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Everything posted by lastattemptbutone

  1. "I mention "tenants in occupation"" as now you have left it seems, to me, that your position is considerably weakened - " Really?? I specifically waited until leaving to pursue compensation, as I feared the landlord would try to evict me if I kicked up too much of a fuss while living there. In doing this I was following advice posted on sites like shelter, which point out that there are no laws against retaliatory eviction in this country. So: can't make a fuss while living there, and have no chance of success once I've moved out? Sounds like something from Catch-22. "how much of these various disputes had been documented at the time too and left unresolved?" I was careful to communicate in writing (email) almost all of the time, and kept all of the relevant emails. Most of these involve me repeatedly contacting the agents who were working on his behalf and re-iterating requests for the work to be done, or for compensation to be paid for damage. The damp was also recorded by the agents themselves during various inspections. "Or, out it down to experience, and quickly move on, metaphorically and literally." That's the problem. It WOULD probably be "easier" just to move on, but that's precisely why tenants get treated like this. If I let myself be treated abysmally for 3 years and do nothing about it, then the landlord has learnt something important about what he can get away with, and will do the same to the next lot. I feel I have a moral duty to do something.
  2. Good for you for caring about principle! So much money is lost to tenants in this way - because it's usually easier to just let it go. Stand up for us all! My agreement, which I think is fairly standard, has a clause saying that the inventory costs must be shared between the landlord and tenant. However, in the pre-moving-out bumpf they just sent me, it states that these costs "may be higher than our original estimate" (no specific figure was ever given for check-out costs). It explicitly says on the ombudsman's website (of which my agents are a member) that they can't levy charges which the tenant has not agreed to in advance. So I'll certainly be disputing any made-up fees. Do let us know what happens!
  3. Hello, hope some one out there can help me with a query. I have just moved out of a property, after the worst letting experience of my 13 year "career" as a tenant, and would like to claim compensation from my landlord for a number of issues (these include damage to my property by his contractors, damp, insanitary conditions, failure to ensure safe, quiet and peaceful environment, and failure to repair appliances in a reasonable time). Do I need to raise these issues when settling up the deposit, or can I wait until after the deposit has been settled, and then claim for compensation separately? The landlord has exhibited retaliatory behaviour in the past, and I'm worried that if I annoy him now, he'll try to deduct more from my deposit (although it is protected). And if I can make the claim separately, how would I go about doing that? Would I go through some small claims process - I'm a bit new to this! Also, some of the problems have been the result of actions of people working on behalf of the landlord rather than the landlord himself. Who should I address the claim to? And finally, does anyone have any experience/knowledge of claiming compensation after the end of a tenancy, especially for any of the issues raised above? I'd be curious to know what my chances of success are……... Many thanks in advance for any help!
  4. Hey Your experience sounds strangely familiar. My friend had a similar experience in small claims with a judge flouting really standard conventions (e.g. that landlady must provide evidence of damages, apportion costs etc). Everyone we consulted afterwards agreed that it was very unusual behaviour. Don't suppose you remember judge's name? Initials? Just curious!
  5. (edit) Site for rating your current and past landlords' performance. I tried posting this link on another thread but it was "un-approved". Not sure why; I thought it was a great idea. Apologies if i'm doing something wrong by recommending it.
  6. Hello there, I'm a tenant in a block of flats managed by a property management company. I recently sent a letter to the private housing team at my local council to complain about an incident involving falling glass from building work. The council referred me to the health and safety exectuive, but I have just received an email from the HSE saying that they won't deal with my complaint. The complaint, and the response from the HSE are copied out below. Does anyone have any advice on what I could do next? Is there any other body that could deal with this? It just doesn't seem right that the management company can get away with doing what they've done! Had some great advice on here before: hope you can help! My email: "Hello, I am a private tenant in a basement flat in a property in XPOSTCODEX, which is currently managed by XXX management services. Over the Summer, building work took place in one of the higher level flats, which resulted in my back yard being scattered with falling glass and debris. XXX were in charge of informing me beforehand that this would happen, but failed to do so. This failure to warn me about the falling materials resulted in an immediate threat to my safety, and the failure to put down any materials to catch the falling glass meant that I was left with pieces of glass all over my back yard. I was left to clear up without any apology or acknowledgment of what had happened. I have emailed XXX in a attempt to address this issue. In the first instance they ignored my emails for several weeks until I threatened to pursue other courses of action, at which point they replied to enquire further about the incident. Since then they have once again ignored my emails; my last email was sent on the 1st October and has not received a response. Accordingly I have now given up and have decided to pursue the matter with the private housing team.... ...I'd be really grateful if you could let me know whether there is anything that the private housing team are able to do in response to this incident, or if not, whether there are other courses of action available to me. I have records of all correspondence, and have kept some of the pieces of glass, if that is of any help." The response from HSE (after polite prompting from me): "I have received your email. I apologise for my delay in responding to your concern. You were correct, we are extremely busy at the moment. We deal with the several concerns raised to us on a priority system based on risk. Since your concern is not posing any current risk and we were not provided with any evidence of where XXX are currently working, HSE has decided not to pursue the matter any further. Please read the attached letter, which should explain the decision further."
  7. Following the last post, does anyone have any advice or guidance on how to construct formal requests for compensation, what type of problems can I be compensated for, and how much I should ask for for each problem? Is it possible to claim for distress? Also, just to be clear about the notice issue: I did send the agency a letter (on Nov 26th) but they claimed not to have received it in time (although I can show from my computer records that I created the letter on the 26th). As I sent it in the post, and therefore cannot prove that they received it, I just assumed that I would have no comeback on that front and would instead have to argue that I shouldn't have to pay rent in January because they should have given me notice of the work. But naturally any advice to the contrary would be gratefully received!
  8. Hey, Called the council and apparently no permission is needed, as it does not actually affect the building - just the area immediately outside On the previous occasion, the landlord initiated a project which resulted in loads of noise, scaffolding being left on the front and the back of my building for months blocking out the light, the loss of my back yard, building materials falling into my yard, damage to my property (plants) and contractors opening my windows from the outside and leaving my possessions exposed. I was given no warning and could not access accurate information about it. In addition there have been loads of other things going wrong, including food coming up through the bathroom plughole, damp mould in my bedroom, multiple appliance failures, flooding via the living room ceiling, a black mould problem in the bathroom which wasn't dealt with for months and months, and a failure to respond to enquiry about asbestos before dealing with the mould problem. I have received no compensation for anything. The management agents always fob me off, saying that the landlord is their client, not me. I usually have to chase them so much it's like a part time job. I have found the experience of living here to be enormously psychologically distressing, and am desperate at the thought of continuing to pay for this property when I'm not even able to use it due to noise, especially as the landlord failed to notify me of the impending works AGAIN. Is there anything at all that I can do to get a bit of justice???
  9. Hey, thanks for the reply! Previous experience with my landlord suggests that unless he is legally obliged to do something there is 0% chance that he will do it - in fact even when obliged he often tries not to. So asking nicely is definitely not an option i'm afraid! The planned works are going to be extremely noisy and last for several weeks. I haven't received anything in the post about them - I found out from one of the other property owners in the building. Is there some way I can find out whether planning permission was required and/or granted, and if so, could I use this information to release me from the tenancy, and/or postpone the work?
  10. I am currently in a tenancy on a rolling contract. Within a few months of first moving in, scaffolding was put up on the front and back of the building and stayed there (along with noisy building work) for 18 months. I was furious that my landlord did not warn me that he was planning this. I have now found out from a neighbour that more loud works are planned for the beginning of next month. Once again, no warning from landlord. I want to move out before the work starts, which is in early Jan. My next rent payment is on Jan 1st. Can I leave in early January, or can the landlord insist that I pay next month's rent in full, even though the flat will be uninhabitable due to the noise? If the landlord wants me to stay until Feb 1st, would I have the right to insist that the landlord delays the start of work until the end of january?
  11. My dishwasher is broken and my landlord won't fix it. When I took on the flat, the landlord agreed to have a dishwasher fitted, in exchange for an extra £30 on the rent. There's nothing in my tenancy agreement which says that I'm responsible for fixing it myself (the only thing in the agreement is a sentence saying that it is his responsiblity to repair electrical appliances). He says it is a luxury item and that he therefore has no time limit in which to fix it (i.e. he's not ever going to). Last time there was a problem with the flat (black mould in the bathroom and food coming out of the bath plughole!) it took 8 months to get it sorted. I'm not prepared to stay here another 8 months, at the same rent, if he's not going to fix something I'm paying for. I was wondering therefore what my rights are? Can I just pay to have it fixed and take the money from my rent? I'm not that worried about eviction - my landlord is dreadful and I'm thinking of leaving anyway. I just want to have a functioning dishwasher in the meantime, and make sure that I won't be legally liable for these costs myself. Any advice would be gratefully received! *Twinsister p.s. does anyone know of any forums where tenants can exchange information about bad landlords?
  12. Thanks for the info. Do I have the right to insist on the changes to the tenancy agreement without paying the charges though? If not, then it looks like the situation is pretty hopeless for me.... Can't believe I have to choose between forfeiting the agreement or paying the fees. Actually I can, but its outrageous, which is why I wanted to draw it to the attention of the OFT.
  13. Thanks everyone, Unfortunately I think I'm going to have to pay the fees for the moment, as the agents won't go ahead with anything until I've done that, and both the old tenant and the new one have a pressing need to get the tenancy agreement sorted. I'd still be keen to try to get the money back afterwards though, and/or to try to do something to get this practice stopped, as with bank charges. The agents have treated me with complete disdain throughout my tenancy, so I know that they won't listen if I simply tell them to give the money back because it's unfair. I suspect that I'll need to able either to cite a law or go via an organisation with some authority in order to achieve anything. Any advice on either of these possibilities gratefully received!
  14. Hi there - I'm in a similar position, and have recently posted on this. I'm thinking of contacting OFT about it, but not sure how to proceed. Would be grateful and interested to hear whether you ever went to court and what the result was. Also would be curious to know which estate agent you were with!
  15. Hello there, wonder if anyone has any advice about letting agents. My flatmate and I signed a joint tenancy agreement for one year last October. My flatmate decided that he wanted to move out 5 months early as he was moving city for a new job. The letting agents had already charged us £75 (+VAT) to "draw up" (i.e. print out) the contract in October. When I found a new tenant I contacted them to ask them to switch names on the contract. This time they asked for an additional £75 (+VAT) to change the names, £40 (+VAT) to check references, and then an additional £25 (+VAT) for "admin". This is for a room worth £385 per month. I emailed them to ask what the additional admin charge was for, seeing as they had already charged for the tenancy agreement and the references, and they replied saying that it was for administration costs. Helpful... So basically I'm wondering whether there is anything I can do about this. I'm considering contacting OFT, but I'm not sure exactly what, if anything, they could actually do, so I'm not sure how to phrase my letter. There are a number of things that I suspect may be wrong (although whether unlawful I'm not sure) with what the agency is doing. 1. There was no warning in previous correspondence that we would face additional fees if the contract had to be amended. 2. They are charging us, although they were hired by, and hence can only be fired by, the landlord. We are captive consumers, and cannot go elsewhere if dissatisfied. Surely this must violate some kind of guideline to do with competition?? 3. The fees wildly exceed what it could plausibly cost them to make the amendments. They are therefore treating the fees like a penalty. I think this may be analogous to the situation with overdraft charges. Does anyone have any idea as to whether any of these facts are of consequence, and if so how to proceed? Cheers.
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