Myself and my partner started renting a room in an HMO (which doesn’t appear on the register for my borough) and our contract states that a cleaner is part of the rent for the communal areas. We negotiated the price down a bit and agreed that all bills and a cleaner would be included, and that we wouldn’t pay tenant ‘fees’ of £200. The landlord clearly thinks we got a great deal (we’re paying £680pcm for a room in zone 3) and is saying that they won’t employ a cleaner until all the rooms are occupied. We’ve been living here since late January and when we moved in there were already two tenants in the first room. There is a single and a double still available so potentially 7 people will live in a property with one bathroom and a small kitchen (no communal space). We are paying for the cleaner so think they should start now, it’s not our responsibility to fill the other rooms.
I’ve sent emails to the landlord but there is a significant language barrier and she clearly prefers communication by text/phone or a group Whatsapp which I especially hate because it means private matters are discussed in front of the other tenants.
The landlord has agreed to get pest control in and fix the sash window in our room, but is adamant the cleaner is not a big deal. What steps can I take?