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View Full Version : L fails to fix defective hot water and drainage systems



Fozz
19-10-2009, 13:54 PM
We are currently having problems with our landlord/letting agency.....
We have several things going wrong with our house and hardly anything is being done....
We have 2 toilets between 5 of us, but 1 is out of action because the drains are so blocked up (if you flush the toilet, it overflows and it takes at least 24 hours for the sink to empty).... When telling them about this, at first the landlord did nothing but after a week someone came round to look at the drains (over 2 months ago) just said 'yea, it's blocked' and didn't see him again.... Someone else has just come today, said the same thing and disappeared again....
We also have cockroaches, no matter how clean we keep the house, we have resorted to putting everything in sealable containers, disinfecting everything and they still scurry around even in daylight, we rang the landlord only for him to say 'yea, so do we' and hung up on me...... We got some traps off the internet but these aren't putting a dent in the problem....
We also have no heating, water is luke warm at hottest and never has worked since living here and nothing has been done about it.....
Whenever there is a problem I can never get hold of them, I have got to the point where I will not pay my rent on time purely for the purpose of the landlord ringing me......
We are only students with next to no money and feel we can't do anything about it...... What rights do we have?? And would we have to take legal action?? Compensation for rent already payed??.....

jeffrey
19-10-2009, 14:11 PM
Tell L about s.11 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 (try an LZ search for this). L is under an inescapable duty re all mains services, inc. heating and drainage, and failure to rectify entitles you to take action against him. The quickest ways forwards are:
a. your local authority's Tenant Harassment Officer (or whatever); and/or
b. CAB.

Fozz
19-10-2009, 14:17 PM
We have seen CAB who basically said that yes, it is in a state.... They said something about having to meet 9 domains in section 10 but our house only meets 5 and nothing further was said...... They just suggested taking legal action if the problem persists.....
I just wondered how this could be settled out of court, what could I be expected to receive? Better services or compensation? I've never had this problem before so I don't know.....

westminster
19-10-2009, 16:56 PM
You have various options. See
http://england.shelter.org.uk/get_advice/repairs_and_bad_conditions/repairs_in_private_lets

and read the whole thing - all the sections.

Firstly, contact the Environmental Health Officer at the council and ask them to come and inspect. They will tell the LL to remedy the disrepair.

Also, write to the LL listing all the repairs needed. Keep a copy of the letter and send first class with a (free) certificate of posting from the Post Office. You need to keep proof of your efforts to get the LL to comply with his obligations. Keep the copy letters with proof of posting in a file.

See the section in the link entitled "Tenants doing repairs". It tells you the procedure to follow before you can organize repairs yourself and deduct the cost from the rent (NB very important to follow procedure to the letter, otherwise you risk being evicted for arrears). The procedure involves writing several times to the LL, getting quotes, etc.

As I say, start the letter writing at the same time you contact the EHO, just in case the LL ignores the EHO's instructions.

Sueing for compensation is an option, but it won't solve the immediate problems. Also, you will need good evidence to prove your case - this would include a report from EHO and all letters sent to the LL about the disrepair. You must show that LL was given ample opportunity to remedy the disrepair and failed to do so.

BTW is there no heating because there's no boiler/central heating, or because the boiler is broken?

Fozz
20-10-2009, 01:22 AM
You have various options. See
http://england.shelter.org.uk/get_advice/repairs_and_bad_conditions/repairs_in_private_lets

and read the whole thing - all the sections.

Firstly, contact the Environmental Health Officer at the council and ask them to come and inspect. They will tell the LL to remedy the disrepair.

Also, write to the LL listing all the repairs needed. Keep a copy of the letter and send first class with a (free) certificate of posting from the Post Office. You need to keep proof of your efforts to get the LL to comply with his obligations. Keep the copy letters with proof of posting in a file.

See the section in the link entitled "Tenants doing repairs". It tells you the procedure to follow before you can organize repairs yourself and deduct the cost from the rent (NB very important to follow procedure to the letter, otherwise you risk being evicted for arrears). The procedure involves writing several times to the LL, getting quotes, etc.

As I say, start the letter writing at the same time you contact the EHO, just in case the LL ignores the EHO's instructions.

Sueing for compensation is an option, but it won't solve the immediate problems. Also, you will need good evidence to prove your case - this would include a report from EHO and all letters sent to the LL about the disrepair. You must show that LL was given ample opportunity to remedy the disrepair and failed to do so.

BTW is there no heating because there's no boiler/central heating, or because the boiler is broken?

This landlord is strange, he only fixes problems he can do himself, I'm sure he is scared of spending money...... We had a dodgy door and he fixed it himself and we've had other minor problems that he has sorted out himself.....
He just seems very reluctant to use outside contractors......
We contacted EHO and they originally issued him a notice and he made us move out whilst is was 'supposedly' fumigated, but there was never any difference..... When we contacted the EHO again, the LL sent proof it was sorted from the pest guy to contest our complaint and they stopped proceedings....

The boiler does work to an extent. We get hot water, but it never stays constant, just keeps going hot and cold. The radiators have never worked, and according to a plumber friend, the only thing the downstairs radiators are connected to is the wall..... He said he couldn't tell whether it was the same for the upstairs ones too but figured they weren't linked up either..... The boiler leaks too....

The landlord has failed to address anything major we tell him.....

And another thing, how do go about getting windows?? I live with 4 other people, we all have large double rooms but each one has a 3ft by 1ft frosted glass window that lets hardly any light in so we have to use lights day and night...... Is this allowed??

Telometer
20-10-2009, 09:14 AM
The windows were like that when you agreed to rent the place.


Read up on Tenants doing repairs as you have been told.

And pester the EHO.

westminster
20-10-2009, 10:37 AM
We contacted EHO and they originally issued him a notice and he made us move out whilst is was 'supposedly' fumigated, but there was never any difference..... When we contacted the EHO again, the LL sent proof it was sorted from the pest guy to contest our complaint and they stopped proceedings....
From which I gather that you didn't then contact EHO to let them know the problem wasn't resolved? Unless you are persistent it following up complaints, EHO will obviously assume there's no need for further action.


The boiler does work to an extent. We get hot water, but it never stays constant, just keeps going hot and cold. The radiators have never worked..... The boiler leaks too....
Did the EHO also inspect the central heating system?

Were you provided with a Gas Safety Certificate? If not, ask LL for one - in writing.


The landlord has failed to address anything major we tell him.....
As I said, you must put disrepair reports to LL in writing to ensure LL is fully aware of the problems, and keep proof of the letters. Otherwise, it's very easy for the LL to claim he didn't know anything about it.

Contact EHO again. Start the letter-writing procedure for organizing repairs yourself (as per my previous post). If you want these repairs to happen, you must take action to make them happen.

quarterday
20-10-2009, 12:55 PM
I agree. Write to the landlord (or otherwise bring to his attention) to say that you cant manage without hotwater etc and as he hasn't repaired despite previous request having repeatedly been made you will be getting in a qualified firm of heating engineers to put the repairs in hand and deducting the cost from rent due to him. I believe this is a perfectly reasonable course of action.

Sometimes landlords are let down by plumbers etc but eventually there comes a point where it is reasonable to exercise self help. So give British Gas a call if you can stand their sausage machine approach; otherwise a reputable local firm of plumbers and drainage engineers (yes they do exist), not the firm in yellow pages with the biggest ad!