Help! Landlord from hell!!

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    Help! Landlord from hell!!

    Hi,
    firstly can I say that this forum has given me so much info that has been great with my current situation.
    I am currently a private tenant in Scotland under a ? Sat (July 2016 to now £850/m rent) We have had major issues with a terrible Landlord-briefly -
    boiler broke down in January 2017 (spectacularly by flooding the kitchen with water and then remained dripping slowly when not in use and much more if used-so much so we were emptying a bucket about 6 times a day!) Plumber friend of Landlord attended 4 days later and said he couldn’t fix it and he would get someone else in-poor communication and not showing up when he said he would over a month later we got our own Plumber-corgi registered (original Plumber wasn’t) who said he wasn’t willing to work on it as it was very illegal. Second gas engineer out who as a favour did a patch job but wasn’t willing to do any more. We were in total 2 months without heating and hot water in winter in Scotland-not fun!
    Around the same time we found (shoved behind the boiler) 5 gas safety warnings from 2014 re boiler, flue and cooker.

    Started looking into legislation and found A LOT of other failings including
    1. Landlord is not registered
    2. Deposit not in a scheme
    3. No electrical safety/PAT testing/EPC
    4. Only one smoke alarm -no heat alarm etc
    5. No tenant info pack

    we wrote to Landlord and got a horrendous reply basically saying that he knew it wasn’t compliant but wasn’t willing to fix any of it.

    two months go by with many emails back and forward (increasingly obnoxious from him!) and he’s still refusing to fix anything-boiler still not working properly - heating is terrible and not sufficient and no hot water in bathroom (thankfully we have electric shower!) even had a phone call from his wife asking why if it’s so bad we don’t just leave etc

    eventually we get served with eviction paperwork!
    I have contacted EVERYONE I’m supposed to-Council (numerous times), housing panel (no response), HSE (generic reply), landlords lawyer to explain we only want it fixed and had bought a property but couldn’t move in before eviction date was there any chance we could sort it all out. So now were off to court.

    This is has been horrendous for us and I’m not sure it’s at all fair and no one will help. We want to lodge a counterclaim but because it’s a section 33 eviction I’m convinced it’s a waste of time because he can evict us if he wants.

    At the moment it wojld be based on all of the above AND I’m not sure about the validity of the AT5 as we were given it in a pack and signed it after the lease (page 13, lease page 1-12) I did raise this with the letting agent on the day as I wasn’t even aware that’s what I’d signed (it was only when I went searching for it after reading about it on this forum I realised) it’s not timed and I’ve marked it on my copy of the lease along with not receiving gas safety and tenant info pack (letting agent told me to do this because Landlord not present and he managed it-letting agent only acting as tenant finder/advertising etc) unfortunately it’s not on Landlord copy and that is printed that we were was given it prior to lease and we’ve signed it - I know should’ve annotated both copies! My copy of AT5 is not signed at all (only landlords copy) and lease is not fully signed-neither is either copy of lease signed by Landlord.

    I want to claim compensation/my deposit and I want acknowledgement that he is a rogue landlord and for someone to stop this happening again! Is raising a counterclaim an idea or am I wasting my time and should just leave?

    Sorry for rambling but I’m at my wits end!

    Also .... complicating factors...... he is not resident in UK and I’ve just had major surgery so had to find a temp serviced flat so I could recover properly with hot water etc!

    #2
    Should also add....
    was thinking harassment plays a part here too-it’s now 11 months with not doing repairs and landlord and his lawyer have both said ‘if its that bad just leave’.

    I tried to give back the keys a few weeks back when I lost all patience and hope but they are demanding a check out inspection and refusing to give back my deposit. I have refused because there was no move in report or inventory and we had to contact Landlord to mention damages ie cracked window, damaged toilet, burn marks on carpets, glass pane on door cracked to ensure we didn’t get the blame. Thankfully I have photos I took. They are also demanding we pay for a full clean as part of our agreement due to pets but I am very loathe to pay any more out.

    Comment


      #3
      As the lady said, if it's that bad, why stay there a year?

      Oh... wait, I know, you want some 'compensashun'.

      Comment


        #4
        Wow you are rude and that’s a big jump to conclusions you made there! Sorry to disappoint but no-that’s not why!

        please don’t make assumptions about people - you make yourself look ignorant! I’m not a professional tenant that’s looking for a big pay day!

        To answer your question - 3 major surgeries since May Which have made life a bit tricky and moving house not a top priority. We did try and move out in September but issues with planning permission in the house we were buying came up and we had to pull out!

        Im sure you are aware that a landlord has a legal obligation and it’s not unreasonable to ask that the minimum standard is maintained and if it’s not for the authorities to enforce the law that are there to protect tenants. It amazes me that landlords can apparently choose to not comply with the law but then use the law to evict someone.


        What I want is that to be addressed!



        Comment


          #5
          Sorry to read this: Such landlords are a disgrace, on the basis of what you have stated.

          Follow Shelter Scotland's excellent advice here...
          https://scotland.shelter.org.uk/get_..._accommodation
          particularly the reporting of repair issues here,.. appreciate you've emailed him but please check it covers what is suggest see..
          https://scotland.shelter.org.uk/get_..._to_do_repairs
          - especially the sample letter.

          Monday (Think they are shut weekends) call Shelter Scotland 0808 800 4444 9-5 Mon-Fri see
          https://scotland.shelter.org.uk/about_us/contact_us

          Do you wish to stay or not? (I'm not suggesting either staying or flitting..) - as if this clown got so much wrong he may have granted you (regardless of paperwork) an AT not an SaT so almost impossible to evict you if you keep paying rent. Was initial tenancy at least 6 months and were you served with an AT5 prior to signing tenancy?

          Did he protected deposit within 30 days of start of tenancy? If not you can sue him for up to 3xdeposit penalty: Most Sheriffs seem to award x3.
          Re sorting that follow Shelter advice here..
          https://scotland.shelter.org.uk/get_...eposit_schemes

          Him not being registered makes him liable to up to £50k fine.. daft bampot

          Contact your local council landlord registration people & report him e.g.
          https://www.highland.gov.uk/info/997...vate_landlords

          Need to take wife out for coffee, will comment further later...

          Slàinte mhath!
          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


            #6
            Re Gas safety cert report landlord here...
            https://extranet.hse.gov.uk/lfserver/external/lgsr1

            Regarding eviction, court etc you don't mention court. Assuming you've not been written to by the Sheriff Court or the (since 01/12/2017.. ) FTT - see
            https://scotland.shelter.org.uk/get_...l_for_scotland
            - then with your evidence hopefully they'd throw the landlord's case out. Check this with Shelter Scotland helpline monday. (You could try local CaB but they sometimes don't have experts in housing & private landlord evictions...)

            Assuming no written communication from court or FTT I'd sit tight & do nothing over eviction at this time: Simply pursue him over...
            - repairs - as my earlier post...
            - deposit protection - as my earlier post...
            - his failure to register - as my earlier post...

            Depending on how you wish to act, you could do what I would in such circumstances: Explain to landlord (LANDLORD - by all means to wife also, but to LANDLORD, in writing, keep copy) that you are minded to report him for the up-to-£50k non-registration but probably won't if he sorts all the problems. And then, eventually, report the little scr*at anyway.

            Any queries or issues I've not covered?

            I don't like crooks, cheats or those who break the law, be they landlord (or agent, tenant or MP....)

            Slàinte mhath!
            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


              #7
              Hi Artful lodger,

              thanks for all the advice- I’ll phone Shelter first thing on Monday. I’ll try CAB again (been before but they couldn’t really help and suggested legal advice-don’t qualify for legal aid and considered it but would like to avoid it if possible)

              Re AT5 we were given one but not before we signed the lease. It all came as a stapled together pack with AT5 on Page 13 and we just signed it front to back. Our copy isn’t signed -just the landlords- and we’ve annotated our copy of the lease to ask the landlord about a few things -AT5 is one of them. Nothings timed but all signed and dated same day.

              Re deposit- nope it’s definitely not in a scheme. I phoned the three deposit schemes to check and it’s never been registered.

              Re court - we now have a court date at the end of the month which says that I can either resolve it or counterclaim. I tried to resolve it but the landlord is refusing to pay back the deposit as is demanding we pay for a professional clean and let his friend in to do a check out report (no check in report or inventory so feel this is pointless!).

              Re reporting - I’ve contacted Landlord registration at my local council and got the most unhelpful generic reply 2 months later, emailed them again (and again). I told him I was going to have to report him (in January) if he didn’t comply and he hasn’t. I’ve even spoke to my local councillor -informally initially but email since.
              - I’ve contacted the HSE because I wanted them to send someone out and check if we can use the boiler etc (they say they do checks and issue mandatory repair orders on the website) but I’ve only received a rubbish reply saying they tried getting in touch with him but he didn’t answer?!
              - I often work with people from HSE and even tried to ask them and they said they were very back logged. Maybe they are waiting for us to die in a boiler explosion so they have an easier case.

              We've bought a house but unfortunately our entry date is delayed because there were issues somewhere down the chain. It’s only two weeks but takes us past the court date 😞.

              Starting to think we may need to go to court.



              Comment


                #8
                Re. unregistered landlords, some do get sorted out but you've done what you can. I had a neighbour of one of my properties, pillar of local community, bank manager in town, in the lodge, renting his place, unregistered: I reported him at least 7 times, as far as I know he was never done. Then on the positive side there's reports such as this...
                https://forums.landlordzone.co.uk/fo...ent-in-glasgow

                regarding court, see what Shelter say about how to proceed & your chances. What date (give a rough date in case landlord is viewing. ,... )?? I can't see any sheriff evicting even with perfect landlord paperwork for some months, almost certainly not over Xmas.

                Me, in your shoes, I'd turn up in court, calm, polite & smartly dressed, with all paperwork (3 copies - one for you, one for landlord, one for judge) and explain matters. From what you've said you should win. Go with a friend for moral support if possible,

                Then I'd sue him for the deposit penalty afterwards. In England incorrectly protected deposit means court eviction that way won't work, but not in Scotland.

                When you do eventually leave give valid notice beforehand: Nothing to stop you and landlord agreeing to a "Mutual agreement to end tenancy"- available from Scottish Association of landlords" (who take a very dim view of rogue landlords..). If he can't get one, let me know. Take LOADS of photos, ideally with witness, when you leave (deposit/damage disputes...)

                Have a lovely Christmas & enjoy the new house purchase!
                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


                  #9
                  Hi Artful,

                  thanks for advice.

                  Ive managed to get a free consultation appointment with a lawyer on Monday and I’ve drafted all the paperwork and hoping they can check it over. Paperwork needs to be in this week with court being week before Xmas.

                  Also hoping we might be able to move our entry date for our house so maybe all this will be over before it even begins!

                  ill let you know how we get on! Thanks again!

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Good luck, that's a great offer you've taken up! (No offence) but the suggestion I usually give about lawyers and landlord/tenant matters is try & find a specialist in such LL/Tenant matters. The average solicitor, whilst helpful, tends to know divorce, wills and property sales but not necessarily much else. But a free consulation is definitely worth pursuing, nothing to be lost, see what he says (if nothing else, he probably knows the local sheriff & court staff & may give pointers on how to approach them).

                    I had a sad experience when asking my scottish solicitor, very nice bloke, still use him 10 years on & he's excellent on purchases & mortgages & wills, to sort out a tenancy agreement and it was, shall we say, somewhat lacking. I ended up amending it for him.....

                    If unsure of any advice you get from him, might be worth double-checking it with Shelter 0808 800 4444.

                    We'll await your updates with interest.
                    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


                      #11
                      Originally posted by theartfullodger View Post
                      renting his place, unregistered: I reported him at least 7 times, as far as I know he was never done.
                      Good to see the multi millions spent on Scottish landlord registration has not been totally wasted.

                      Comment

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