Am I wrong ? | The Tenants' Voice
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Am I wrong ?

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467 views 1 replies latest reply: 22 February 2017

We have a few issues with our rented house. We have lived in since may 2005. In October 2016 I wrote to the landlord and asked if the repairs could be fixed. The repairs are as follows. 

Two complete fences in back garden down. 

Shower leaking through ceiling, ceiling coming down into living room. 

Toilet leaking from the base on the floor. 

Hot water tank doesn’t fill enough for a washing up bowl (have to use shower) 

Built in oven into kitchen (has been there since we moved in.) door to oven has to be held up with string and only two of the four rings on the hob work. (To replace this you would have to remodel the floor to ceiling unit in the kitchen) 

Extractor fan in the bathroom doesn’t work. 

Electric trips if there is more than two heated appliances working at once. 

All of which have been ignored after the landlord coming and looking round the property and saying he will sort something out.  We are also not allowed to decorate at all without prior permission from the landlord. 

As well as these problems our neighbour to the right is a recluse and has a completely overgrown garden and rats from throwing rubbish straight out of his back door instead of the bin.The brambles from his garden and thorns line the side of my property.

We have lived in the property for over ten years now and the landlord doesn’t help at all. We aren’t really in a financial position to go and find another house elsewhere and the landlord knows this but every time I ask for work to be done it’s either ignored or bodged and the house is falling apart.

I am really at the end of my tether and just don’t know what to do anymore. I won’t let the children have friends over because I’m embarrassed at the state of where we live and I can’t see a way out. 

We both work full time and have just got ourselves out of debt but don’t have a good enough credit history yet. This will take time. I just want a nice house where everything works.

Am I being unreasonable, are these things I should fix myself and be thankful that I have a roof over my head or should the landlord be fixing these things. 

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You’re not being unreasonable at all. As well as providing the property for you to live in, the landlord also provides a service – to look after, repair and maintain the property and upkeep the living conditions. This is PAID for by your rent. You have been paying for this work to be done for the last 10 years, so no, you’re not unreasonable at all. 

So here is what you need to do for both your landlord and your neighbour: 

You need to contact your local council. The council’s website can be found with this tool –

Then you need to locate the number of the Environmental Health department. This is the department that oversees that living conditions in rented properties are kept up to standard and the there are no health and environmental hazards in the properties. 

The EH can appoint an officer to come and inspect your property to confirm or deny your claims. Afterwards, the officer can prescribe a “notice of improvement” to your landlord, requiring them to fix this, this, this and that in X amount of time. 

If the landlord fails, they can be prosecuted and suffer a very salty fine, including being forced to undergo the repairs. 

However, before you can use this legal tool, you must first exhaust the complaint procedure with your landlord. I know you’ve already contacted them numerous times throughout the years, but you’ve probably never written them a physical letter.. 

Before you go to the council, you must use the following procedure:

1. Write a letter requesting repairs and deliver it to your landlord’s address. List all the repair issues in there, including your neighbour’s problems. 

2. Wait 14 days for the landlord to respond and start the repairs

3. Write a second letter when they don’t provide a satisfactory answer

4. Wait 2 days

5. Write a third and final letter, telling them to either start the work in the next 48 hours, you’re going to the council and do all the things that I described above.

6. Go to the council

When you DO go to the council, also complain about your neighbour’s rubbish and pest problem. 

This is how you resolve the problem using what legal tools are available to you. It takes a lot of time and even more phone calls and an industrial scale patience, but in the end you will succeed. 

Good luck. 

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