I hope you are all well. I’m posting on behalf of a friend. She has recently vacated a property (of her own will…although I’ll get to that later) which was constantly in a horrific state of disrepair. When she approached the landlord about this she was told to “Do the repairs yourself and I give you money for what you buy”. My friend, who has a 5-year-old, told the Landlord she couldn’t do them as she really wasn’t qualified to. After a month or two of being palmed off with excuses my friend told the landlord she would go to the council and complain, however, the landlord then said that if she did so she would “sell the house” which would her and her child homeless.
After putting up with various things for around two years which included:
No heating/hot water for 8 weeks, because the landlord “can’t afford a new boiler because I have 3 babies and a £500 Gas bill” and, instead, made her apply for over half a dozen “free boiler” schemes.
“Newly Plastered” Walls that turned out to be skimmed plaster on top of wallpaper!
Kitchen cupboards falling to pieces
Mould/Damp in all the rooms
Light fittings with exposed wires (Please see attached images)
She refused to hand over Gas Safety Certificate/Copy of Tenancy (after personally escorting my friend to the housing place to hand over a copy)/Proof that her deposit had been put into a DPS.
The landlord demanding a total of £350 rent in advance to be paid at £50 per month on top of her rent because “The dole always pay rent in advance” (this only came about a year after she started her tenancy once she’d been moved on to Universal Credit)
Telling my friend that, because her bank would only allow her to draw £250 per day from the cash machine (she lives in a rural area and the nearest branch is a £20 train fare away) and she had to pay the rent in two halves (£250 one day and the balance the following day) that she owed her “an extra weeks rent”.
She finally cracked after almost 2 years of this and came clean to me and some other friends. I contacted the landlord to put these allegations to her but was greeted with nothing but verbal abuse. When I told her (regarding the rent) that it always gets paid in arrears (this was confirmed by UC, CAB and Shelter) she refused to accept it and said her “…sister has 100’s of properties that are on the dole and they are paid in advance”.
She then sent a text to my friend demanding that she vacated the property immediately as she was “not go to be bullyd by your f***ing friends” (direct quote from text) I told my friend to call her back and to say that she had to give her proper notice if she wished to evict her and also to state the reasons why. She got no reply until the following day which then simply stated that she could stay “until October when the Tenancy runs out”. However, after some friends and I got involved we told her to quit the property and we would house her until she found a suitable home for her and her daughter.
She chose to forego her deposit (which wouldn’t have been returned anyway) and we fully understand that, because she failed to take appropriate action (in all fairness she’s a timid little thing as she has suffered both physical and mental abuse in the past) she really can’t do anything about it but…
What I’m wondering is, is there an organisation that we could contact (we have the relevant proof of our accusations) so that others are forewarned about this nasty little woman? I have tried searching the internet but to no avail and a phone call to the council proved fruitless as the woman really couldn’t be bothered and didn’t seem interested now that my friend had left the property.
I am hoping somebody can help and will be truly grateful for any advice.