Faulty staircase help

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    Faulty staircase help

    I have fallen through my top step in private rented home where me my partner and our 5 month old have lived for 8months. I need advice on a few things if possible?

    First is this we put together 6 months of rent in advance which the agents thought at the beggining of tenancy was up front rent for 6 months but infact was put together by us and family to be given to this landlady and any future ones as extra peace of mind deposit and we will still pay our rent every month as standard and if any problems from us as tenants in any form then this money is to be used as such.

    We have paid our rent without fail but only recently have we checked the TDS which coontains £1034. So £4500 was also paid to the agents at start of tenancy but not added to the TDS? What advice can you give on this and I am waiting for any advice before ringing agents and speaking about it?

    Next onto the stairs problem. We have 2 flights of stairs and the very top step of the second flight gave way and I fell through causing injury to leg and some minor back niggles. Contacted the agents straight away and we had the handyman come out take a look same day and then contact after he left from agents stating we need to leave as repairs need to be done! we had two viewings to go look at that same day but was totally not applicable to us and our circumstances.

    We had a professional contractor arrive the very next day who after half an hour gave us the result of wear and tear with which sounded silly but accepted his professional response. I contacted our local council to see if there was anything they could do as our top flight of stairs had been condemned and not to be used. They said sadly it is one of them things a step going through and that our agents and landlady seem to be addressing the issue in good time and to contact them in a weeks time if nothing more was done or in motion to repairing the step.

    We was still worried as looking at the stairs and steps with the reason from the contractor which was over time us stepping on the step had caused a 90 degree angle to bend and curve the wood which is why it slipped and sadly is just wear and tear! But the same curve from that step is visible on all steps attached to the bannister along with the top landing looking totally out of its correct position. This included both flights of stairs they all contain perfect curves where they should be 90 degree angles.

    We had to contact the council again as the contractors professional opinion was conflicting with the ret of the steps and staircase etc. Thankfully enviromental health checked the pics and videos I had taken and came out that day who agreed that this staircase was incorrectly built and put in and had told us they will be dealing with agents and landlord which was great as the stress of all of this since happening has been overwhelming.

    We have had little response from the agents who said they will speak about a rent reduction as we lost our two rooms and are confined to our living room which in itself has also cause untold unsettlement to our baby and ourselves trying to cope best we can from this situation. The last response we have recieved was the landladys insurers company and a name and reference to contact him with which we believe would be in regards to updates on what is going on with this situation. Upon contact with the insurer his response was that they assesing liability and will take him two weeks or so to get back to us.

    I have suffered with mental health for the last 6 years and continue to do so with daily/weekly struggles and my partner is my registered carer. Since the disruption it has been overwhelming for us all with a very unsettled baby who was sleeping through the night for the last two months but now wakes several times and sometimes wakes very unhappy and crying this had not happened before and we feel it is obviously her loss of routine and bedroom along with feeling the overwhelming stress it has caused me and my partner.

    We might have to move into a BNB or hotel this causes again an untold amount of stress and worry and depression with what is required in all this upheavel. I currently take medication for my mood and axiety and depression which has and is a struggle on its own for me and my partner. I have a hard time daily and weekly with my mental health but since this happened a week ago has been overwhelming and I would normally take isolation at times but now this is not possible and so everything is so hard to cope.

    Why would the contractor who clearly must of known this was not wear and tear and we have found out the stair case is no more than 4 years old. Clearly he was trying to fool us and cover this up why?

    We have had no complaints until now and almost no contact with agents or landlady and been as happy as we can be with the property. We are worried what we should really be doing if anything? The talk about rent reduction but no more on this a week later? Should we be seeking legal support?

    We know things take time to get sorted etc but our life has been turned upside down. It is a struggle daily for my mental health and has been for many years and I already take medication 3 times daily for anxiety and low mood. And I require more right now to be able to deal with my anxiety and stress. I play football for a disability team but need to heal and the football was always a big help towards my mood and stress levels.

    If anybody can advise us on anything we should be doing etc? Or if theres anything you would like to ask please do?

    Many thanks



      Having a wear and tear diagnosis is good for you and doesn't invalidate the landlord's safety responsibilities.

      Being ruled wear and tear means you can't be made to pay for the repairs.


        1) wear and tear means there is no negligence on your side

        2) deposit should be kept in a scheme, but the deposit cannot be that large so you need to check the paperwork and ask for it return asap.


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