Deposit not protected, disrepair, mould and no payment of rent for 8 months

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    Deposit not protected, disrepair, mould and no payment of rent for 8 months

    Hi,
    I'm new to this site and have found it very interesting but I'm still confused with my problem. I'll try and make it as short as possible.
    So I signed my tenancy, paid my rent in advance and deposit and got my keys on the 26th July 2014. From the day I moved in there's been nothing but problems. Firstly no hot water. I informed my estate agent who said it was down to me to inform the landlady they only dealt with the rent. So I did and she eventually sent British Gas round who condemned the boiler and quoted £3000 for a new one. My landlady didn't want to pay this so had some of her own "builders" come to fit a new boiler. Now i didn't have any notice of this, I was getting ready to go to work when there was a knock at the door. I opened it to find this lady (who I would later find out was my landlady) and 5 Asian men, of which the only ine who could speak slight English had had his eye blown out so I wasn't very reassured about this man fitting a GAS boiler. I asked to see their ID's and Gas safety card/certificate and they all refused saying that they don't carry them their boss has them, when I told my landlady about it and told her that I had made some calls and it is illegal to not carry them, she told me the same thing that the boss has these. So she said I had to let them in. After them spending the day smoking in the bathroom, and drinking energy drinks they said it was fixed but I could not use the toilet until they returned the next day to reconnect it. Over the next week I noticed 3 patches of ceiling getting wetter everyday until one day the leak came through the light fittings. The landlady sent the same man round to fix this. Still leaked. Sent someone else and it was fixed and all the holes in the ceiling were eventually replastered and I was promised the ceiling would be repainted as soon as it was dry....that was 14 months ago. Because I was out of water for 3 weeks I was having to pay to go elsewhere to bath my children and shower before work so I refused to pay the rent for that period of time. Then I had the problem of the utility room and kitchen flooding with up to 2 inches of water every time it rained very heavily or I done a load of washing. Because of this and because I don't have a proper back door, the water made the back door swell so it was unable to shut and eventually has fallen to pieces....I now have a utility room and kitchen that flood a lot easier and a utility room infested with false widow spiders! Told my landlady....nothing done. Then came the slugs. Every single night I have slugs in the kitchen where there are no kick boards in place and a massive hike under the sink where the pipes go in the ground. Nothing I try stops the pesky things! The radiators in the kitchen do not work, the "builders" left all plug sockets in utility room hanging off the wall and last but not least THE MOULD!! There is black mould EVERYWHERE!! It's not just a small bit, it comes so fast and is actually FUR growing out the walls. With the black mould, the damp, the flooding and the lack of back door and limited radiatirs (had to remove a door from a bedroom and put it on the kitchen as that had no door, just to try and keep the house a little warmer) I cannot shake a chest infection that started over a month ago and my children are suffering just as much as my bank balance as spending so much on gas. Now my landlady took me to court for owing 1 months rent. Whilst there we found out she never protected my deposit. Now I do not trust her and as she has ignored all my requests for repair to the property and I think it is uninhabitable I have not paid rent for the last 6 months whilst she has decided whether or not to take me to court or accept my solicitors offer. The landlady finally came out on Friday just to see the radiatirs and brought her son. They then told me how they want possession of the house as it has caused them nothing but problems so they want to sell, that there has been mould there for the last 5 years and every time they get "someone" to fix it it just comes back (I think they just paint over it each time) and then when it got a bit heated with my partner they turned around and said the contract wasn't fully signed anyway and we were free to leave whenever we want. So my question is Where do I stand? I cannot afford to move out without my deposit back (£1200) and they won't give deposit back as I'm in arrears. And the contract wasn't fully signed by myself. When they did send a certificate of deposit protection it was all wrong, had the wrong date (24th July and I didn't sign or hand any money over until 27th) and they had my guarantor as the tenant.
    Any advise would be greatly appreciated. Should say that I am currently waiting for environmental health to come out and assess the disrepair and mould damage throughout the house (mould also on outside walls of house)
    Thanks for reading

    #2
    Risking a migraine I decided your read your post.

    The property is clearly s*it and should not be lived in but what I can't understand is why you can't afford to move out? Where is the money that you would have otherwise have paid in rent that you have not for 6-8 months? surely that should be way more than £1200?
    Any advice I give is my opinion and experience, I am as you also learning.

    Comment


      #3
      You stayed for at least 14 months though problems arose at start.you then witheld 8 months rent, so your deposit can When was that/
      prob be retained by LL.
      You should have vacated at end of fixed term. When was that?
      Property sounds like a shitehole & LL a nightmare, so why stay longer than nec?

      Comment


        #4
        The environmental health people will (assuming they don't declare it as uninhabitable) issue notices telling the landlord what needs to be done.
        The landlord has to comply or be taken to court.
        That takes time.

        If the local authority do declare the property is uninhabitable, the landlord is obliged to offer equivalent alternative accommodation (and good luck with that, from the sound of it).

        Somewhere in the middle of all that, you mention your solicitors offer - what was it and what is their advice.

        You can't just withhold rent, there's a formal process if you want to use the rent to repair something that landlord isn't repairing, but you can't simply not pay.

        The landlord will have to return your deposit if they didn't protect it (but can still sue you for the rent arrears).

        What have you done with the six month's rent you haven't paid, but might have to at some point?
        When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
        Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

        Comment


          #5
          I do have some savings of the unpaid rent, but have had to replace a lot of stuff (receipts all kept) that was ruined by mould...pretty much all bedding and towels and everything else in airing cupboard and I put between 30 and 60 pound of gas on a week. The fixed term ended on 26tg July this year but my solicitor said it is now a preiodic tenancy. I didn't leave when the tendency was up as it's not as easy as that when I have nobody that can be a guarantor. I'm a single parent of 3, I work hard and have no family around me to stand as guarantor so u couldn't find another place. They have since tried sending 3 more amended deposit protection certificates all still wrong. I don't want to stay here, but have nowhere else to go. My solicitor said that we would accept my deposit back in full, any arrears cleared (only 2 months of arrears at this point) and a good reference. They took 6 weeks to reply declining this offer and then my solicitor was not receiving any emails from them that they are adamant they sent so have requested it to go back to court....I go in 18th November. My solicitor has not contacted me or replied to any emails since 31st August.

          Comment


            #6
            The deposit not being protected is something that you would use as part of your defence, as it is possible that the court will tell the landlord to use the deposit to clear some of the arrears.

            The problem is that you are simply going into greater debt each month that you are refusing to pay rent.
            It might be sensible to pay a proportion of the rent each month - say half or a third - as the property is not worth the full rent rather than paying nothing.

            Get the council in as quickly as possible.
            When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
            Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

            Comment


              #7
              And I want environmental health to make her do repairs as I've been asking for over a year. When she came out the other day I said about sorting it out amicably and she said she would need me to move out for at least a month so she could address the damp and mould that they've had for 5 years. And that she was selling so I'm worried if move out for repairs will I not be allowed back and then I will be intentionally homeless

              Comment


                #8
                If you have to move out, the landlords need to provide you with alternative accommodation.

                If they evict you because you are not paying any rent, you will be seen as deliberately making yourself homeless in any case.
                When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
                Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by Jessir86 View Post
                  And I want environmental health to make her do repairs as I've been asking for over a year.
                  Even of env health serve the right paperwork it could take years to get it done, even with a golod, on-the-ball, council.

                  ... And that she was selling so I'm worried if move out for repairs will I not be allowed back and then I will be intentionally homeless....
                  As JPKeates suggests your bigger problem is that if you haven't been paying rent (even in these circumstances) you are likely to be found "intentionally homeless" for that & thus council don't have to rehouse you: You might get a temporary hostel/b&b deal whilst council "evaluate your case" but then find yourself booted out (no court order required) and on a park bench: Seriously. See


                  http://england.shelter.org.uk/get_ad...l_homelessness
                  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
                    Thanks for all your answers. What about the fact that the tenancy isn't signed correctly? The estate agent has said that they cannot recover any rent from myself or get it paid for by their special company because of this problem

                    Comment


                      #11
                      A tenancy (originally) of less than 3 years in England or Wales does not need to be signed at all, the agency is talking rubbish: However it might be harder to take court action with iffy evidence....
                      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


                        #12
                        Jessir36,

                        Had you kept your side of the contract (pay your rent on time) you would be in a position of strength and the law would be firmly on your side. I would do as has been suggested in previous posts and at least get your rent up to date less reasonable deductions for the poor condition and go from there. If you have already been taken to court for non payment you really want to avoid another court hearing.

                        If you are up to date and are being reasonable you have the upper hand in dealing with your LL. Assuming your rent is £800 per month a reasonable payment would be £400 per month for what you have described, you need to document all payments and get up to date then deal with the lack of deposit protection through the ADR deposit protection scheme. Once they are told you are in arrears they will not act on your behalf or take the case, on the other hand if you are up to date your LL will have to forward the £1,200 deposit to them to hold whilst the case is being dealt with, your chances will be greater assuming you have evidence to support your case.

                        Good luck!

                        Goss
                        Long suffering Landlord.

                        Comment

                        Latest Activity

                        Collapse

                        Working...
                        X