at the back of the fire in the wall was far to small bout the size of a letter box, anyway it was to small for the fire that was there, also the fire was being held to the wall with one screw. British gas said that my landlord should get the work done and then they would come back and see if it safe. One year on my fire is out of use and stuck to the wall with one screw my landlord is saying that he rented the property to me with central heating and so he doesnt need to get the fire fixed, I do belive this is wrong I thought even the central heating needed a gas saftey test no one has checked my appliances since I have been here, now I have received a letter saying that the rent is going up £50 a month from sept do I have to pay this if he wont get my fire aleast safe so my children can sit in the living room without me worring it could fall on them. Any advice would be gratfull Thanks Jayne

  • #2
    Not a very bright landlord here!

    Hello Jayne! Your landlord could be in big trouble here, so just answer these questions and I will tell you how much trouble, and what you can do about it:-
    1. Were you given a Gas Safety Certificate by your landlord before you moved in? It's a criminal offence not to have done so!
    2. If you were and have been living there over 12 months has there been another check (they have to be done annually)?
    3. If the gas fire was there from the outset you are entitled to have it working properly otherwise the landlord MUST provide you with alternative space heating in the meantime (a central heating radiator in the same room would probably count). You are still however entitled for the gas fire to be properly repaired or replaced.
    4. Is there anything within your tenancy agreement stating how and when rent increases might be made? If not then you landlord has to go through a set procedure and you have 28 days to refer any increase to rent assessment committee, and that's after you have received the correct form from your landlord, but you don't have to chase him about it, it's up to him to find out what he needs to do. In the meantime you could probably safely ignore any such proposals.
    5. Can you give me the start date of the tenancy, the length of the fixed period, and the rent you pay and if it's monthly or weekly?

    After that me and a few others might be able to help you a bit more!
    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.


    • #3
      First id like to thank you for your reply.

      I am just trying to find my tenancy agreement I have only had one since I moved in that was January 2004 and was for 12 months,3bed property £450
      monthly. I will answer other question when I find the agreement asap. thankyou.

      1) No I was not given a gas saftey certificate when I moved in and I didnt see a copy so im lead to belive they have never had one for this property as the british gas man said this fire would never of passed.

      2) No I have not had a gas check this year.

      3) I have a large central heating radiator in the living room, but un unsafe fire in the same room.


      • #4
        Urgent action to take!

        Contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer immediately & report the lack of a GSC to him/her when you moved in, give them full details of your headaches etc., and insist they take action against your landlord (preferably a prosecution), otherwise they will pussyfoot about. These landlords are dangerous practitioners.

        You have little to worry about because if your landlord gets aggressive by your action to resolve this, it is also a criminal offence under the Protection from Eviction Act 1977 as it would be considered as harrassment.

        You might not have had another tenancy agreement since the original ran out and you could be on a peridoic tenancy.
        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.


        • #5
          I will take action an once again I want to thankyou. Also there was a time when I was unwell and was asleep on my couch I heard a knock at the door and didnt have the strengh to get up to answer it then I heard my two landlords outside and then a key went in the door, they was going to gain entry to my property for no reason. When I went to the door in fear they would try and brake the bolt they said that my rent hadnt gone in the bank and it was 10 days late, when I asked why they didnt ring me to question this they said they was just passing and seen my curtain was shut and thought I might of left, but why would I when they have got a £300 deposit of mine. I was very annoyed at this. Since this about 5 times they have called at my house for no reason they are two big men and I live on my own with two children. I had a letter to say my front garden wasnt in the standard that it was when I moved in, ok the grass was a bit long but I had been very busy so I cut the grass and sent a letter back telling them it was up to standed. One week later the same letter came about the back garden, what scares me is that its like they are picking on me and I feel they are creeping around the outside my house when im out, otherwise they could of mentioned the gardens when they arrived without notice. Im not dirty and my house is clean sometimes the grass gets a bit long but not for long trying to work and look after two children on my own means things do get done in the end. They called unanounced about three days ago then the next day I received a letter about the rent increase why did the not mention that when they knocked at my door, today once again they have rang to see if I got the letter and would I be able to afford the extra money. I feel they are putting me under pressure to move out but why should I if im happy here or maybe they are worried I might tell someone they havnt got a gsc.


          • #6

            As a tenant you have a right to "Quiet Enjoyment" this precludes or at least should prevent your Landlords turning up at your door unannounced. Depending on the level of intrusion it could border on harrassment. I would be very surprised if their attitude was as a result of there being no gas safety. As Paul states they could be in big trouble and should be taking every effort to ensure your satisfaction.

            If you are on a periodic tenant the Landlords should be serving a section 13 notice to request a rent increase. Sending a letter will not normally suffuce.

            I suggest you take these problems to your local citizens advice bureau and ask them to draft a letter to your landlords asking for the tenancy to be dealt with in a more appropriate manner.

            You must always consider though that bringing the Landlords failure to their attention will not often evoke a positive response.

            One thing that must come out of this is for a Gas Safety certificate to be provided to you. Until you have one the property is not safe.

            Good luck.
            For the avoidance of doubt, I am not a solicitor nor a specialist. I have simply spent many years in the business and am expressing my opinions. I would urge caution to any individual using these forums as a sole basis for decision without first speaking to a solicitor.


            • #7
              MissJayne. What I forgot to mention, is that your landlord MUST give you 24 hours' written notice if he wants to request a visit to your property, but you can refuse if you like if you think it's too often. Every three months is considered to be reasonable. The only time a more frrequent visit is allowed is if you request a repair to be carried out. It seems you are being harrassed, and if you landlord EVER lets himself in with his own key you should take him to court. You will find that damages running to a considerable sum would probably be awarded against him. £10,000 plus is not unknown!

              You should make an effort to keep the grass cut and garden tidy etc., but there's not much a landlord can do about it. Long grass does make a property look unkempt though!
              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.


              • #8
                Thank you

                Just to thank all that took time to reply to my messages


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