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  • FIRST POST
    • indierocker85
    • By indierocker85 13th Jul 18, 2:34 PM
    • 1,987Posts
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    indierocker85
    Served notice a week after asking for repairs - Private tenant
    • #1
    • 13th Jul 18, 2:34 PM
    Served notice a week after asking for repairs - Private tenant 13th Jul 18 at 2:34 PM
    Hi everybody

    I am a joint private tenant on a house, who signed a private tenancy agreement for 6 months, back in 2013, since then we have been on a rolling monthly periodic tenancy.

    We have had some issues in that, we asked our landladies for some repairs, and are now facing what I deem to be a "revenge eviction".

    The below are over a period of 5 years of living here;

    We brought up the fact we had mold in our property a couple of years, and we were told to simply "open our windows" (in winter) - I even went so far as to purchase a 150 dehumidifier to stop it. But they didn't give any credit for that.

    The house was only 6 years old, and I noticed one of the upvc window frames were bent, thus letting in moisture, and cold air. The landlady claimed these weren't under warranty, and patched it up with some 1.99 foam.

    We had a light fitting that was dodgy, in that the light kept flickering repeatedly. We were made to wait 5 days for it to be fixed, and therefore left without a front room light.

    Our boiler pressure kept dropping, and we were told to simply "top it up" - I question how safe this is.

    I should say I have opted to have repairs done myself, such as replacing a bath panel and a toilet flush valve.

    However, very recently (March 2018) we discovered we had a leaking bath mixer tap.....I raised this, and was told they would get it looked at. Now it is leaking 6 - 12 litres a day (I have a bucket under it). We are on a water meter, so therefore, this could get costly. I rang my landladies to ask for this to be fixed, they ignored my calls repeatedly, and texts. I put a letter to them in writing at the end of June, they signed and received it on 4th July 2018.

    Today, we have received a letter "Notice 21" a template version downloaded from LawDepot.co.uk basically giving us two months to leave the property. I deem this to be a revenge eviction, and question that the owners / landladies have not honoured their side of the agreement by resolving repairs.

    I am going to see a solicitor on Monday, but wondered what the thoughts are of people on here, I can paste the full notice if needs be?

    We do have a mortgage in principle, so truthfully maybe this is a kick up the bum to buy. But I am also clueless on the process of buying, as well as the process of getting back our deposit. Any advice welcome.
    Last edited by indierocker85; 13-07-2018 at 2:42 PM.
    Live for what tomorrow has to bring, not what yesterday has taken away
Page 1
    • Smi1er
    • By Smi1er 13th Jul 18, 2:53 PM
    • 576 Posts
    • 390 Thanks
    Smi1er
    • #2
    • 13th Jul 18, 2:53 PM
    • #2
    • 13th Jul 18, 2:53 PM
    Mould within a house is either a serious damp issue, or the result of your lifestyle. Vast majority of the time it's the latter.

    Dodgy light fitting? You had to wait 5 days for repair? 5 whole days??

    Nowt wrong with topping up boiler pressure, but how often?
    • parkrunner
    • By parkrunner 13th Jul 18, 3:04 PM
    • 1,383 Posts
    • 2,173 Thanks
    parkrunner
    • #3
    • 13th Jul 18, 3:04 PM
    • #3
    • 13th Jul 18, 3:04 PM
    Hi everybody

    I am a joint private tenant on a house, who signed a private tenancy agreement for 6 months, back in 2013, since then we have been on a rolling monthly periodic tenancy.

    We have had some issues in that, we asked our landladies for some repairs, and are now facing what I deem to be a "revenge eviction".

    The below are over a period of 5 years of living here;

    We brought up the fact we had mold in our property a couple of years, and we were told to simply "open our windows" (in winter) - I even went so far as to purchase a 150 dehumidifier to stop it. But they didn't give any credit for that.


    Why should they?


    The house was only 6 years old, and I noticed one of the upvc window frames were bent, thus letting in moisture, and cold air. The landlady claimed these weren't under warranty, and patched it up with some 1.99 foam.


    Problem fixed then


    We had a light fitting that was dodgy, in that the light kept flickering repeatedly. We were made to wait 5 days for it to be fixed, and therefore left without a front room light.


    Five days is not a big deal to get something fixed


    Our boiler pressure kept dropping, and we were told to simply "top it up" - I question how safe this is.


    Very safe, just google it


    I should say I have opted to have repairs done myself, such as replacing a bath panel and a toilet flush valve.


    What was wrong with the bath panel?


    However, very recently (March 2018) we discovered we had a leaking bath mixer tap.....I raised this, and was told they would get it looked at. Now it is leaking 6 - 12 litres a day (I have a bucket under it). We are on a water meter, so therefore, this could get costly. I rang my landladies to ask for this to be fixed, they ignored my calls repeatedly, and texts. I put a letter to them in writing at the end of June, they signed and received it on 4th July 2018.


    Ten minute job to fix the tap, just look on youtube for advice


    Today, we have received a letter "Notice 21" a template version downloaded from LawDepot.co.uk basically giving us two months to leave the property. I deem this to be a revenge eviction, and question that the owners / landladies have not honoured their side of the agreement by resolving repairs.

    I am going to see a solicitor on Monday, but wondered what the thoughts are of people on here, I can paste the full notice if needs be?

    We do have a mortgage in principle, so truthfully maybe this is a kick up the bum to buy. But I am also clueless on the process of buying, as well as the process of getting back our deposit. Any advice welcome.
    Originally posted by indierocker85

    Apart from the light fitting these are all things I'd fix myself. If you're unhappy with the landladies then move, I'd imagine revenge evictions are pretty hard to prove. Also read this,


    https://england.shelter.org.uk/housing_advice/repairs/revenge_eviction_if_you_ask_for_repairs


    If you receive a section 21 notice after you complain

    A court will refuse to order your eviction if all of these apply:
    • you complained to your landlord or letting agent in writing before you received a section 21 notice
    • you complained to the local council because your landlord didn't take steps to fix the problem
    • the council sent your landlord a notice telling them to make improvements or saying it will do emergency work
    • Cakeguts
    • By Cakeguts 13th Jul 18, 3:07 PM
    • 4,856 Posts
    • 7,217 Thanks
    Cakeguts
    • #4
    • 13th Jul 18, 3:07 PM
    • #4
    • 13th Jul 18, 3:07 PM
    You say the house is only 6 years old? Modern houses are very well insulated and the only way they are going to get mould in them is if the person living there dries washing on the radiators, has a dryer that is not vented to the outside, does a lot of cooking without opening windows or using and extractor fan or has baths and showers without using the extractor fan or opening windows. Anything that makes steam that can't get out of the house will cause mould if you don't ventilate enough. Old houses with walls that are not insulated but have had central heating installed are the one where you get bad mould problems. New houses that have mould in them means that the mould is caused by how the tenant is living in them. Yes you have to open the windows in winter if you are creating moisture in steam that can't get out.




    Repairs to dodgy light fittings are done by electricians. Electrician have to work to earn a living they don't sit at home on the end of a phone waiting for someone to call them out to mend a light fitting. They also don't break appointments to mend other people's dodgy light fittings to put yours in. The better the electrician the more work they have. The more work they have the longer it will be before they can fit you in. You aren't special you don't get the electrician to stop doing someone else's job to do your's first.


    Draft excluders are nearly all made from foam. It isn't the cost of the foam that is important it is whether that particular foam stops the draft. You didn't say it didn't work so if it worked it was what needed for the job regardless of what it cost.



    Bath panels don't just break. The panel on my bath here has been on it for all of the 29 years I have lived here for so I have no idea how a bath panel got broken in a 6 year old house.



    The information on topping up the pressure on the boiler was correct and it doesn't need a plumber. What is more important is that you have had a gas safety check done on the boiler every year. Has your landlady done that?



    So actually there are two plumbing repairs that the landlady should have organised. The toilet and the leaking tap.



    The deposit should be protected in a scheme is it?



    There are books available to help people understand about house buying.
    • Pixie5740
    • By Pixie5740 13th Jul 18, 3:15 PM
    • 12,907 Posts
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    Pixie5740
    • #5
    • 13th Jul 18, 3:15 PM
    • #5
    • 13th Jul 18, 3:15 PM
    You're still supposed to open the windows to air the place over winter. I live in North East Scotland and I open my windows daily, even throughout winter. Also topping up the boiler is something that the occupants of the property should be able to do themselves just like you would change a light bulb yourself.

    You're only protected from revenge evictions if your tenancy started after 1st October 2015. From what you describe you haven't signed a new agreement since 2013 so the protection from revenge evictions unfortunately doesn't apply to you. However there are plenty of other things that can make a Section 21 invalid.

    https://markprichard.co.uk/documents/s21-validity-checker

    Read G_M's Guide to Ending/Renewing an AST: what happens when a fixed term ends? How can a LL or tenant end a tenancy? What is a periodic tenancy?
    • ognum
    • By ognum 13th Jul 18, 3:54 PM
    • 4,587 Posts
    • 7,208 Thanks
    ognum
    • #6
    • 13th Jul 18, 3:54 PM
    • #6
    • 13th Jul 18, 3:54 PM
    I had a flat that my daughter lived in for four years without any mould issues.

    My tenant reported mould, she clearly did not ventilate the property and refused to do so. When she moved out the next tenant had no mould issues.

    Mould is frequently about lifestyle, open some windows, don!!!8217;t dry clothes or linens inside.
    • anselld
    • By anselld 13th Jul 18, 5:23 PM
    • 5,865 Posts
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    anselld
    • #7
    • 13th Jul 18, 5:23 PM
    • #7
    • 13th Jul 18, 5:23 PM
    I deem this to be a revenge eviction
    Originally posted by indierocker85
    You can deem it whatever you like, but you are only legally protected from revenge eviction if the L has failed to carry out repairs under an enforcement notice from the Council.
    • FBaby
    • By FBaby 13th Jul 18, 5:45 PM
    • 16,939 Posts
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    FBaby
    • #8
    • 13th Jul 18, 5:45 PM
    • #8
    • 13th Jul 18, 5:45 PM
    I would be constantly anxious with a tenant who deemed having to wait 5 days for a light fitting to be changed to be unreasonable.
    • AdrianC
    • By AdrianC 13th Jul 18, 6:42 PM
    • 18,358 Posts
    • 16,588 Thanks
    AdrianC
    • #9
    • 13th Jul 18, 6:42 PM
    • #9
    • 13th Jul 18, 6:42 PM
    Given that you think the landlord is so monumentally unreasonable, and the house had so many unresolved issues, I'd have thought that moving would be what you'd want.
    • indierocker85
    • By indierocker85 13th Jul 18, 8:19 PM
    • 1,987 Posts
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    indierocker85
    This forum used to be frequented by people with courtesy and respect.....

    Some of you have made me feel about an inch tall......Thanks a lot
    Live for what tomorrow has to bring, not what yesterday has taken away
    • G_M
    • By G_M 13th Jul 18, 8:32 PM
    • 45,319 Posts
    • 54,317 Thanks
    G_M
    Sometimes we could be gentler, true.

    But essentially, most of the regular more experienced posters here, myself included, try to be balanced.

    If a tenant has a genuine grievance against a landlord, we go to great lengths to clarify that tenant's rights, quote relevant laws, and suggest practical courses of action.

    Conversely where the apparent grievance has a less than sound basis, we say so, often to the disappointment of the original poster.

    In this thread you've had both!
    • pinkshoes
    • By pinkshoes 13th Jul 18, 8:48 PM
    • 15,972 Posts
    • 21,940 Thanks
    pinkshoes
    I can't see anything on the list that wasn't relatively easily fixed.

    A quick google gives you lots of ways to fix a leaking mixer tap.

    But as they have now issues an S21, why not just get on with looking for another house?

    If you are thinking of paying for solicitor advice, then I wouldn't bother. Revenge eviction is more like landlords refusing to fix major issues, not little things like this. I fear a court case would make you look like a serial moaner about little things and the LL had just had enough.

    People ARE nice and helpful on here. Perhaps they were not just quite the answers you were expecting?

    But you wouldn't want to go spending money on solicitors when it is not necessary... this is MSE after all.
    Should've = Should HAVE (not 'of')
    Would've = Would HAVE (not 'of')

    No, I am not perfect, but yes I do judge people on their use of basic English language. If you didn't know the above, then learn it! (If English is your second language, then you are forgiven!)
    • Slithery
    • By Slithery 13th Jul 18, 8:49 PM
    • 820 Posts
    • 1,284 Thanks
    Slithery
    This forum used to be frequented by people with courtesy and respect.....

    Some of you have made me feel about an inch tall......Thanks a lot
    Originally posted by indierocker85
    We all thought that in your original post you were asking for proper legal advice dependant on the circumstances that you outlined, if you only wanted answers that told you what you wanted to hear then you should have said so in the first place.
    • indierocker85
    • By indierocker85 13th Jul 18, 9:31 PM
    • 1,987 Posts
    • 1,744 Thanks
    indierocker85
    We all thought that in your original post you were asking for proper legal advice dependant on the circumstances that you outlined, if you only wanted answers that told you what you wanted to hear then you should have said so in the first place.
    Originally posted by Slithery
    And so it continues......

    I think advice can be given without making me both look like and feel like a fool.

    Have a pleasant weekend won't you!
    Live for what tomorrow has to bring, not what yesterday has taken away
    • Pixie5740
    • By Pixie5740 13th Jul 18, 9:37 PM
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    Pixie5740
    "No One Can Make You Feel Inferior Without Your Consent"

    Eleanor Roosevelt
    • indierocker85
    • By indierocker85 13th Jul 18, 9:44 PM
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    indierocker85
    Some of the responses above have really made me feel absolutely ridiculous and like my situation is menial.

    These are over 5 years, not a very short period of time.

    I question that the mold is lifestyle, we have a 150 dehumidifier to remove excess moisture. And we don't have a dryer. This mold was a concern due to my wife's asthma. It is easier said than done to open windows when we live on one of the busiest roads in our town....but we do try to do so.

    Firstly, r.e the light fitting, an electrician friend of mine said the fitting could have "burned out" and went so far as to say it could be a fire risk. Though, he also said he couldn't replace it without her authorization, and they should get it done sharpish. Hence the sense of urgency, which my landlady didn't seem to share.

    The bath panel was cracked and as I know what she is like, I replace it at my own expense.

    One of the toilets (we have two) had a faulty flush valve and it just constantly filled with water, I had that replaced at my own cost.

    R.E The boiler, it was about the bigger issues
    The back door is rotting (outside) - But she didn't batt an eyelid at that.

    It isn't even just us, we have an elderly neighbour in the next house, same landlady. They didn't have a working kitchen tap (it sprayed everywhere) for around 9 months and the sink had a hole in it, which was patched up with some black tacky stuff........they simply don't seem to care.
    Live for what tomorrow has to bring, not what yesterday has taken away
    • Cakeguts
    • By Cakeguts 13th Jul 18, 10:16 PM
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    Cakeguts
    All houses will get mould if you do things that create steam like cooking or having baths or showers and you don't open the windows. The fact that the house is on a busy road and you don't like opening the window isn't the landlord's fault or a fault in the way the house was built. The fact that you have a dehumidifier means that you are taking out the moisture in the house that is being created by you in other ways and not vented to the outside. Modern houses are very well sealed so that they don't lose heat.



    I still don't understand about the bath panel. Are you saying that you moved into a house with a cracked bath panel? If so why? The whole point of viewing a rented house before you move in is to see if it is in good repair as well as if the accommodation suits you. A broken bath panel in a house that is being let suggests that the landlord doesn't care very much.



    Regarding the backdoor it sounds as if it needs painting. Have you reported the fact that it needs painting? You landlady can't see the outside unless she enters your garden. I don't go wandering around my tenant's back gardens.



    Your electrician friend said it "could" have burned out not that it "had" burned out. He was correct that he couldn't replace it because it is the landlord's responsibility to replace it. The landlord gets to choose the electrician who may not be able to come for a few days. This is normal which you will find out if buy a house and have to call an electrician. It isn't abnormal to have to wait a few days for an electrician to attend even if you own the house. You landlord can't force the electrician to come earlier if it doesn't suit them.



    So with all this going on you will be pleased to move won't you?
    • indierocker85
    • By indierocker85 13th Jul 18, 10:39 PM
    • 1,987 Posts
    • 1,744 Thanks
    indierocker85
    All houses will get mould if you do things that create steam like cooking or having baths or showers and you don't open the windows. The fact that the house is on a busy road and you don't like opening the window isn't the landlord's fault or a fault in the way the house was built. The fact that you have a dehumidifier means that you are taking out the moisture in the house that is being created by you in other ways and not vented to the outside. Modern houses are very well sealed so that they don't lose heat.



    I still don't understand about the bath panel. Are you saying that you moved into a house with a cracked bath panel? If so why? The whole point of viewing a rented house before you move in is to see if it is in good repair as well as if the accommodation suits you. A broken bath panel in a house that is being let suggests that the landlord doesn't care very much.

    It was broken and didn't fit properly, but wasn't easy to spot until we put a towel over it and it bent inwards

    Regarding the backdoor it sounds as if it needs painting. Have you reported the fact that it needs painting? You landlady can't see the outside unless she enters your garden. I don't go wandering around my tenant's back gardens.

    We don't use the front door, due to it being on a main road as mentioned above, due to fear of the house cat bolting out. We use the back door as our main entrance and she couldn't help but miss the chunk of wood that has fallen off the bottom of it

    So with all this going on you will be pleased to move won't you?

    I guess so, just not really very prepared
    Originally posted by Cakeguts
    The mold thing, we just have to deal with really, but as I said above, they just show a general disregard. And if you ask for anything to be fixed, you are made to feel like you are really putting them out......and hence when I put it in writing politely requesting it be repaired, this is the situation I am left in....
    Live for what tomorrow has to bring, not what yesterday has taken away
    • tlc678910
    • By tlc678910 14th Jul 18, 2:13 AM
    • 667 Posts
    • 1,080 Thanks
    tlc678910
    Hi OP,
    I guess what people are getting at is that a rented house won't be perfect (just like owner occupied houses aren't perfect). In the case of non-urgent issues you could report periodically or at inspection saying "for information" but whether the landlord chooses to fix non urgent issues is really down to the type of landlord they are and if they are going to allow their house to become tired and run down. Obviously the condition should be reasonable and safe but by no means perfect. I think when you house hunt you need to look for a very property proud landlord or lower your expectations a little. A near perfect property will command a premium rent though.

    Having no light in the living room might feel like an emergency but a broken pendant fitting doesn't mean no light. Plug in a lamp or two and you have a work around that many owner occupiers might use for ages (2 years in my case!).

    A very property proud landlord will likely have high expectations of how you look after the property though so it's a two way thing. You do need to open your windows to ventilate even in winter especially if the property is well sealed rather than draughty. I turn the heating off and open everything up for 1/2 hour or more depending on how cold it is and how much I can stand, and then close them and put the heating back on. I think owner occupiers do this more readily because they care enough about the property to pay out to keep it in good condition. It is probably irritating to your landlord if you expect them to keep the property tip top but are not playing your part. It will be interesting if you do change your approach a little when you do buy.

    When you do touch base with your landlord it's worth mentioning little jobs you have done so they recognise times when you are helpful tenants like letting them know we had a problem with the loo/tap but we have sorted it. In general I would say the gratitude of your landlord will help when you do need their assistance and avoid unfortunate situations like the one you are in. I'm sure some will think the landlord should fix every last little thing as that's what you pay them for but I think in a long term tenancy a tenant doing very everyday things like getting a new loo seat if the old one breaks helps to keep the repairs the landlord does need to do from feeling like endless and unecessary grumbles.

    I'm sorry the thread has made you feel belittled but perhaps on reflection you can appreciate some people sincerely see things a little differently to you. if you can swallow your pride you could approach your landlord - writing would probably be best and why not tell them that after discussing with a few other people you can see that your expectations might be a bit high compared to a lot of other people and if you could both have a fresh start you would love that. I'm not suggesting your landlord has done no wrong but if a little humble pie saves you having to move when you are nearly ready to house hunt for your own purchase then you might as well. You can then serve your own notice in your own time when you buy.

    Good luck with whatever you decide.
    Tlc
    Edit: I lived in our property for a couple of years with no mould problems. Rented it out a couple of years and when I moved back in had to treat and paint a patch of mould and was gutted to see a few of our vertical blinds ruined by mould. Lived there a couple more years no problems, rented out and....complaints of mould. It is annoying as a landlord when mould is condensation based and I am supposed to magic it away when it is the tenants lifestyle that causes it.
    Last edited by tlc678910; 14-07-2018 at 2:18 AM.
    • indierocker85
    • By indierocker85 14th Jul 18, 2:32 AM
    • 1,987 Posts
    • 1,744 Thanks
    indierocker85
    Apart from the light fitting these are all things I'd fix myself. If you're unhappy with the landladies then move, I'd imagine revenge evictions are pretty hard to prove. Also read this,


    https://england.shelter.org.uk/housing_advice/repairs/revenge_eviction_if_you_ask_for_repairs


    If you receive a section 21 notice after you complain

    A court will refuse to order your eviction if all of these apply:
    • you complained to your landlord or letting agent in writing before you received a section 21 notice
    • you complained to the local council because your landlord didn't take steps to fix the problem
    • the council sent your landlord a notice telling them to make improvements or saying it will do emergency work
    Originally posted by parkrunner
    I did the first of the three, I didn't have sufficient time (week between my letter to the landlady and their notice letter), or deem it neccessary to approach the council for a leaking tap.
    Live for what tomorrow has to bring, not what yesterday has taken away
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