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Urgently seeking advice on healthy and safety issues and legal advice regarding lodger? tenant?

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31 views 1 replies latest reply: 11 October 2016

I have recently moved into a three-bed house that is occupied by four other unrelated tenants the lounge and bedroom are rented out as bedrooms. The kitchen is the only communal area there is one shared bathroom and a downstairs toilet. We all have a lodgers agreement even though the landlord does not and as far as I am aware has not ever lived here. On the lodger agreement, it states we need to give one months notice to be given to vacate and that the landlord also needs to give one months notice. It also states that the landlord gives the lodger the personal right to live at the accommodation and to use the shared rooms with the landlord but the landlord doesn’t live here so does that make us tenants? on the lodger agreement, it states the landlord agrees to provide the following services  none. it also states cleaning of the communal areas are charged at £10 a month included in rent however there isn’t a cleaner and I have been told hasn’t been a cleaner for months. all utility bills are in the landlords name and are delivered at the address we live at. we have also all paid one month in advance and one months deposit that has not been put into a tenancy deposit protection. although when viewing the property I knew it was shabby but needed somewhere to live quickly as the flat I was due to move into the landlord couldn’t get the tenant out and due to also a recent bereavement I wasn’t as observant as I normally would be. when I viewed the property I did comment about it not being clean I was assured by the woman we are told ‘manages’ the property for the landlord that she was at present looking for a cleaner and that the shower curtain that was once white but was now various shades of brown! was also going to be changed she then proceed to show me another shower curtain that was the wrong size and was also ripped and explained she had purchased the wrong shower curtain. when I moved into the property it had not been cleaned and the shower curtain had not been replaced I spent two hours cleaning it before I could use the bathroom and I had to purchase a shower curtain myself to be fair to the other tenants since cleaning the bathroom all have kept it clean. I sent a text message to the manager/landlady that I was not happy about how filthy the house was and also sent photos she did reply but said she couldn’t receive photos as she was at present on holiday abroad but will sort a cleaner out asap I have been here a month and still no cleaner! there are huge healthy and safety concerns with this house I will start with the front door and work my way around the house. the front door isn’t secure at all the top half of the door are small glass panels one good kick and you could gain access. the grass was at least two feet high before I moved in I was told by the manager/landlady the gardener was ill it has been cut but I was told by the tenants that they knew a new tenant was moving in because it is the only time that she will have the grass cut. the carpet on the stairs is worn out and torn on four steps she is aware of this as she commented on it when I was being shown around this has not been mended and is dangerous I caught my flip flop in the carpet and fell down two stairs. there is not an adequate lock on the bathroom door I am the only female sharing with four men the lock is just a little metal hook. the sealant around the bath parts are missing it is also black the shower is a joke if you want a bath it takes about 20 mins to fiddle with it to turn the taps on. the kitchen is utterly disgusting it has mold growing in the fridge down the side of the cooker is filthy as is the floor and everything else! the oven doesn’t work not that you would want to cook in the kitchen! the cooker is right against a wooden cupboard that has been painted and due to the heat from the hot plates the paint has peeled off this of course then goes in food that is being cooked I am also sure this must be a possible fire risk due to it being so close? the kitchen had a flood from the bathroom and the tenants said it was left for months and although it has been re-plastered it still hasn’t been re painted after over a year . at the top of the wall the other side of the kitchen there are cracks and under the sink the waste pipe has broken plaster and brick work you can see day light . last night when I turned the kitchen light on I saw a mouse run across the kitchen work top. the kitchen door has been taken off so the downstairs toilet door opens straight into the kitchen there isn’t a basin so people are washing their hands in the kitchen sink after using the toilet! the gas boiler is in the downstairs toilet and I have been told by the other tenants that have been here years that they have never known the boiler to have been checked. the two smoke detectors do not work and the other tenants have told me that the manager/landlady is aware of this there is no mains fire arm no fire blankets no fire extinguishers all the doors are hollow wood. there are only one or two sockets in the rooms so every tenant is using an extension cord. there is no tv ariel in any of the rooms so tenants are using portable ariels and hanging them out the window. the other tenants have told me that they have complained many many times but nothing has ever been done . we are being charged the going rate for rooms for the area we live in and we are paying over two thousand a month. we are all in agreement that something needs to be done I know the minute I make a complaint I will be asked to leave and probably lose my deposit as it will be myself that will put it in writting. I would be grateful for any advice  


Next time you write 1100+ words in a post. Please use proper formatting to make my life a tad easier. 

Anyway, bad news first – you all shot yourselves in the foot by signing a lodger agreement. If you signed normal AST (which is the standard for HMO rentals), your deposit was going to be protected and there was no way in hell THIS particular landlord would have had their way with it. Now, they can basically do whatever they want, unless you’re ready to go to court. 

The same is valid for repairs and pretty much all your normal tenant rights, including privacy. 

My advice is to contact the council immediately as your story pretty much checks all health hazards you can have in your home – pest infestation, mould, gas safety, probably electrical safety as well, horrid hygiene, etc. etc. 

Seek the environmental health department and ask them to do an inspection first. Tell them you’re likely getting evicted if you do a formal complaint to the landlord, but complaints have been made in the past about every problem and your landlord is well aware of the condition of the property. 

Also, play ignorant and tell them you’re all lodgers, but the landlord doesn’t live in your property.

Check this link and contact the EH ASAP:

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