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heben84
02-10-2011, 13:05 PM
Firstly, hello!

I'm really not sure if this is the right place for this post, so I apologise if it isn't.

I was advise to pop in here and ask a question in regards to something I'm struggling with at the moment. Here is my post from another forum:

I moved into my student house two weeks ago. Having signed for and paid rent on the house back in July, me and one of the other people I live with visited it every week to see the progress on the repairs and maintenance being carried out (it needed a lot doing to it), and we were assured we were the priority and it would be dealt with quickly. so 6 weeks later very little had happened and we ended up doing majority of the cleaning ourselves, provided new furniture as what we were given was dirty, covered in burns and some dubious stains, painted quite a bit, cleared the gardens etc... Maintenance's job seemed to start and end with hanging a bit of paper and painting everywhere magnolia. We asked for the front door to be secured too, and we had to do that ourselves as weeks after asking and with a few people moving in, we wanted it done.

So we're now two weeks in to term, and we still have one of the people living with us unable to move in as he has no bed and his room is a dumping ground for everything maintenance wanted to move, half of the rooms (there's seven of us in total) don't have all the furniture agreed in the tenancy agreement, there's damp in most of the walls, mushrooms growing in corners of door frames, we've found stickers that have been partly painted over talking about asbestos, there's a crack in the front window that needs sorting and this is just a small amount of the issues we have.

Does anyone have any idea as to where we stand, what we can do etc..? Are we just having too high standards for student housing or are we within our rights to complain? I've e-mailed the estate agent but he's stopped talking to us now, and won't respond to emails or phone calls, and he won't give us the details of the landlord.

Again, I'm sorry if this is the wrong place, and I know this is a landlords forum and not one for tenants, but I'm really stuck and was told you may be able to help.

Many thanks in advance for all your help and assistance,

Ben

jta
02-10-2011, 13:58 PM
Welcome to the forum, we have many tenants post here as well as landlords and everybody gets impartial advice.

I think you must speak to the landlord first, does he know what's going on?

Give your agent a letter that you want the landlords proper correspondence address. The agent must give that to you within 21 days or he is committing a criminal offence.

Were any of you required to sign an inventory? Have you had sight of the Gas Safety Certificate?

Has your deposit been protected and the prescribed information given to you?

Also tell us the exact conditions and dates of your tenancy agreement, have you all signed? If so what number in the order does your signature appear?

Enough questions for now.

heben84
02-10-2011, 14:38 PM
Hi there, and thanks :)

Speaking with the maintenance guys on the rare occasion they bother to turn up it appears the landlord has some idea as to the state of the property but doesn't want to spend on it. I don't know how true that is, it's just what we've heard. We asked, albeit not in writing, for the landlords details six weeks ago - I'll send him a letter tomorrow.

As for an inventory, no we weren't, although we each made a note for what was in our room when we moved in as we were complaining about the quality of it.

Gas safety - no, we haven't seen it, and it would appear the boiler hasn't been checked in a few years. The fire extinguishers were checked only because one of our housemates parents is a fireman and highlighted the issues to the estate agent.

Deposit - I don't know, I'll try and find out.

The tenancy agreement was signed in April, and we began paying rent on 11th July for a 12 month contract. We have all signed but as for order of signatures, I'm not sure. Each room is let out individually?

Thanks again,

Ben

jta
02-10-2011, 14:48 PM
So this is a HMO. There are rules about HMO's and a GSC is up there near the top of the list.

I don't have any so I will step back and let the experts like Snorkerz take it from here.

mariner
02-10-2011, 22:17 PM
If it is am HMO, as seems likely, get local Council involved,

heben84
03-10-2011, 07:59 AM
I've just been told that apparently the house isn't HMO registered? Is this allowed?!

Ericthelobster
03-10-2011, 10:01 AM
I've just been told that apparently the house isn't HMO registered? Is this allowed?!If the building is on three or more storeys, then it should definitely be registered, given that you've got 7 unrelated people living together; but even if it's only two storeys it may still need to be - rules vary by council. See:
http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/HomeAndCommunity/Privaterenting/Repairsandstandards/DG_189201

Would be worth seeing if your own council website has any info about local requirements.

Even if your HMO escapes the need for registration, it will still need to meet various mandatory standards (more about safety etc though rather than disputes about conditions etc)

Snorkerz
03-10-2011, 10:22 AM
I would definitely make contact with the HMO officer at the local council. They will be able to check if the property needs a license, but even if it doesn't they will want to check that it meets the safety requirements for Houses in Multiple Occupation - which are quite high. Please feed back what they say as there may be further pertinent advice.

The HMO officer will probably take up the issue of gas safety - but just so you know the score, the info is here: http://www.hse.gov.uk/GAS/domestic/faqtenant.htm


Don't worry about the lack of inventory - it is primarily for the landlords benefit as he will need to prove the condition of the place when you moved in if he tries to charge you for damages.

Your deposits should be in one of 3 government approved schemes. You can check if they are by using these 3 links Deposit Protection Service (https://www.depositprotection.com/is-my-deposit-protected.aspx)
The Dispute Service (http://www.thedisputeservice.co.uk/is-my-deposit-registered.html)
My|Deposits (http://www.mydeposits.co.uk/tenants/get-started/check-your-deposit)
If not protected, there is advice here (http://tenancyanswers.ucoz.com/index/my_deposit_isn_t_protected/0-4), but this is low priority for now compared with your conditions. Wait until the conditions have been sorted before taking any action on deposits.