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Advice Urgently Needed.

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437 views 1 replies latest reply: 19 January 2015
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Tenant

I moved into my flat in May 2014 and paid the landlord a Month’s Rent upfront and £800 deposit for a unfurnished flat. He has refused to acklowledge his legal requirement’s by placing my deposit into a Protection Scheme. 

I have a 2 bedroom flat, and only the lounge has heating (Storage Heater). There’s no heating in the bedroom’s or bathroom and it being Winter it’s very cold. I have requested heating but does nothing about it.

Also the landlord sent out a Gas Safe Engineer on tuesday (13/01/15) to inspect the gas supply to the property, I don’t have Central Heating only a Gas Cooker, The engineer has put a notice on my cooker not to use it as it is at risk. 

So I have no way of cooking, No heating, and a £800 deposit unprotected. The bedroom’s seemed to have a mould problem so now winter is here this mould is showing, it look likes the landlord just painted over it before I moved in. I’ve had several trips to my doctors about a peristant cough and being treated with anti-biotic’s. 

I do have a Tenancy Agreement (Shorthold) and was renewed in Novemeber 2014. 

What are my right’s? I’m still making Rent Payment’s but it seem’s all else is failing.

Thank you for your time.

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Administrator

Hi Daniel

Landlords just can’t do this anymore – it’s a legal requirement to protect the deposit and there are penalties if this isn’t done. In your case you can apply to a county court to have your deposit returned to you or to have the court compel the landlord to protect it. You can also seek compensation of between 1 and 3 times the amount of the deposit, depending on how you want to leave things with the landlord. There’s more info here on deposits and protecting them this Shelter information shows you exactly how to go about applying to a court to get your deposit back.

I’m not sure whether the landlord is actually obliged to provide you with a cooker and central heating (I don’t think so but you might want to check that with the Citizen’s Advice Bureau). However, the landlord is definitely responsible for the maintenance of what they have provided, which would cover the non-working cooker. You could speak to Citizen’s Advice about whether this is a breach of your tenancy agreement that would mean you could leave early and find somewhere else, if that’s what you want to do.

The cold and the mould could well make your property hazardous in terms of health and safety – it might be worth contacting your local environmental health department at the council as they can compel landlords to carry out repairs and will be able to give you a perspective on how acceptable the situation you’re living in is (or is not).

Until you have a definite course of action it’s wise to keep paying rent, as you have been doing, so that you are not in breach of your tenancy obligations. As a result of the landlord’s behaviour you most likely have the option to leave (but get advice on that first) and you can definitely take action about your deposit.

Hope that helps.

Alex

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