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Tenancy contract: adding clauses to get things done

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96 views 3 replies latest reply: 12 July 2017
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Other

Hello, 

this is my first message. 

I have recently moved in a new property (assured shorthold tenancy) through an agency. Apparently the agency advertises the place, signs the contracts and collects the fees/rent but is not responsible for the maintenance of the property besides the initial and final cleaning of the property. 

when I went to see the place, it was quite smelly but the employee from the agency said they would have dealt with it. 

On the day I moved in the smell was still there (the previous tenant had a dog who slept in the bedroom and had a wee on the kitchen carpet; furthermore the house has mould around: the bed base was smelly and dirty, mattress too, and the storage furniture stinks and is badly damaged because of the damp. 

The cleaning wasn’t done to professional standards (there were marks of dirt around the house and hair sticking around the bathroom, the carpet smelling etc.) and I’ve asked the agency to do a better job. Someone came around to clean and get rid of the smell. 

Coming back to the property the smell wasn’t gone. I later bought a vacuum cleaner and the amount of hair coming off the carpet was incredible – making me think the alleged deep cleaning of the carpet never really took place. 

The agency is now saying I have to deal with the landlord to fix the property. In the meanwhile, I’m having breathing issues and developing a skin rash on top of things – which has never happened before. I have moved the bed base out of the bedroom and I’m keeping the windows open as much as possible when around the house. 

The landlord will be coming to replace the bed base and mattress this weekend, I’m not sure about the damaged furniture. 

The agency has called in asking to sign a new contract as they want to change the start date for the contract. I now want to add few clauses to the agreement so that I can safeguard myself in relation to them/landlord undertaking the repairs and ensuring the house is clean and to living standards. 

Would you have any suggestions or hints on how to tackle the situation to ensure: 

– I am thoroughly protected by the contract, so that improvements will be either made by the landlord/agency or that I can enforce a refund for any repairs I will have to undertake to ensure the house is in better state. 

– what clauses can I add? 

– where can I get support and put more weight to ensure things will happen and I won’t be left just on my own? that is, how can I ensure I can have my rights fully satisfied?  

Thank you very much, 

Roger

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Tenant

Quite honestly, it would have been better to skip on a property with so much problems. 

NEVER EVER believe that something will get done, until you see it done, or you have some written acknowledgment of the responsibility.

As for clauses, I’m not sure you will ever get to add one – the agent will simply refuse to burden themselves with this responsibility, having already shaken it off their backs. 

The best thing you can do is make a list with items which are in unbearable condition and demand them replaced. I don’t think you can get it in the contract, but take as many photos of everything and threathen to complain to the council, if the landlord doesn’t do something about the mould and stench. 

Mould, by the way, is a serious respiratory hazard. Your heavy breathing is definitely due to the large amounts of damp and mould growing in the property. More than the dog smells you need to be worried about THAT. It is also harder to deal with, as depending on the cause (structural faults) the whole property may need to be renovated in order to remove all the mould and stop it from growing back. 

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Other

thanks Audrey. 

Unfortunately there wasn’t much to choose from and had to get a place. Plus not everybody is well experienced and versed in the letting agencies dos and donts, but next time I will definitely have a better understanding of how dodgy sellers are. (quite stupidly as they get free negative advertisement). 

I will deal with the landlord and ask to change the furniture as that seems to be the main cause of mould. 

I’ll try anyway to add few points to the contract to esure the house conditions are brought to a sufficient standard. 

 

thanks. 

 

 

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Tenant

By any means, do TRY, but manage your expectations. 

As the saying goes – you have to touch the stove to know that it burns. I’m sure you will be better prepared next time and we have an excellent collection of resources and information here at The Tenants’ Voice !

Cheers !

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