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    • lindos90
    • By lindos90 2nd Oct 17, 11:49 AM
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    lindos90
    Advice for student house.
    • #1
    • 2nd Oct 17, 11:49 AM
    Advice for student house. 2nd Oct 17 at 11:49 AM
    Hi, my son has just moved to Uni to a private rented accommodation which is managed by a lettings agency.

    The property was advertised as fully furnished, including a washer and a tumble dryer, and all inclusive of energy bills. They have noticed a few problems, and have contacted the lettings agent for advice, but the agent has failed to reply.

    When they moved in the dryer is no longer there. The property is quite damp already so concerned about just putting their washing on the radiators and making the damp worse. Is it expected that they should buy one themselves, or should one be provided as it was advertised/rented on the basis of having one?

    They have received a bill saying that there is an unpaid gas bill still overdue and occurring additional admin fees. I have told them to forward the letter to the lettings agent, and that they are not responsible for paying this bill themselves, as all their utilities are included in the rent, and that gas wasnt even used by them. However if the bills remain unpaid, is the gas likely to get cut off?

    There are also quite a few other issues which they are not sure what to do about (which must have been known about when an exit viewing was done after the previous the previous tenants left). The security gate will not lock. Some windows are locked, others can not be closed at all. The post box has been forced open and will not shut, let alone lock. All the bins and recycling boxes are full of old unsorted rubbish, which the council state will incur a fine as the rubbish has not been put in the right boxes.

    Are these 'simple' issues and repairs that the students are expected to do themselves, or should they be reported to the lettings agent for repairs to be carried out? If they did try and repair themselves, could they then get into trouble for interfering with property they do not own?

    I realise that in the grand scheme of things that the issues are not massive, nor are they things I should 'do for them' as it is their time to grow up and do these things themselves. But I also know that there are landlords and letting agents that take advantage of inexperienced students/tenants. Just a few pointers I could pass onto them, to help them sort it out themselves would be really helpful. Thank you x
    Last edited by lindos90; 02-10-2017 at 11:53 AM.
Page 1
    • aneary
    • By aneary 2nd Oct 17, 11:56 AM
    • 599 Posts
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    aneary
    • #2
    • 2nd Oct 17, 11:56 AM
    • #2
    • 2nd Oct 17, 11:56 AM
    List all the issues and write a letter to the LL (send a copy to the LA) the LL address should be on the tenancy agreement.

    Check the inventory and see if the tumble is on the inventory, if there is damp check this is on the check in report and ensure that all the issues are on it otherwise these things could impact getting the deposit back. If there isn't and inventory or a check in report ensure that you have lots of pictures taken of the condition of the house (if they have been moved in for some time it may not be worth it now).
    • Rambosmum
    • By Rambosmum 2nd Oct 17, 11:57 AM
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    Rambosmum
    • #3
    • 2nd Oct 17, 11:57 AM
    • #3
    • 2nd Oct 17, 11:57 AM
    They are not 'simple repairs' - report them, in writing, to the landlord to the address on the tenancy agreement for the serving of notices (e.g. not through the letting agent unless that's the address).


    Has your son signed a checking in inventory? If not, get one written up, take dated photos and send a copy to the letting agent.


    If the tenancy agreement states tumble dryer, one should be there.


    Edit -anaery beat me too it.
    • 00ec25
    • By 00ec25 2nd Oct 17, 12:02 PM
    • 5,019 Posts
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    00ec25
    • #4
    • 2nd Oct 17, 12:02 PM
    • #4
    • 2nd Oct 17, 12:02 PM
    Hi, my son has just moved to Uni to a private rented accommodation which is managed by a lettings agency.

    The property was advertised as fully furnished, including a washer and a tumble dryer, and all inclusive of energy bills. They have noticed a few problems, and have contacted the lettings agent for advice, but the agent has failed to reply.

    When they moved in the dryer is no longer there. The property is quite damp already so concerned about just putting their washing on the radiators and making the damp worse. Is it expected that they should buy one themselves, or should one be provided as it was advertised/rented on the basis of having one? on the one hand if the property was advertised as having a dryer then one should be available, on the other hand does the tenancy agreement expressly state that the LL is responsible for repairs to all white goods? If it does not, then there is no legal requirement for the LL to repair any that have failed, replacement then depends on arguing over what was or was not included on the advert and inventory

    They have received a bill saying that there is an unpaid gas bill still overdue and occurring additional admin fees. I have told them to forward the letter to the lettings agent, and that they are not responsible for paying this bill themselves, as all their utilities are included in the rent, and that gas wasnt even used by them. However if the bills remain unpaid, is the gas likely to get cut off? the utility company will take a very long time to reach the point where they disconnect. meantime you are correct in advising that the bill is not the liability of your son if the tenancy agreement clearly states that the LL pays the utility bills. Have you checked the tenancy agreement to see if there is a "fair usage" clause just in case your son goes mad and the bill whilst he is in occupation goes "mental" and the LL chases for "overage"

    There are also quite a few other issues which they are not sure what to do about (which must have been known about when an exit viewing was done after the previous the previous tenants left). The security gate will not lock. Some windows are locked, others can not be closed at all. The post box has been forced open and will not shut, let alone lock. these are repairing issues that should have been noted on the inventory your son signed when he moved in so that the condition at the start of his tenancy is recorded. Your son can then of course continue to badger the agency with a list of defects but don't expect a quick responseAll the bins and recycling boxes are full of old unsorted rubbish, which the council state will incur a fine as the rubbish has not been put in the right boxes. yes he is a student but surely you have taught your son that there comes a point where taking personal responsibility for "sorting it out" is the better option rather than trying to blame others and claim "not my fault guv, your problem, i want you to sort it"

    Are these 'simple' repairs that the students are expected to do themselves, or should they be reported to the lettings agent for repairs to be carried out? If they did try and repair themselves, could they then get into trouble for interfering with property they do not own?

    I realise that in the grand scheme of things that the issues are not massive, nor are they things I should 'do for them' as it is their time to grow up and do these things themselves. apart form the recycling bins none of those are things which the student should try to repair themselves. I doubt they would be able to do it "properly", and thus risk escalating the problem by the LL then claiming they "damaged" the item during attempted repair But I also know that there are landlords and letting agents that take advantage of inexperienced students/tenants. Just a few pointers I could pass onto them, to help them sort it out themselves would be really helpful. Thank you x
    Originally posted by lindos90
    as above

    at the end of the day we cannot guess as to the attitude of a LL dealing with students. Yes the LL will of course be experienced in the naivety of students, but whether they exploit that or accept it is impossible to say or advise upon. All you can do is report and see what outcome arises from it
    Last edited by 00ec25; 02-10-2017 at 12:07 PM.
    • sevenhills
    • By sevenhills 2nd Oct 17, 12:04 PM
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    sevenhills
    • #5
    • 2nd Oct 17, 12:04 PM
    • #5
    • 2nd Oct 17, 12:04 PM
    When they moved in the dryer is no longer there. The property is quite damp already so concerned about just putting their washing on the radiators and making the damp worse. Is it expected that they should buy one themselves, or should one be provided as it was advertised/rented on the basis of having one?
    They have received a bill saying that there is an unpaid gas bill still overdue and occurring additional admin fees.
    Originally posted by lindos90
    We are in October now, have all these things been reported a month ago?

    • lindos90
    • By lindos90 2nd Oct 17, 12:06 PM
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    lindos90
    • #6
    • 2nd Oct 17, 12:06 PM
    • #6
    • 2nd Oct 17, 12:06 PM
    List all the issues and write a letter to the LL (send a copy to the LA) the LL address should be on the tenancy agreement.

    Check the inventory and see if the tumble is on the inventory, if there is damp check this is on the check in report and ensure that all the issues are on it otherwise these things could impact getting the deposit back. If there isn't and inventory or a check in report ensure that you have lots of pictures taken of the condition of the house (if they have been moved in for some time it may not be worth it now).
    Originally posted by aneary
    Thank you for your reply. They have not been given an inventory, all they had was a generic contract from the LA which they signed and returned. They have no details about who their landlord is, the LA manages everything about the tenancy. Yes I have taken photos, just in case there is a deposit issue at the end. My son has written two emails to the LA pointing all the things out, so the issues were documented and so the students could not be blamed for making the problems, one just before he moved in (we went for the day just on a few things when we noticed these things) and one when he moved in as they had not replied to the first email.
    • aneary
    • By aneary 2nd Oct 17, 12:08 PM
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    aneary
    • #7
    • 2nd Oct 17, 12:08 PM
    • #7
    • 2nd Oct 17, 12:08 PM
    By law the LA have to give you the LL's address if you request it, however I would double check the contract you should have been given a copy just to double check it isn't on there.
    • lindos90
    • By lindos90 2nd Oct 17, 12:12 PM
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    lindos90
    • #8
    • 2nd Oct 17, 12:12 PM
    • #8
    • 2nd Oct 17, 12:12 PM
    We are in October now, have all these things been reported a month ago?
    Originally posted by sevenhills
    Not all Unis start at the beginning of September!

    His Uni does not officially start until next week, many students will not be moving in until the weekend coming. We visited the property and he reported all the things before he actually moved in.
    • lindos90
    • By lindos90 2nd Oct 17, 12:23 PM
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    lindos90
    • #9
    • 2nd Oct 17, 12:23 PM
    • #9
    • 2nd Oct 17, 12:23 PM
    as above

    at the end of the day we cannot guess as to the attitude of a LL dealing with students. Yes the LL will of course be experienced in the naivety of students, but whether they exploit that or accept it is impossible to say or advise upon. All you can do is report and see what outcome arises from it
    Originally posted by 00ec25
    Thanks for your detailed reply, it is very helpful. Its not just a case of sorting a couple of boxes of glasses and cardboard, which I'm sure my son would have done. Both wheelybins are totally jammed full there is no place to sort it, apart from tipping them out and going through it all, it smells foul too, god knows what it was like over the summer months. This is something I will probably try and do for them, it's not going to be a nice job at all. I will let the students focus on dealing with the official stuff with the LA, they really should not have to accept to pay a fine for it.
    • aneary
    • By aneary 2nd Oct 17, 12:27 PM
    • 599 Posts
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    aneary
    Thanks for your detailed reply, it is very helpful. Its not just a case of sorting a couple of boxes of glasses and cardboard, which I'm sure my son would have done. Both wheelybins are totally jammed full there is no place to sort it, apart from tipping them out and going through it all, it smells foul too, god knows what it was like over the summer months. This is something I will probably try and do for them, it's not going to be a nice job at all. I will let the students focus on dealing with the official stuff with the LA, they really should not have to accept to pay a fine for it.
    Originally posted by lindos90
    I would be tempted to notify the council that this was like this when you moved in, they may not have forwarding addresses for the previous tenants but they will have their names due to council tax.
    • G_M
    • By G_M 2nd Oct 17, 12:31 PM
    • 41,425 Posts
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    G_M
    By law the LA have to give you the LL's actual address (not c/o) if youthe tenants request it in writing, however I would double check the contract you should have been given a copy just to double check it isn't on there.
    Originally posted by aneary
    The Tenancy may show a ''c/o" address for serving notices on the LL - eg c/o the agency

    See the Landlord & Tenant Act 1985 section 1.

    Have they not got a copy of the TA? Request that too.

    See also:


    * Repairing Obligations: the law, common misconceptions, reporting/enforcing, retaliatory eviction & the new tenant protection (2015)
    Last edited by G_M; 02-10-2017 at 12:34 PM.
    • lindos90
    • By lindos90 2nd Oct 17, 12:43 PM
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    lindos90
    I would be tempted to notify the council that this was like this when you moved in, they may not have forwarding addresses for the previous tenants but they will have their names due to council tax.
    Originally posted by aneary
    Thats a good point, however the council may not have the old tenants names, as everything is inclusive in the rent. The council will have either the LL or the LAs name for the property, so actually, thinking about it, it might be that any fine would not be directed to the new tenants at all.

    We have called the council, before anyone moved in, they directed us to the LA to sort the bins, who in turn have not responded or advised.
    • lindos90
    • By lindos90 2nd Oct 17, 12:47 PM
    • 2,856 Posts
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    lindos90
    The Tenancy may show a ''c/o" address for serving notices on the LL - eg c/o the agency

    See the Landlord & Tenant Act 1985 section 1.

    Have they not got a copy of the TA? Request that too.

    See also:


    * Repairing Obligations: the law, common misconceptions, reporting/enforcing, retaliatory eviction & the new tenant protection (2015)
    Originally posted by G_M
    Is TA 'Tenancy Agreement'? (sorry just getting to grips with all the terms) I believe they signed a contract, but I didnt see that, they were fairly pressured to sign up there and then, and the signed copy was taken by the LA. My son said it was fairly generic and didn't state anything specific about the property or its contents.

    They have definitely not had an inventory of contents or a check in report. Hence me taking lots of photos!
    • aneary
    • By aneary 2nd Oct 17, 1:47 PM
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    aneary
    Thats a good point, however the council may not have the old tenants names, as everything is inclusive in the rent. The council will have either the LL or the LAs name for the property, so actually, thinking about it, it might be that any fine would not be directed to the new tenants at all.

    We have called the council, before anyone moved in, they directed us to the LA to sort the bins, who in turn have not responded or advised.
    Originally posted by lindos90
    Council tax shouldn't be included in the rent, students are exempt but still should be registered with the council.
    • lindos90
    • By lindos90 2nd Oct 17, 2:03 PM
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    lindos90
    Council tax shouldn't be included in the rent, students are exempt but still should be registered with the council.
    Originally posted by aneary
    Ah yes of course, I forgot about that! I just know from the students point of view there are no additional charges, its 'all in'

    I will let them know they probably need to register with the council anyway
    • Lorian
    • By Lorian 2nd Oct 17, 2:08 PM
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    Lorian
    You need a copy of the Tenancy Agreement as a priority.

    Check if for a joint liability clause as this may be a pent up issue for the future - especially if you are a guarantor.

    Presumably a deposit was paid, has protection information been provided?

    Ring the council refuse department and explain the issues with the bins.

    Visit the Lettings Agent (assuming they are managing the property) with the list of issues rather than just letting them "not respond"
    • lindos90
    • By lindos90 2nd Oct 17, 2:21 PM
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    lindos90
    You need a copy of the Tenancy Agreement as a priority. Yes, I will him know about this, and to ask for an inventory too

    Check if for a joint liability clause as this may be a pent up issue for the future - especially if you are a guarantor.Yep, I am indeed Guarantor, so will do that.

    Presumably a deposit was paid, has protection information been provided? Yes, he has a letter confirming this has been registered

    Ring the council refuse department and explain the issues with the bins.Done already, before he moved in, they referred him back to the LA, but confirmed a fine would be issued if the bins were not correctly sorted. (They did not specify who would be fined)

    Visit the Lettings Agent (assuming they are managing the property) with the list of issues rather than just letting them "not respond"I guess that is their next step if they get no response, but they would not have the LAs response in writing for future reference if anything came of it, which is why up to now they have been emailing. I take your point though.
    Originally posted by Lorian
    Thanks for the suggestions, as always, MSErs are so helpful
    • lindos90
    • By lindos90 2nd Oct 17, 7:28 PM
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    lindos90
    Son has sent me a copy of the tenancy agreement. The 'all inclusive of utilities' is not actually all inclusive, there is a £10 allowance per week, anything over that, the landlord can charge them

    Theres also a clause by which if anyone drops out, or does not pay, the remaining tenants have to pay. Son told me the lettings agent said that was not the case, they would only be responsible for their own individual rent Oh dear, I think I should have got a bit more involved, but I didnt want to look like an overbearing Mum

    It does not mention any appliances, but does say that the tenant is responsible for closing and locking all windows when not in the property, however several windows can not even be closed!

    I feel they are a bit out of their depth. I hope they can sort it out.
    • HampshireH
    • By HampshireH 2nd Oct 17, 7:41 PM
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    HampshireH
    If I were him I would take meter readings asap so they aren't charged for an old bill.

    Also ask for the inventory and if there isn't one request one is done (will depend on how long they have been there)

    He and his roommates do sound out of their depth I agree.

    Sounds like they have no comeback on the tumble dryer but really important it's documented as LL will probably try and claim costs from them at the end
    • lindos90
    • By lindos90 2nd Oct 17, 7:50 PM
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    lindos90
    If I were him I would take meter readings asap so they aren't charged for an old bill.

    Also ask for the inventory and if there isn't one request one is done (will depend on how long they have been there)

    He and his roommates do sound out of their depth I agree.

    Sounds like they have no comeback on the tumble dryer but really important it's documented as LL will probably try and claim costs from them at the end
    Originally posted by HampshireH
    The TA conditions actually refers to an inventory, so they are going to ask for one, and I have just messaged him to take meter readings. One student has been there a week, the other two only moved in yesterday, so although it will not be exactly the right reading, it shouldnt be far off that.
    Last edited by lindos90; 02-10-2017 at 8:06 PM.
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