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becndan
19-01-2009, 08:22 AM
Last night our toilet started to overfill after it was flushed - therefore it no longer stops in the cistern at the correct point and then large amounts of excess water come through the flush mechanism to stop the cistern flooding.

As the water pressure in our house is so bad (landlord has been aware for a number of months), because of the amount of water being turned over by the toilet (which we cannot stop, despite trying) the shower and all other water led appliances will not work as there is insufficient water pressure for them whilst the toilet has this problem.

We have contacted the landlord (who we have a very tempestuous relationship with due to his failure to address problems with the house e.g we still do not have adequate heating 6 months after tenancy and environmental health are involved) and he said that he would drive the 40 minutes from his house to fix the problem as we had told him that if he did not address it within 24 hrs that we would instruct a plumber to fix and would deduct any amount from the next months rent (as advised by the letting agents before it became an non managed property.)


So, my question is, are we obligated to let our landlord attempt to fix the problem when he has no plumbing qualifications (and has done bodge jobs on the whole house including leaving a pipe exposed that rats can come up!)

or, because time is important here, can we organise an emergency plumber on ther grounds that he has had plenty of notice regarding the plumbing issues (also recorded in a letter to him from environmental health) and that we need something done asap as cannot wash, shower, clean clothing etc.

We have turned the water off at the mains overnight as we are on a water meter and there is a great deal of water being wasted.


Many thanks.

SALL
19-01-2009, 08:56 AM
Last night our toilet started to overfill after it was flushed - therefore it no longer stops in the cistern at the correct point and then large amounts of excess water come through the flush mechanism to stop the cistern flooding.

As the water pressure in our house is so bad (landlord has been aware for a number of months), because of the amount of water being turned over by the toilet (which we cannot stop, despite trying) the shower and all other water led appliances will not work as there is insufficient water pressure for them whilst the toilet has this problem.

We have contacted the landlord (who we have a very tempestuous relationship with due to his failure to address problems with the house e.g we still do not have adequate heating 6 months after tenancy and environmental health are involved) and he said that he would drive the 40 minutes from his house to fix the problem as we had told him that if he did not address it within 24 hrs that we would instruct a plumber to fix and would deduct any amount from the next months rent (as advised by the letting agents before it became an non managed property.)


So, my question is, are we obligated to let our landlord attempt to fix the problem when he has no plumbing qualifications (and has done bodge jobs on the whole house including leaving a pipe exposed that rats can come up!)

or, because time is important here, can we organise an emergency plumber on ther grounds that he has had plenty of notice regarding the plumbing issues (also recorded in a letter to him from environmental health) and that we need something done asap as cannot wash, shower, clean clothing etc.

We have turned the water off at the mains overnight as we are on a water meter and there is a great deal of water being wasted.


Many thanks.


The job in question sounds simple enough and shouldn't be too much of an issue for your LL if he is good with DIY.
Don't think there are official qualifications required to do a plumbing job, so personally I'll just let the LL do the job.

jta
19-01-2009, 09:12 AM
Last night our toilet started to overfill after it was flushed - therefore it no longer stops in the cistern at the correct point and then large amounts of excess water come through the flush mechanism to stop the cistern flooding.Do you have a stopcock serving the cistern that you can turn off?

As the water pressure in our house is so bad (landlord has been aware for a number of months), because of the amount of water being turned over by the toilet (which we cannot stop, despite trying) Just hook the ball valve in the closed position the shower and all other water led appliances will not work as there is insufficient water pressure for them whilst the toilet has this problem.

We have contacted the landlord (who we have a very tempestuous relationship with due to his failure to address problems with the house e.g we still do not have adequate heating 6 months after tenancy and environmental health are involved) and he said that he would drive the 40 minutes from his house to fix the problem as we had told him that if he did not address it within 24 hrs that we would instruct a plumber to fix and would deduct any amount from the next months rent (as advised by the letting agents before it became an non managed property.) He's taking his responsibilities seriously then.


So, my question is, are we obligated to let our landlord attempt to fix the problem when he has no plumbing qualifications (and has done bodge jobs on the whole house including leaving a pipe exposed that rats can come up!)

or, because time is important here, can we organise an emergency plumber on ther grounds that he has had plenty of notice regarding the plumbing issues (also recorded in a letter to him from environmental health) and that we need something done asap as cannot wash, shower, clean clothing etc. How on earth is he supposed to know the cistern is going to overflow before the event?

We have turned the water off at the mains overnight as we are on a water meter and there is a great deal of water being wasted. At least that was sensible!
Many thanks.

You seem a bit impatient to me to want to organise a plumber and start stopping rent in less than 24 hours after a problem occurs, especially as your LL has said he will deal with the problem rapidly.

mind the gap
19-01-2009, 09:35 AM
I agree - give LL the chance to fix the problem, but if his remedy does not work, then think about getting a professional plumber, in otherwise it is going to cost you uneccessary extra expense in wasted water.

becndan
19-01-2009, 09:37 AM
I can appreciate that as a stand alone event, that we may appear hasty in our question but our LL has left us 6 months without fixing the boiler and has failed to get anyone out over different issues with the toilet which were also reported in August last year.

He does not know DIY and plumbed pipes in the house which would have meant that eventually our dishwasher and washing machine ran with sewerage water. The house is also illegally wired in respect of phonelines and gas.

I thought that as we were left without hot water, the means to wash etc, that having the matter sorted by someone qualified was reasonable, given that we have plent of evidence backed by servicemen across the housing sector that the landlord is incapable of remedial work.

We will of course look at your suggestions to see if they fix the toilet without the need for anyone to attend.

melly
19-01-2009, 10:00 AM
Given the past history of problems and you're unhappiness in the property, why don't you move??

An overflowing cistern is a tiny problem in the grand scheme of things and is easily remedied by lifting the ballcock until it reaches an acceptable fill level.

However, the heating is a different mattter. This is a major problem, especially in the winter months and if it's knackered then it will be a major expense for your landlord to fix, probably the reason why he hasn't done it yet.

Are you claiming housing benefits per chance?

I can only think this is the reason why you're staying put as most people would have put in their notice by now...I know I would have!

becndan
19-01-2009, 10:12 AM
We are tied to a 12 month tenancy and have done everything possible to see if there is a way to end the tenancy early (several posts on here of this nature) but do not appear to have the right to leave early without permission of the landlord (although he said that we could leave in December and then changed his mind a week later saying 'it wasn't good timing for him'.)

All problems with heating and water were notified to him the week we moved in (August) upon our discovering them (they were not the sort of things that were apparent on our viewing with the agency, who were only present to find him tenants. At no time prior to signing the tenancy agreement were we told that the property was to be managed by the landlord himself and we didn't think to ask.)

Believe me, my husband and I have tried everything to leave and sought advice everywhere (I am a qualified Barrister and have not found any loopholes).

Have just checked with my husband and he has tried all advice re cistern posted throughout thread and it has not remedied problem.

mind the gap
19-01-2009, 10:27 AM
[QUOTE=becndan;112495]

He does not know DIY and plumbed pipes in the house which would have meant that eventually our dishwasher and washing machine ran with sewerage water. The house is also illegally wired in respect of phonelines and gas.


Just out of interest, how on earth did he mnange to achieve that?
The illegal wiring of ignitions switches on gas appliances is potentially serious and I trust the EHO is onto this?
I thought that as we were left without hot water, the means to wash etc, that having the matter sorted by someone qualified was reasonable, given that we have plent of evidence backed by servicemen across the housing sector that the landlord is incapable of remedial work. Yes, but it all hinges on what is demed to be a 'reasonable' time to wait for a repair. For lack of hot-water a few days max is reasonable in my view, especially if you have invalids, old or young children living there.
QUOTE]

melly
19-01-2009, 10:42 AM
(I am a qualified Barrister and have not found any loopholes).


How ironic!?

Don't you have a break clause in your contract?

If you want to put the wind up your LL, get in touch with your local housing dept. They will send out an official who will note all the problems in the property and believe me they will find loads! They will then send a letter to your landlord outlining all the faults and give him 28 days to remedy them or he will face a fine of £2000. It usually works!

mind the gap
19-01-2009, 10:50 AM
How strange that a barrister should describe him/herself as 'a qualifed Barrister'.

The other lawyers on this forum would not make these two errors, I suspect!

SALL
19-01-2009, 10:59 AM
Loopholes in what???? The landlord doing his own work? The house being "illegally wired"?

As to gas, it is a criminal offence to tamper with the gas supply to a property - you also have to be a "competent person" to work on the house side of the supply - eg CORGI registered.

I wonder how a house can be "illegally wired" for telephone. Is this a dodgy connection? Are you getting a free phone service? Are you using the neighbours phone free of charge? Is the landlord benefiting from it?


I was wondering that too..

becndan
19-01-2009, 11:37 AM
There is no break clause. We have never had a bad relationship with a LL in 7 years of renting and was told by agents that if we relocated, then the landlord had a duty to mitigate in the circumstances and that we would be able to leave once new tenants were found.

This was the only scenario where we felt there would be a need to leave earlier than the 12 months, plus it protected us from having to leave sooner as we wanted a stable home set up for a year at least when we took out the contract. So no get out clause there!

Housing standards/environmental health are involved. They have spoken with him and written on two occasions with a list of what needs to be changed but he is just ignoring their requests for timescales for when he will undertake the work by. It took 4 weeks to get some convector heaters from him (in December's temperatures!) and he was given 7 days to comply.

From my understanding, whilst environmental health have a list of things they think he should remedy, these things fall short of the criteria they need for a successful prosecution. i.e because the heating sometims works it is not life threatening (I am not suggesting that it is, only that the LL has been advised that the heating system is broken and that he should fit a new boiler) and that rat access would need to be actual rat infestation and water cut off completely, not just inadequate pressure etc. Because they don't think that they would succeed in prosecuting him, all they can do is chase him to do things. He does not appear to feel concerned that they are involved.

I am just fed up with this man's attitude towards the situation. I am paying a lot of money for a property that has numerous faults and have no apparent way of leaving the property. I accept that I will have to let this man in to bodge job my toilet before getting in someone to do it correctly and that I will simply have to endure another 6 months of living there and hope that time passes as quickly as possible.

becndan
19-01-2009, 12:10 PM
How strange that a barrister should describe him/herself as 'a qualifed Barrister'.

The other lawyers on this forum would not make these two errors, I suspect!

I qualified as a Barrister in 2005 but am not currently practising as one. As far as I was aware, that was the appropriate way to describe my qualification.

I was only trying to explain that I had already looked at the legal matters for being able to exit the 12 month tenancy and had sought advice from colleagues at the law firm where I work to show that I was aware of the legal side of the scenario so that people didn't need to give advice in that aspect.

By loopholes, I was referring to ways to exit the tenancy in terms of any rights we might have as tenants.

BT came out when our internet and phone stopped working. They cut lines upstairs and told us they were doing this as the LL had wired illagally. I didn't question this as I took their word for it, as they were experts I had asked to advise me.

I was only posting a question as I was unsure what to do. Isn't that why people come on here?

I am not trying to antagonise members but was looking for help in a situation which has been going on for a long time. I did not expect a character assassination.

jeffrey
19-01-2009, 12:16 PM
I qualified as a Barrister in 2005 but am not currently practising as one. As far as I was aware, that was the appropriate way to describe my qualification.
Keep calm; no-one is trying to assassinate you or your character. I suspect that the query was because of the word 'qualifed' [sic] which should have read 'qualified'- athough every barrister is, by definition, qualified as such. "Admitted" is the more usual expression.

becndan
19-01-2009, 12:33 PM
Keep calm; no-one is trying to assassinate you or your character. I suspect that the query was because of the word 'qualifed' [sic] which should have read 'qualified'- athough every barrister is, by definition, qualified as such. "Admitted" is the more usual expression.

I was not aware of my typo in the word qualified. I've only experienced people saying they've been 'called' to the Bar. Either way, I was only saying that I hold the qualification after training for it and not that I profess to be out there receiving instructions. I did this so that members could understand that despite having access to legal information that I was still struggling with solving the problems I was having at the property.

Thank you to everyone for their advice.

mind the gap
19-01-2009, 12:41 PM
I qualified as a Barrister in 2005 but am not currently practising as one. As far as I was aware, that was the appropriate way to describe my qualification...I am not trying to antagonise members but was looking for help in a situation which has been going on for a long time. I did not expect a character assassination.

Actually, I took it to be Melly who was claiming to be 'a qualified Barrister' because the way he quoted the phrase in his post, made it appear to be part of his message.

Notwithstanding, it doesn't convince, when someone who is telling us s/he is member of the legal profession, cannot employ appropriate language or punctuation to refer to his/her own job. Think about it. The word 'qualified' in this context is tautologous (barristers are by definition qualified; you cannot have an unqualified barrister, only I suppose, a trainee one) and the word 'barrister' is a common noun, not a proper noun, hence does not need a capital B. (In my experience, people who use capitals non-standardly in relation to themselves do so either to make themselves look more important... or because their name begins with a certain letter and they think all words beginning with that letter need capitalising. However, the latter group tend to grow out of this habit by the age of about 9).

You have not, by the way, been subjected to a character assassination! If you are a barrister then I'm sure you will have been 'grilled' far more fiercely before now.

In case it has escaped your notice, people have actually spent quite a lot of time trying to help you out!

Good luck with the resolution of your problems.

becndan
19-01-2009, 13:14 PM
Thank you for that.

I feel loads better now. I expect everyone feels happier when they have a problem, where towards the end the advice relates to a person's grammar and where they have made their mistakes. I'll remember that I'm being marked next time and spend more time proof reading. I didn't really expect that to be necessary or even a requirement for posts.

I'm wondering why you would think that I would make my qualifications up (not being convincing)? What would be the point. I've explained why I included this it in my post more than once.

I have previously commented that people had been helpful earlier on and I am of course grateful for their suggestions on how to fix the problems in the hope that they will work. Was there any need for you to then write what you did? It went beyond the problems I am having and was just mean spirited and pedantic. A great way for you to behave in a place that people come looking for help.

mind the gap
19-01-2009, 13:23 PM
Thank you for that.

I feel loads better now. I expect everyone feels happier when they have a problem, where towards the end the advice relates to a person's grammar .

It wasn't so much the grammar which was defective, it was your choice of lexis and your punctuation, although I suppose some would argue that effective punctuation hinges on good understanding of grammar. If you hadn't said you were a barrister, I wouldn't have mentioned it!

I'm glad you feel better about everything now.:)

And nobody is perfect..I have just spotted about three typos in my own previous posts - how embarrassing!

Finally - I'd still be interested to know (from a plumbing perspective) how your LL managed to make your washing machine fill with water from the sewerage pipes? What a gonk.

jta
19-01-2009, 13:27 PM
MTG, it must be your trollish sense of humour, that's three upset clients this week. :p

mind the gap
19-01-2009, 13:30 PM
MTG, it must be your trollish sense of humour, that's three upset clients this week.

Moi? Are you including yourself there, Little Billy Goat Gruff (because you don't count:D)?