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Peridot
18-02-2010, 15:46 PM
I am asking this on behalf of my brother and sister in-law, they also have a 4 month old baby.

My brother and his partner have just rented a 1 bed house and I am very concerned about a few things they have told me.

On the day that they went to view the house, the landlady did not allow them to see the bathroom properly. So on the day they moved in, they were horrified to see that it had damp all up the walls. In addition the heating is not working, the plug sockets are so close to the skirting boards that you cant use them.

The day after they moved in, my sister in law went round to introduce herself to the neigthbours, the neighbour was very friendly and said that they could use her sandbags as she had new anti flood doors put in! The landlady failed to mention that the house floods every winter (up to 4 inches some years)

Thats not the worst, they both gave the landlady £750 for rent and deposit, when my brother asked for a reciept for the deposit, he was told that it was not a deposit, just a fee for renting the house but she will send a reciept in the post! (she hasnt as yet) The main problem is they have paid in cash so there is no proof that they have payed this money.

I know they were niave to take the house but I think that they were desperate to move out of her mums, plus my sister in law was diagnosed with bipolar the day before, so was not in the right frame of mind the day they went to view the house.

What I want to know is where do they stand on this? They have signed a 6 month contract which they said was very thick, so god knows what was in it, but I suspect that they havent read it properly. I want to be mad at them but they are only 20 and 22.

Peridot

westminster
18-02-2010, 20:43 PM
Yes, the LL sounds dodgy. Assuming the property is in England/Wales...Re damp/heating, firstly, they should report in writing (keep copy letter and get proof of posting), and contact the environmental health officer at the local council. The council have powers to enforce repairs.

Did LL provide an energy performance certificate? Are there gas appliances and if so did the LL provide a gas safety certificate?

Also, there is a procedure whereby if LL fails to carry out repairs, T can arrange them and deduct the cost from the rent - but the procedure must be strictly followed or they risk eviction for rent arrears. See under 'Tenants doing repairs' in this link (which also has other useful info)
http://england.shelter.org.uk/get_advice/repairs_and_bad_conditions/repairs_in_private_lets

I also I suggest they try going to a Law Centre if they're near one. Or a citizens' advice bureau if not.

They may be 20 and 22 but if they want to get things sorted out then they will need to be pro-active, keep careful records of correspondence with the LL, wise up on their legal rights, read contracts before signing, get receipts for cash, etc.