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Lying landlord, no planning or HMO

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511 views 1 replies latest reply: 13 December 2016

Hey, I wonder if anyone has any advice. 

I live in a HMO (not sure if it’s registered) in London. Me and my partner live in a studio apartment that has recently been converted into a bedsit (it has a Kitchenette, with electric stove and sink, a double bed that folds down out of what looks like a triple wardrobe and two chairs instead of a sofa). The landlord also added a second bedrooom on the second floor which is taken by another tenant. We pay cash for the rent and our deposit was never put into DPS.

My landlord has obviously been reported as today we had an inspector from health and safety inspectors. I’m pretty sure there is no planning for the loft and I’m pretty sure it’s not a registered HMO as I’ve checked on the councils website and there is nothing there. 

My girlfriend and I were told we had to be out of the property whilst the inspection was on, this raised my suspicions….so I left my laptop filming whilst I was out. 

The video showed the landlord explaining that the second floor bedroom and our bedroom/”living room” (as the bed was hidden in the wardrobe) all belonged to just my girlfriend and there are no other tenants on the second and 3rd floor (so apparently I don’t exist and neither does the girl downstairs). The inspector didn’t even suspect there was a bed in the room. The inspector also looked at the kitchen (with pots and pans on view and all of our food there) and said “You don’t allow cooking do you?” To which the landlord said “No” (it’s clearly a kitchen and we cook every night) and then the inspector said “good”! The landlord clearly states that only one person has the bedroom, the living room and the bathroom (also on the 3rd floor). So they completely lied, I know that the landlord works for the council, so they know how to manipulate the system, which is highly corrupt if you ask me. Plus there is no fire doors, exits, because it all looks like a living room but the landlord is charging over £1000 a month for it. 

Any advice? What should I do? I don’t wanna get on the wrong side of the landlord but I don’t wanna be taken for a ride and I don’t want our safety compromised. The council worker seemed completely oblivious and easily swayed as the landlord has the gift of the gab. Help!

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Well done for getting the video evidence!

I was in a similar situation… all I can do is reccomend you get away from this landlord ASAP. I don’t know if you can report him to another authority, as he seems in cahoots with the council, but you could try? Maybe take a video of the bed in the wardrobe, and everywhere else where he’s violating health and safety. 

A few years ago, my then-fiancé rented a similar flat, with a kitchenette. He then asked the landlord if I could move in, to which he said “yes, of course”. I moved in, and a few months later met the landlord in the hallway. I introduced myself and thanked him for letting me move in. He seemed a bit apprehensive at seeing me, but I thought nothing of it.

We got married shortly afterwards. A week after returning from honeymoon, (and a week before Christmas) we were both asked to leave the property ASAP, as the landlord had let too many people live there, and he’d be in trouble with the council. Over the Christmas period, we found somewhere new, and told him that we’d be moving out on January 10th. We move out, and then he tries to keep £250 of our deposit as we moved out “too soon”. Thankfully a time scale for giving notice wasn’t in our contract. Your landlord sounds like a proper cowboy. Sorry that times are hard, but if you don’t take some action now, it will catch up with you, even though none of this is your fault.

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