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Landlord isn't responding to a newly moved in tenant

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385 views 1 replies latest reply: 20 June 2015
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Tenant

I’ve recently moved into a new flat and during the inventory check in I realized a serious issue with the kitchen layout. I will not be able to have my washing machine due to arrive next week installed because whoever built the kitchen, did not consider the layout. Now I’ve been to the letting agent and they’ve passed me directly to my landlord who doesn’t answer his phone. In fact he has only ever responded to me regarding this situation once and via text to tell me that he will ask his builder to contact me. He’s provided me no details for the builder and continues to avoid answering his phone. My concern is that my landlord isn’t taking the situation seriously and my worst fears are this could be indicative of what’s to come if I have any more issues.

What’s slightly worrying is that I’ve searched for landlord online and he has a string of dissolved property companies stretching 20+ years. When I signed my tenancy agreement the letting agent at no point disclosed who my landlord was or that he would be directly managing the property. Now I could be worrying unduly or I could be in a potential nightmare  situation. What can I do though? If the landlord ignores my requests to fix the kitchen so I can have my washing machine installed, what are my rights? I thought about plumbing it in directly through the cupboard and emailing him and the letting agent to show them how ridiculous the situation is but I’m in a no win situation. 

Help!

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Administrator

Hi Si

Do you have the landlord’s agreement in writing to install the washing machine? Or correspondence with the agents to that effect? He’s obviously happy for you to have the machine in there if he’s talking about his builders but it’s good to get that in writing now to prevent any issues further down the line.

It’s difficult to judge whether this could be a potential issue but if you’ve signed the tenancy then you’re stuck there until you can activate a break clause I would imagine. So, for now I would try to get as much in writing as possible. Send him an email if you can and mention that you’re waiting to hear from his builder who he agreed to send to help install the washing machine. Even if he doesn’t reply at least you’ve got something that demonstrates there was an aquiescence (although I don’t think that would be hugely reliable). Then just keep chasing him for a response – perhaps ask for the builder’s number.

I would be wary of doing anything to the property without consent in writing – if you damage anything at all the landlord can charge you for it. Unfortunately you don’t have a right to install the washing machine unless the landlord has agreed and you can prove that. You could pay for your own builder to install it so at least you know it’s done professionally but, again, you open yourself up to being charged for it.

I’m not a lawyer but I would imagine that a court (if it came to that) might look at this and conclude that the need to check the washing machine could be fitted and plumbed in before the tenancy was signed and the washing machine ordered would fall to you – that means you need to tread very carefully and get proof of the landlord’s agreement before you do anything. 

Alex

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