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  • FIRST POST
    • rimarj
    • By rimarj 7th Oct 17, 8:44 PM
    • 9Posts
    • 2Thanks
    rimarj
    New property renting nightmare
    • #1
    • 7th Oct 17, 8:44 PM
    New property renting nightmare 7th Oct 17 at 8:44 PM
    Hello,
    Looking for some advice if possible..

    We agreed and signed for a property after viewing on the agreement from the management agent that various jobs would be completed prior to our official move in date.
    Upon picking up the keys we went to check the property again to ensure these had been done - none of the jobs had been other than cutting the grass.

    Upon further examination it also turned out that:
    - There were no electrics
    - There was no hot water
    - No heating
    - No smoke alarms
    - No CO2 alarms
    - Property not cleaned as agreed (to the point there are dead insects lying around and there was remains of food in cupboards)
    - Some furniture has been left over when renting on unfurnished basis
    - One rear external door to the property does not lock and therefore we cannot appropriately secure the property
    - Some rooms have curtain rails, others do not and are just full of holes where they used to be
    - There are patches of paint worn off (after agreeing someone would repaint)

    We have two very young children (1 and a half and almost 3) with us and we were subsequently unable to move into the property on the agreed date due to the issues.

    We contacted the letting agent and were told the landlord was arranging the electrics to be sorted and the boiler - no one showed up to perform the work until 4 days later, meaning we could finally move in on the 5th day after our tenancy start date. There was not and still has not been any mentioned of any other works other than the CO2 and smoke alarms have now been fitted.

    As things like CO2 alarms and smoke alarms are a legal requirement for landlords to provide, would this mean there is a breach of contract or just that the landlord was breaking the law without initially putting them in?

    We paid for a van on the initial move in date for a for the weekend - as we were physically unable to move into the property due to the issues stated, are we within our rights to claim this cost back?

    As the property was not cleaned as agreed, we paid to have a cleaner come round. Can this cost be claimed back?

    Are we within our rights to claim for the days of rent paid where the property was uninhabitable due to these issues?

    It's been such a stressful situation and we are extremely lucky that we had a little bit of overlap in our current tenancy otherwise we would have been homeless or extremely cold for almost a week with two young kids!
Page 1
    • Cakeguts
    • By Cakeguts 7th Oct 17, 9:04 PM
    • 3,274 Posts
    • 4,563 Thanks
    Cakeguts
    • #2
    • 7th Oct 17, 9:04 PM
    • #2
    • 7th Oct 17, 9:04 PM
    CO2 Alarms are only required if there is an open fire or a woodburner that kind of thing. It isn't required for gas central heating or gas fires as these have to have annual safety checks.

    Basically what has happened is that you have agreed to rent a house that doesn't suit you. It had problems when you viewed but you still decided to rent it. It is always a bad idea to agree to rent a house that hasn't been presented to let in top condition.

    The tenancy starts when you actually move in.
    • G_M
    • By G_M 7th Oct 17, 9:04 PM
    • 42,275 Posts
    • 49,106 Thanks
    G_M
    • #3
    • 7th Oct 17, 9:04 PM
    • #3
    • 7th Oct 17, 9:04 PM
    There are two potentially separate issues

    * breach of contract if terms agreed were not met. Did you get, in writing, a list of these works that the LL had agreed to do?

    * was the property 'uninhabitable'? No water would certainly make it uninhabitable but do you really mean that? Or was the water just turned off at the stopcock (which you can have easily resolved)?

    If the property was genuinely uninhabitable on the date the tenancy was due to start (tenancy agreement signed by landlord/agent?) then you can claim your consequential losses. eg hotel costs till it became inhabitable, aborted removals etc.

    Some of the items you list are really just things to be noted on the inventory so that when the tenancy ends you cannot be charged.

    - There were no electrics fixed on 4th day yes? What was the issue? A significant electric problem or a flipped trip switch....?
    - There was no hot water fixed on 4th day yes? As above
    - No heating fixed on 4th day yes? As above
    - No smoke alarms Buy one for £3.00 or free from the fire brigade? If LL does not supply, he can not serve you a S21 Notice so your tenancy is more secure.
    - No CO2 alarms Does the property have a wood burner then? Buy one for £3.00 or free from the fire brigade? If LL does not supply, he can not serve you a S21 Notice so your tenancy is more secure.
    - Property not cleaned as agreed (to the point there are dead insects lying around and there was remains of food in cupboards) Note on the inventory. Photograph. Clen
    - Some furniture has been left over when renting on unfurnished basis there's no strict definition of 'furnished'/'unfurnished'. What does the inventory list?
    - One rear external door to the property does not lock and therefore we cannot appropriately secure the property Hmm. Is this being addressed?
    - Some rooms have curtain rails, others do not and are just full of holes where they used to be as above, check it's noted on the inventory. Unless the LL agreed in writing to supply rails he does not have to.
    - There are patches of paint worn off (after agreeing someone would repaint) Note it on the inventory (with photos). If the LL agreed in writing that it would be re-painted, pursue.

    Put a list together in a letter and send to the landlord at the address for serving notices, plus a copy to the agent:

    * showing all outstanding works required which he had agreed in writing to do, and asking for them to be completed. Ask for a date for each item.

    * list all the items (if any) which made the property uninhabitable on the tenancy start date. Be reasonable eg if water was just turned off, that is not reasonable

    * if property was genuinely uninhabitable, list all your costs for the 1st 4 days, with copies of receipts, and request payments within 7 days.
    • G_M
    • By G_M 7th Oct 17, 9:08 PM
    • 42,275 Posts
    • 49,106 Thanks
    G_M
    • #4
    • 7th Oct 17, 9:08 PM
    • #4
    • 7th Oct 17, 9:08 PM
    The tenancy starts when you actually move in.
    Originally posted by Cakeguts
    True.

    But assuming the LL/agent had signed a tenancy agreement with a stated tenancy start date, and the tenancy then could not start on that date due to the property being uninhabitable (which is at present possible but unclear), then there's a breach of contract by the LL who is then liable for consequential losses.
    • cjdavies
    • By cjdavies 7th Oct 17, 9:11 PM
    • 2,842 Posts
    • 2,874 Thanks
    cjdavies
    • #5
    • 7th Oct 17, 9:11 PM
    • #5
    • 7th Oct 17, 9:11 PM
    For future reference to anyone else, when viewing if it's in a state and they promise it will be done before you move in or just after, walk away, it won't be done. A decent landlord would solve issues BEFORE showing future tenants.
    Last edited by cjdavies; 07-10-2017 at 9:15 PM.
    • G_M
    • By G_M 7th Oct 17, 9:24 PM
    • 42,275 Posts
    • 49,106 Thanks
    G_M
    • #6
    • 7th Oct 17, 9:24 PM
    • #6
    • 7th Oct 17, 9:24 PM
    For future reference to anyone else, when viewing if it's in a state and they promise it will be done before you move in or just after, walk away, it won't be done. A decent landlord would solve issues BEFORE showing future tenants.
    Originally posted by cjdavies
    Well yes...... or no!

    I might well advertise knowing that finding a new tenant takes a week or two and be upgrading the property in parallel.

    So yes, when viewing the tenants might not see the property in its finished state.
    • csgohan4
    • By csgohan4 7th Oct 17, 9:26 PM
    • 4,015 Posts
    • 2,497 Thanks
    csgohan4
    • #7
    • 7th Oct 17, 9:26 PM
    • #7
    • 7th Oct 17, 9:26 PM
    OP got taken for a ride
    "It is prudent when shopping for something important, not to limit yourself to Pound land"
    • rimarj
    • By rimarj 7th Oct 17, 9:42 PM
    • 9 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    rimarj
    • #8
    • 7th Oct 17, 9:42 PM
    • #8
    • 7th Oct 17, 9:42 PM

    Thanks everyone so far for the responses. On a separate note - lesson learned on what CakeGuts and cjdavies have said.


    G_M – in answer to your questions

    There were no electrics fixed on 4th day yes? What was the issue? A significant electric problem or a flipped trip switch....?
    Yes fixed on fourth day. Took the electricians to whole day to find a number of faults. Some bits they removed from the circuit and said this cannot be used, some plugs were covered up due to poor wiring, essentially as soon as anything was used, everything stopped.

    - There was no hot water fixed on 4th day yes? As above

    This was fixed as part of the electrics – the boiler was put on the same ring as everything else so once the electrics were sorted, the heating and hot water were also sorted as they now put this on it’s own separate ring.

    - No heating fixed on 4th day yes? As above

    As above

    - No smoke alarms Buy one for £3.00 or free from the fire brigade? If LL does not supply, he can not serve you a S21 Notice so your tenancy is more secure.

    These have now been fitted but only on our request to the electricians who were here subsequently billing the work to the letting agent / landlord

    - No CO2 alarms Does the property have a wood burner then? Buy one for £3.00 or free from the fire brigade? If LL does not supply, he can not serve you a S21 Notice so your tenancy is more secure.

    Did not know it’s only for a wood burner. Electricians fitted them anyway.

    - Property not cleaned as agreed (to the point there are dead insects lying around and there was remains of food in cupboards) Note on the inventory. Photograph. Clen

    Already done. The letting agent agreed we could provide an invoice of a cleaner to them – but they followed u with “they would check with the landlord”

    - Some furniture has been left over when renting on unfurnished basis there's no strict definition of 'furnished'/'unfurnished'. What does the inventory list?

    No inventory list provided. I thought it was supposed to be provided upon moving in or no later than 7 days. Apparently they did the inventory on the day before our move in but did not note any other issues.

    - One rear external door to the property does not lock and therefore we cannot appropriately secure the property Hmm. Is this being addressed?

    I have chased this 3 times and said the property doesn’t secure. Letting agent keeps telling me something will be sorted but I’m not hearing anything back. All of these issues have been logged in their online portal so there is an auditable record.

    - Some rooms have curtain rails, others do not and are just full of holes where they used to be as above, check it's noted on the inventory. Unless the LL agreed in writing to supply rails he does not have to.

    As above inventory point. Assumption was these would form part of fixtures and fititngs which the landlord has agreed to maintain in the tenancy agreement.

    - There are patches of paint worn off (after agreeing someone would repaint) Note it on the inventory (with photos). If the LL agreed in writing that it would be re-painted, pursue.

    Took photos of EVERYTHING that is wrong so we have a clear record of the state of the property when we moved in.


    “* breach of contract if terms agreed were not met. Did you get, in writing, a list of these works that the LL had agreed to do?”

    There was a list that the letting agent sent to the landlord which she forwarded me the email. A number of items were missed off which I followed up via email to explain. The area director also attended the property and agreed on various issues – however this was verbal.

    “* was the property 'uninhabitable'? No water would certainly make it uninhabitable but do you really mean that? Or was the water just turned off at the stopcock (which you can have easily resolved)?”


    There was cold water only. No electrics, no HOT water and no heating. With two young children – (1.5 and 3) this is uninhabitable and even the management company deem this as emergency as they are classed as vulnerable persons.

    “Some of the items you list are really just things to be noted on the inventory so that when the tenancy ends you cannot be charged.”

    On my agreement it states under schedule 2 of landlords conditons:
    3.
    Statutory Repairing Obligations
    3.1. To comply with the obligations to repair the Property as set out in sections 11 to 16 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 (as amended by the Housing Act 1988). These sections impose on the Landlord obligations to repair and keep in good order:
    3.1.1. the structure of the Property and exterior (including drains, gutters and pipes);
    3.1.2. certain installations for the supply of water, electricity and gas;
    3.1.3. sanitary appliances including basins, sinks,baths and sanitary conveniences;
    3.1.4. space heating and water heating;

    5.
    Other Repairs
    5.1. To keep in repair and proper working order all mechanical and electrical items belonging to the Landlord and forming part of the Fixtures and Fittings, unless the lack of repair is due to the negligence or misuse of the Tenant, his family, or visitors.
    5.2. To provide and maintain the Fixtures and Fittings in good repair and replace any of the items that may become defective due to fair wear and tearduring the Tenancy except if the damage has been caused by the Tenant, his family or any visitors, insofar as the Tenant is liable to keep the Property in repair under Schedule 1 of this agreement
    5.3. To maintain all gas and electrical appliances and central heating system (if any) and make good or replace any parts which become defective due to fair wear and tear (except for light bulbs and electrical fuses) and not caused by any negligence on the part of the Tenant or the
    Tenant’s visitors and to have all boilers stoves and any other appliance powered by solid fuel gas or oil serviced annually by a qualified contractor

    7. Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarms To confirm that as from 1st October 2015 the property complies with the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015 and that the landlord has installed a smoke alarm on every floor and carbon monoxide alarm in every room where a solid fuel appliance is present. The landlord hereby confirms these were checked at the start of the tenancy.

    12. Possessions and Refuse
    12.1 To remove or pay for the removal of all rubbish and items which are not to be left by the Landlord for the Tenant’s use during the Tenancy

    Some of these may cover some of the issues we have been facing? I can share more sections etc. if needed.

    The above has been signed by the landlord.

    Also to be clear - i'm not looking to go into a legal battle over this - i'm mostly looking to ensure we can recover costs incurred due to the issues really..
    • rimarj
    • By rimarj 7th Oct 17, 9:43 PM
    • 9 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    rimarj
    • #9
    • 7th Oct 17, 9:43 PM
    • #9
    • 7th Oct 17, 9:43 PM
    OP got taken for a ride
    Originally posted by csgohan4
    You're telling me...
    Now i've just noticed my oven doesnt heat up properly either!
    • 45002
    • By 45002 7th Oct 17, 9:50 PM
    • 401 Posts
    • 348 Thanks
    45002
    Hello,
    Looking for some advice if possible..

    We agreed and signed for a property after viewing on the agreement from the management agent that various jobs would be completed prior to our official move in date.
    Upon picking up the keys we went to check the property again to ensure these had been done - none of the jobs had been other than cutting the grass.

    Upon further examination it also turned out that:
    - There were no electrics
    - There was no hot water
    - No heating
    - No smoke alarms
    - No CO2 alarms
    - Property not cleaned as agreed (to the point there are dead insects lying around and there was remains of food in cupboards)
    - Some furniture has been left over when renting on unfurnished basis
    - One rear external door to the property does not lock and therefore we cannot appropriately secure the property
    - Some rooms have curtain rails, others do not and are just full of holes where they used to be
    - There are patches of paint worn off (after agreeing someone would repaint)

    We have two very young children (1 and a half and almost 3) with us and we were subsequently unable to move into the property on the agreed date due to the issues.

    We contacted the letting agent and were told the landlord was arranging the electrics to be sorted and the boiler - no one showed up to perform the work until 4 days later, meaning we could finally move in on the 5th day after our tenancy start date. There was not and still has not been any mentioned of any other works other than the CO2 and smoke alarms have now been fitted.

    As things like CO2 alarms and smoke alarms are a legal requirement for landlords to provide, would this mean there is a breach of contract or just that the landlord was breaking the law without initially putting them in?

    We paid for a van on the initial move in date for a for the weekend - as we were physically unable to move into the property due to the issues stated, are we within our rights to claim this cost back?

    As the property was not cleaned as agreed, we paid to have a cleaner come round. Can this cost be claimed back?

    Are we within our rights to claim for the days of rent paid where the property was uninhabitable due to these issues?

    It's been such a stressful situation and we are extremely lucky that we had a little bit of overlap in our current tenancy otherwise we would have been homeless or extremely cold for almost a week with two young kids!
    by rimarj

    For reference https://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?481994-Renting-nightmare



    ..
    My signature been censored again by MSE, no reason given how rude...
    • Cakeguts
    • By Cakeguts 7th Oct 17, 9:51 PM
    • 3,274 Posts
    • 4,563 Thanks
    Cakeguts
    The rental properties that look as if they are "good value for money" or cheap for the area have problems. Do not rent the biggest cheapest property that you can find. Smaller more expensive in good condition are a better bet.
    • rimarj
    • By rimarj 7th Oct 17, 9:54 PM
    • 9 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    rimarj
    For reference



    ..
    Originally posted by 45002
    Am i not allowed to post the question in multiple places to seek advice?
    • rimarj
    • By rimarj 7th Oct 17, 9:55 PM
    • 9 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    rimarj
    The rental properties that look as if they are "good value for money" or cheap for the area have problems. Do not rent the biggest cheapest property that you can find. Smaller more expensive in good condition are a better bet.
    Originally posted by Cakeguts
    Indeed. Unfortunately our LL that we just left the property of after 16 months wanted to move back in, so stuck between a rock and hard place really. Such is life!
    • G_M
    • By G_M 7th Oct 17, 9:57 PM
    • 42,275 Posts
    • 49,106 Thanks
    G_M
    Well the statutory obligations ("to keep in repair....") have been complied with. The repairs have (largely) been completed.

    Glad to hear the agent has agreed on behalf of the LL to pay for cleaning.

    As advised above, get it all documented in a letter to the landlord. that's why the Landlord and Tenant Act 1987 S48 states an address must be provided to all tenants.

    Sorry I misread (skim-reading!) thought you said no water. In fact it was no hot water. Not sure that makes the property uninhabitable but if push came to shove you could ask a judge for a ruling.....

    Re habitablility. see
    https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/9425/150940.pdf
    Last edited by G_M; 07-10-2017 at 10:04 PM.
    • rimarj
    • By rimarj 7th Oct 17, 10:04 PM
    • 9 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    rimarj
    Well the statutory obligations ("to keep in repair....") have been complied with. The repairs have (largely) been completed.

    Glad to hear the agent has agreed on behalf of the LL to pay for cleaning.

    As advised above, get it all documented in a letter to the landlord. that's why the Landlord and Tenant Act 1987 S48 states an address must be provided to all tenants.

    Sorry I misread (skim-reading!) thought you said no water. In fact it was no hot water. Not sure that makes the property uninhabitable but if push came to shove you could ask a judge for a ruling.....
    Originally posted by G_M
    Thanks G_M.

    I think ideally i'd like to avoid going to any kind of court or through a legal system. I'd like to get it resolved mutually if possible but as you know moving costs can be quite pricey on top of the already high expense of deposit + rent + referencing fees.

    I'll keep on with the comms as i am and see where i get and also draft up a letter directly to the landlord and see what happens.

    Can't wait to just get a mortgage!! And hopefully not be taken for so much of a ride!!
    • Cakeguts
    • By Cakeguts 7th Oct 17, 10:13 PM
    • 3,274 Posts
    • 4,563 Thanks
    Cakeguts
    Thanks G_M.

    I think ideally i'd like to avoid going to any kind of court or through a legal system. I'd like to get it resolved mutually if possible but as you know moving costs can be quite pricey on top of the already high expense of deposit + rent + referencing fees.

    I'll keep on with the comms as i am and see where i get and also draft up a letter directly to the landlord and see what happens.

    Can't wait to just get a mortgage!! And hopefully not be taken for so much of a ride!!
    Originally posted by rimarj
    If you find it difficult to save for a deposit for a rental property it is going to be almost impossble for you to save the deposit to buy a house.
    • Mr.Generous
    • By Mr.Generous 7th Oct 17, 10:35 PM
    • 1,687 Posts
    • 2,527 Thanks
    Mr.Generous
    co alarm, (or co1 if you want) for carbon monoxide. co2 is carbon dioxide, not that harmful - we breath it out, and I have yet to see a alarm made for it. I'm impressed that a tenant would look at a property and sign up for it based on someone claiming work will be done. Sorry nothing positive to contribute.
    • csgohan4
    • By csgohan4 8th Oct 17, 8:41 AM
    • 4,015 Posts
    • 2,497 Thanks
    csgohan4
    you get what you pay for generally as well. Be prepared for the LL not to fix it, wait out the contract and move
    "It is prudent when shopping for something important, not to limit yourself to Pound land"
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