Trouble with landlord

Discussion in 'Finance, Property, Law' started by willbilly, Mar 26, 2012.

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  1. Hi chaps,

    I'm currently an Undergraduate Bursar living with five other civvie students down South and we are having a bit of trouble with our landlord, if any of you could offer some advice then it would be very much appreciated.

    The trouble started when we moved in last September and turned up to find the house hadn't been cleaned and was occupied by one of the landlords friends who wanted to stay for an extra week after our tenancy had begun for free. Obviously we refused and as an apology the landlord agreed to take money off that months rent as well as sort out the problems we had identified with the property such as rubbish in the back garden and some problems with the furniture provided in some of the rooms.

    However a couple of months later very few of the problems had actually been fixed and those that had were done in a very half-arsed way, we complained to the landlord and the letting agent who had put us onto the property but very little was done and at the request of some of my fellow housemates we dropped the matter given that the house was in a livable condition. Unfortunantly following this the problems began to mount up with very little action being taken by the landlord even when we complained of leaks, damp, black mould, sewage build up, mice and electrical issues.

    While we made several attempts to get the landlord to fix these issues it was evident that we were getting nowhere and therefore we began to look into contacting the local authority regarding some of the more serious problems with the property but while we were in the process of gathering evidence we noticed water pooling in the ceiling of the downstairs bathroom from a leak that the landlord had denied existed on several occasions. We immediately contacted him and he promised to inspect it the following day but within a few hours (at about 0030hrs this morning infact) the ceiling in that room collapsed to reveal large amounts of black mould, faulty (and now wet) wiring and rotting floorboards. This, coupled with the mould and damp that was affecting the adjacent room's wall and ceiling, forced me to sleep on the sofa in order to avoid what was obviously a serious risk to my health.

    This morning the landlord finally appeared with his friend who helps maintain his properties but they both refused to do anything about the problem due to the mould/bad wiring and they left again shortly afterwards. He has promised to return by the end of the day to "make it livable" but I doubt he will either return or fix the issue to a decent standard.

    I am aware that I can contact the local authority to have them come and inspect the property for faults and they will fine/charge him for repairs but it states on the website that that will take up to 10 days and this problem requires an immediate fix. None of my muckers in the area have room to put me up while we wait for the problem to be fixed and I don't have enough money to get a hotel room or rent somewhere else.

    The most serious problems we have found are:
    Structural weakness in the downstairs bathroom
    Black mould growth
    Faulty electrics
    Failure to comply with fire safety guidelines
    Sewage in the back garden

    So chaps, can any of you give me any advice on how to go about sorting this quickly?

    Thanks in advance.
  2. My advice is to take photos as evidence. Move out as soon as you can and then claim back any deposit etc (via small claims court if neccessary).
    Next time, be a bit more careful about property you rent. If it isnt in good condition when you view it, do not believe that it will be fixed once you move in.
  3. Your university should have an accommodation department, have you tried asking them about it?
  4. Apologies if you have already tried this, but doesn't your uni have a department that helps students find accommodation and gives advice on issues such as this?
  5. Great minds......
  6. Just punch the **** in the face, pack your bags and leave for somewhere else.
    • Like Like x 3
  7. Fixed that for ya'.

    To OP, Uni' accomodation officer (as suggested) or Citizen's Advice.
  8. agree. Take photos and keep any correspondence and a diary of events in chronological order with dates / times the LL visits. He seems a bit of a shyster. does he/she have lots of properties too?

    Landlords can be idle buggers, esp when it comes to repairs/maintenance. Corner cutting and doing bare minimum to keep right side of law. ie gas safety certificates, leccy certs, etc....
    I suspect they would be harrasing you if you missed a months rent payment.

    I would go to the local Council Fair rent officer for advice and check out website for advice. Definely keep up pressure on agents. Are they full management?

    Speak to University aswell. as already mentioned.
  9. Thanks for the replies.

    The Uni do have a department that give advice with this kind of thing and I'm currently playing email tag with them trying to get some help but to be honest they aren't a lot of use. I was hoping that there would be some landlords on here that could give me some advice on getting this all squared away in the shortest amount of time possible.

    The house was fine when we viewed it and the tenants had nothing but good things to say about it even when the landlord was out of earshot, in retrospect however they could have been just covering themselves as the letting agents have told us that our deposit will be witheld if they can't rent the property as a result of us telling people the problems we have had.
  10. Mr_Fingerz

    Mr_Fingerz LE Book Reviewer

    Is that a free service that you provide?

    To the OP: As said above, get your Uni Accommodation Officer on-side, get photos of all of the issues that you've identified. Talk to the CAB and if possible a solicitor (you'll need to check to see if Legal Aid is available).

    At the very least, the Uni should be able to remove the landlord from any list of "Approved Providers" that it has.
  11. The lettting agents shouldn't have your deposit, it should be held by an independant body (can't remember the name) who deal with any dispute between landlord and tenant.
  12. They are talking b*llshit young man.

    Go and see the CAB, the Council and the Uni'.

    Take the advice and put everything in writing.
  13. I guess you are on shorthold assured tenancy agreement? When is it up for renewal? when can you give notice? Be sure not to wreck the place and keep clean. clearly fair wear and tear is acceptable but is subjective esp when it comes to getting the deposit back.

    Keep photos is the key.

    seek legal advice or go to the citizens advice bureau.
  14. or just refuse to pay the **** the rent till they sort out the shit that you demand to be done.
  15. this place penalty charges say

    It is our aim is to make you aware of your rights as a consumer, enabling you to fight back, against large corporations/local authorities that abuse their position. On the website's forum you will find a large selection of different categories that we offer advice on. Here is a very short example of some of those: Credit Agreements, Debt Collection Agencies, Holiday Companies, Bailiffs, Landlords & Tenants, Payment Protection Insurance, Traffic Offences, Utility Suppliers, Harassment, and of course both Bank Charges and Credit Card charges.

    i know how this happens, i worked for a letting agency as maintenance when i was in UK...we were not slumlords though...give it a whirl you will be amazed.

    hope that helps