Frustrated HMO tenants

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    Frustrated HMO tenants

    I am currently living in an unlicensed (not needed by law) HMO with 4 other tenants. One couple sharing a room then 3 of us with our own rooms. The house is absolutely beautiful and we started out with a great relationship with the landlords who appeared to be very nice people and they expressed to all of us that they want this to be our home not just a house. Note: this is their first time as landlords, so we are trying to be considerate that they are new to this.

    Fast forward a few months down the line and we are having a few very small but also very frustrating issues. We received an email complaining about the gas usage going up now that we have turned on the heating. We are all very considerate tenants and the heating has been set to a timer for a few hours in the morning/evening as deemed appropriate. I responded to the landlords on behalf of all tenants expressing our concerns about the house losing a lot of heat (bare floors boards with many holes, no curtains, gaps in windows and no ventilation in bathrooms) with some possible solutions and saying we were willing to come to a compromise. To which I never received a response. When asked why I had not received a response they were in shock that I would respect any response. The email I sent was very professional and polite. They have complained that I was rude, constantly complaining and now they are stressed because they have problems in the house.

    They have been visiting every week and most of the time it feels like they are finding a minor excuse to come over. We don't receive proper notice (they have written 12 hours for communal areas in the contract & 24 for our bedrooms). They overstay their welcome, are rude to the tenants, never knock on the door and help themselves to kitchen facilities etc. They often sit down for a 2 course meal cooked in our kitchen during their stay. Would this be covered by our quiet enjoyment or not because obviously it is a communal area so I'm not sure where we would stand on this? All bedrooms are rented out and they do not have a room for 'office' purposes.

    Yesterday, I was not at home and they came over. The woman singled out the girls of the house and went crazy at them because we have been sending them messages about things which are not right in the house. For example; we each contribute towards the cleaner (who has nothing to do when she comes as we are all very clean people). We had noticed the cleaner wasn't staying for the full time she was paid for and suggesting making her visit shorter. The landlord went crazy saying that we agreed to a cleaner and she is not going anywhere. Which is fine, but she also said that she refuses to bring up the conversation with the cleaner of her not staying and working her full time. So in essence, we are paying her £120 each per year for time she is not working. The landlords are now saying we must provide the cleaning products although they have previously said that they would pay for them.

    On their visit yesterday they complained about me to the other tenants. Saying that it is always me who complains. I am not complaining unnecessarily I have only messaged them when there is a problem in the house etc which from my understanding is my legal obligation? On top of that they have ignored that my complaints are in fact from us all as a whole it just so happens to be my phone or email address which they come from (so now I am the bad tenant, how dare I complain). It has really annoyed me that they have discussed me with the other tenants and when I was not there to defend myself. She complained that I text her on a weekend as she wants to have her life, yet they have been visiting the house every single weekend so this seems completely contradictory. She comes into the house and moves our belongings around in the communal areas and tries to dictate everything that we do in the house. Frankly we are becoming extremely fed up with their behavior, we all love the house and get on very well. We feel like they are completely unwilling to understand our points and I am increasingly worried that if I say anything to them they will end my tenancy when the 6 month AST ends. Is there any advice you could please give to help us deal with them appropriately? We all just want to live a quiet and happy life and maintain a good relationship with everybody.

    I would greatly appreciate any advice you can give as well as you taking the time out to read my incredibly long and moany post (sorry I just wanted to give you a good idea of the situation).

    Thanks =)

    I would hazard a guess that this is their old home and as such they are emotionally attached to it, hence their over-reactions to complaints etc. It would also explain them sitting down to dinner in the house that they rent out...

    Do you know whether that's the case?

    The difficulty is, since it's an HMO, they can enter communal areas without notice (though a reasonable landlord would likely do this anyway unless they had something urgent to take care of). However, constant entry and criticisms of tenants etc may be harassment.

    Notably, you have a cleaner. Providing facilities like this may mean that in law, arguably, you are actually an excluded occupier and the landlords could give notice to quit at any time.

    If I were you, I'd look to surrender the contract early or wait until your six months is up and leave on the last day of the tenancy (no notice needed but would be polite). Doubtful that their behaviour will change, especially as I say if this used to be their home. Some people just cannot part business from their own personal lives which is a necessity when it comes to letting out property.

    As an aside "The landlords are now saying we must provide the cleaning products although they have previously said that they would pay for them." - unless there's something in your contract specifying that you must provide cleaning products (which a professional cleaner should surely provide) then no, you don't have to pay for them.


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