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LandLord Repairs

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205 views 1 replies latest reply: 26 June 2017
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Tenant

Hi all, please bare with me as I have quite a lengthy rant! 

I moved into our period property 9 months ago in an idilic setting. The property is a listed building and very old, and we new it required some work and were assured by the Land lord this would be carried out over the following months. As time has gone on, we have realised our landlord is interested in one thing…money, even so far as to begging for rent in advance to pay for this or that. Up until recently we have oblidged him. He has not carried out any of his obligations to repair a severly moss covered thatched roof, a flooding well under the property, unsafe stairs and pretty much every window in the house you can see daylight through the frame and damaged windows, it was costing us over £250 a month in gas through the winter. I have asked him to repair windows and stairs as far back as February this year and still nothing, he only seems to surface when rent is due, infact i have deliberatley held the rent for a few days (not over 14 as per the law) and we have become victims as what can only be called a huge amount of harassment and emotional blackmail (eg I need money for bread and milk, money for petrol etc etc) I of course have email copies of all of these conversations and repair requests that have been ignored. Our neighbours share the same landlord and have suffered far worse than us with fires from faulty electrics, no heating etc, the list goes on. 

Last week we had the EHO come out and go through the properties, she didnt have to say much as her face was a picture of how we have been forced to live, she will be back after the end of June with the landlord to go through the issues at hand. The problems we have had, which include printed correspondance include;

  1. Property was not cleaned prior to moving in and we had to clean everything prior to unpacking
  2. When the electric cooker blew up, he asked for rent 2 weeks in advance so he could buy a new cooker (this was inside the first 2 weeks of tenancy) – he had the cooker delivered but left it to me to install despite me having no electrical experience of which I told him. His response was ” its dead simple, just shut off the power and its like wiring a plug” 
  3. When drains flooded spilling raw sewage over the inside of house and garden, he couldnt get to property so we had to pay for a drain company at our expense, no thanks or compensation was given or offered.
  4. After a second drainage problem he came to the property and found that jammed rods were the cause, he dug a 3 foot hole in the garden next to a cess pit to remove and simply put a piece of plastic over the hole, despite several requests to cover correctly he has not done this (5 months ago now) leaving an area of the garden out of bounds to kids and pets.
  5. Thatch roof was supposed to have been rectified and has not been, leaving it almost constantly wet with moss and has several animals nesting in it and visible holes in the roof – again ignored by LL
  6. Every window frame is rotten and glass is hanging out leaving upto 5mm gaps around windows leaving the property cold and insecure – (mentioned 7 months ago and several times since)
  7. Wooden stairs are full of woodworm and are unsafe to use, we personally let him know 6 months ago and then made our own repairs due to several incidents of people falling. We are not skilled or qualified builders and he simply ignored requests to fix and still has
  8. Had a bees nest due to holes in exterior of property which we mentioned when we moved in, he did nothing about the issue so we got a local bee keeper to help out, due to numerous external holes they returned and he is still yet to do anything.
  9. He has not secured my deposit in any of the approved schemes, and whilst checking our pre move in emails, he needed the cash to pay cleaners and carpet people, and has openly said so in email, which I completely overlooked. We have sent 4 requests for information, all of them ignored. 
  10. Several unaanounced visits for nothing in particular and when repairs are mentioned, he disapeers again. 
  11. Was supposed to undertake some ground works when we moved in on a flooding well under the house, has not done this, has offered no explanation and when it flooded last time he was nice enough to send me a link to a pump i should buy to help me drain the property.

Now as the EHO is involved he has said he isnt doing anything until she visits the property and shows him the problems. In my estimation he has no money to carry out the repairs due to his desparation for money. When he found out about the EHO he bad mouthed us calling our neighbours and us lousey tenants who are behind on the rent, and had the gall to ask how he could get us out, this to the EHO person directly, who let us know what he said. 

Now onto the issue at hand. I had back surgery in early May for an exisiting problem. Things have been going pretty well on the recovery part until I fell down the stairs this morning and have been pretty much unable to move due to the pain. Ive taken my pain relief and its easing up, but feels like Im back to square one with the pain. 

So my question to you guys is the following.

  1. Do I start legal proceedings over repairs
  2. Do I start proceedngs over non securing deposit
  3. Do I look at a personal injury claim for the damage caused again due to his negligence

I have evidence of conversations, pictures of problems and supporting email requests all put together to show I have informed him of these issues which he has chosen to ignore. 

In your opinion, what chance would I have in court against him? My obvious concern is the fall out from this and things going horribly wrong, however I know we safe here for at least 6 months, as the EHO has informed us of that. Im just a bit down by all of this as we love the area and despite its faults the property also, but we have all been injured in some way by the LL negligence. 

Does anyone have any recommendations and advice…..Please…

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Tenant

Okay, straight to your questions: 

1 – No. Just move out. Do whatever you need to do and find a new home. This landlord and this house is an emotional and financial sinkhole for you. 

2 – Yes ! As soon as you can. You have an almost 100% chance of success. Download our deposit protection guide -> http://www.thetenantsvoice.co.uk/letter-templates/request-tenancy-deposit-protection

3 – Yes. Look into it and if possible file that claim as well. .

Fair warning: If your landlord is as broke as your story has them be, it’s likely that any enforcement of the financial compensation would take a lot of time. 

Still, I would definitely sue as much as I can in your situation. Landlords like this one shouldn’t exist and nobody should have to live in conditions similar to yours. 

Also, your lesson for next time is to NEVER agree to anything your landlord says, promises do to unless there is a written agreement with their names and signature on it. 

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