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  1. PRIVATE RENTING GUIDE Documents Source: https://www.gov.uk/private-renting PART 1 - TENANCY AGREEMENTS Overview A tenancy agreement is a contract between you and a landlord. It lets you live in a property as long as you pay rent and follow the rules. It also sets out the legal terms and conditions of your tenancy. It can be written down or oral. A tenancy can either be: Ø fixed-term (running for a set period of time) Ø periodic (running on a week-by-week or month-by-month basis) Rights and responsibilities Both you and your landlord have certain rights and responsibilities, whether or not you have a tenancy agreement. Tenancy types Assured shorthold tenancies (ASTs) The most common form of tenancy is an AST. Most new tenancies are automatically this type. A tenancy can be an AST if all of the following apply: Ø the property you rent is private Ø your tenancy started on or after 15 January 1989 Ø the property is your main accommodation Ø your landlord doesn’t live in the property A tenancy can’t be an AST if: Ø it began or was agreed before 15 January 1989 Ø the rent is more than £100,000 a year Ø the rent is less than £250 a year (less than £1,000 in London) Ø it’s a business tenancy or tenancy of licensed premises Ø it’s a holiday let Ø your landlord is a local council Other tenancies There are other tenancies that aren’t as common as ASTs, including: Excluded tenancies or licences If you lodge with your landlord and share rooms with them, like a kitchen or bathroom, you may have one of these. You’ll usually have less protection from eviction with this type of agreement. Assured tenancies Tenancies starting between 15 January 1989 and 27 February 1997 may be assured. You’ll have increased protection from eviction with this type of agreement. Regulated tenancies Tenancies starting before 15 January 1989 may be regulated. You’ll have increased protection from eviction and can apply for a ‘fair rent’. Shelter has information on the different types of private tenancies and a tenancy checker so you can check which tenancy you have. What should be in a tenancy agreement If you have a tenancy agreement, it should include: Ø the names of all people involved Ø the rental price and how it’s paid Ø information on how and when the rent will be reviewed Ø the deposit amount and how it will be protected Ø when the deposit can be fully or partly withheld (eg to repair damage you’ve caused) Ø the property address Ø the start and end date of the tenancy Ø any tenant or landlord obligations Ø which bills you’re responsible for It can also include information on: Ø whether the tenancy can be ended early and how this can be done Ø who’s responsible for minor repairs Ø whether the property can be let to someone else (sublet) or have lodgers The terms of the tenancy must be fair and comply with the law. If you’re unsure of any terms in the agreement, get legal advice before signing. Once you’re happy with it, sign the agreement and get a copy of it. Citizens Advice has a guide on tenancy agreements. Changes to tenancy agreements Both you and your landlord must agree in order to change the terms of the tenancy agreement. Preventing discrimination Unless your landlord has a very strong reason, they must change anything in a tenancy agreement that might discriminate against you on the grounds of: Ø sex Ø sexual orientation Ø disability (or because of something connected with your disability) Ø religion or belief Ø being a transsexual person Ø having just had a baby or being pregnant Example You might need a guide dog in the house but a term in the tenancy says no pets are allowed. Your landlord must change the terms to allow guide dogs in the property, unless they have a very strong reason not to (eg another tenant in the property has a serious allergy to dogs). How to end your tenancy Tenancies Your tenancy agreement should say how much notice you need to give your landlord before you leave the property. You can usually end a fixed-term tenancy by giving your landlord written notice up to 2 months before the tenancy ends. Your tenancy will then finish at the end of the fixed-term. You can end a periodic tenancy by giving notice at the end of a rent period. The period varies according to the rent term. For example, if you pay rent monthly, you’ll need to give a month’s notice. Licence agreements If your licence automatically runs out after a specific date and you want to end the agreement, you should let your landlord know this before your licence runs out. Shelter has information ending a tenancy or licence. Ending a tenancy early Unless there’s a break clause in your tenancy agreement, your landlord can insist you pay rent until the end of the tenancy. Download ‘Notice that you must leave - a brief guide for landlords and tenants’ (PDF, 229KB) Your landlord wants to end your tenancy If your landlord wants you to leave, they must give you notice in a particular way, including certain information and warnings. This depends on the type of tenancy agreement and its terms. Assured shorthold tenancies (ASTs) In some circumstances, your landlord can take back their property without giving any reason. To do this, all of the following must apply: Ø they’ve protected your deposit in a deposit protection scheme Ø they’ve given you at least 2 months’ written notice that they want the property back (‘notice to quit’) and the date you must leave Ø the date you must leave is at least 6 months after your original tenancy began (the one you had on first moving in) Ø you have a periodic tenancy – or you have a fixed-term tenancy and your landlord isn’t asking you to leave before the end of the fixed term During the fixed term If you’re still in the fixed term, your landlord can only ask you to leave if they have a ground (reason) for wanting possession that’s in the Housing Act 1988. Examples of the grounds include: Ø you’re behind with your rent payments (‘in arrears’) Ø you’ve used the property for illegal purposes (eg selling drugs) Ø your landlord wants to move back into the property The notice period they must give varies from 2 weeks to 2 months, depending on the ground they’re using. Assured tenancies Your landlord will need to use one of the reasons or ‘grounds’ for possession in the Housing Act 1988. The Department for Communities and Local Government has published a guide for tenants on assured and assured shorthold tenancies. Download ‘Assured and assured shorthold tenancies: a guide for tenants’ (PDF, 370KB) Excluded tenancies or licences You’ll often have an excluded tenancy or licence if you live with your landlord as a lodger and share rooms with them. Your landlord only needs to give ‘reasonable notice’ to quit. Usually this means the length of the rental payment period – so if you pay rent weekly, you’ll get 1 week’s notice. The notice doesn’t have to be in writing. Non-excluded tenancy or licence Your landlord can end the let at any time by serving a written ‘notice to quit’. The notice period will depend on the tenancy or agreement, but is often at least 4 weeks. Break clauses If there’s a break clause in the tenancy agreement, your landlord can give you notice after this. However, your landlord doesn’t have a guaranteed right to possession during the first 6 months of the tenancy. If you don’t leave the property If the notice period expires and you don’t leave the property, your landlord may start the process of eviction through the courts. Your landlord can’t forcibly remove you without an eviction order. PART 2 - Your Rights and Responsibilities In all privately rented property, you’ll have certain rights and responsibilities. Your Rights As a tenant, you have the right to: Ø live in a property that’s safe and in a good state of repair Ø have your deposit returned when the tenancy ends - and in some circumstances have it protected Ø challenge excessively high charges Ø know who your landlord is Ø live in the property undisturbed Ø see an Energy Performance Certificate for the property Ø be protected from unfair eviction and unfair rent Ø have a written agreement if you have a fixed-term tenancy of more than 3 years If you have a tenancy agreement, it should be fair and comply with the law. If you don’t know who your landlord is, ask the person or company you pay rent to, in writing. If they don’t give you this information within 21 days, your landlord may be fined. Your responsibilities You must give your landlord access to the property to inspect it or carry out repairs. Your landlord has to give you at least 24 hours’ notice and visit at a reasonable time of day, unless it’s an emergency and they need immediate access. You must also: Ø take good care of the property – eg by turning off the water at the mains if you’re away in cold weather Ø pay the agreed rent, even if repairs are needed or you’re in dispute with your landlord Ø pay other charges as agreed with the landlord - these may include Council Tax or utility bills Ø repair or pay for any damage caused by you, your family or friends Ø only sublet a property if the tenancy agreement, or your landlord, allows it If you don’t fulfil your responsibilities, your landlord has the right to take legal action to evict you. PART 3 - Your Landlords Safety Responsibilities Your landlord must keep the property you live in safe and free from health hazards. Gas safety Your landlord must: Ø make sure gas equipment they supply is safely installed and maintained by a Gas Safe registered engineer Ø have a registered engineer carry out a gas safety on each appliance and/or flue annually Ø give you a copy of the gas safety check record before you move in, or within 28 days of the check Electrical safety Your landlord must make sure: Ø the electrical system (eg sockets and light fittings) is safe Ø all appliances they supply (eg cookers, kettles) are safe Fire safety Your landlord must: Ø follow fire safety regulations - eg by checking you have access to escape routes at all times Ø make sure furniture and furnishings they supply are fire safe Ø provide fire alarms and extinguishers (depending on the size of the property) Part 4 - Repairs What your landlord must do Your landlord is always responsible for repairs to: Ø the property’s structure and exterior Ø basins, sinks, baths and other sanitary fittings including pipes and drains Ø heating and hot water Ø gas appliances, pipes, flues and ventilation Ø electrical wiring Ø any damage they cause through attempting repairs Your landlord is usually responsible for repairing common areas, like staircases in blocks of flats. This information should be in your tenancy agreement. Your responsibilities You should only carry out repairs if the tenancy agreement says you can. You can’t be forced to do repairs that are your landlord’s responsibility. If you damage another tenant’s flat, eg if water leaks into another flat from an overflowing bath, you’re responsible for paying for the repairs. You’re also responsible for paying to put right any damage caused by your family and friends. If your property needs repairs Contact your landlord if you think repairs are needed. Do this straightaway for faults that could damage health, like faulty electrical wiring. You should continue to pay your rent while waiting for repairs to be done. Your landlord should tell you when you can expect the repairs to be done. If repairs aren’t done Ask your local council’s environmental health department for help. Your council can make the landlord take action if the property contains health and safety hazards. Shelter has information about repairs, including what to do if you’re in dispute with your landlord. Download ‘Getting repairs done - your rights’ from Shelter (PDF, 334KB). If your house isn’t fit to live in If you’re worried about your home being unsafe, contact your local council’s housing department. Your council must ensure that home owners and landlords fix any hazards that could cause you harm. Shelter has more information on how councils deal with poor housing conditions. Part 5 - Rent increases Your tenancy agreement should include how and when the rent will be reviewed. When your landlord can increase rent For a periodic tenancy (rolling on a week-by-week or month-by-month basis): Ø your landlord can’t normally increase the rent more than once a year without your agreement For a fixed-term tenancy (running for a set period): Ø your landlord can only increase the rent if you agree Ø if you don’t agree, the rent can only be increased when the fixed-term ends General rules around rent increases For any tenancy: Ø your landlord must get your permission if they want to increase the rent by more than previously agreed Ø the rent increase must be fair and realistic (ie in line with average local rents) How your landlord must propose a rent increase If the tenancy agreement lays down a procedure for increasing rent, your landlord must stick to this. Otherwise, your landlord can: Ø renew your tenancy agreement at the end of the fixed term, but with an increased rent Ø agree a rent increase with you and produce a written record of the agreement that you both sign Ø use a ‘Landlord’s notice proposing a new rent’ form, which increases the rent after the fixed term has ended Your landlord must give you a minimum of one month’s notice (if you pay rent weekly or monthly). If you have a yearly tenancy, they must give you 6 months’ notice. If you think the rent increase is unfair, you can apply to a rent assessment committee who will decide the rent amount. Part 6 - Settling disputes You can often sort out disputes with your landlord without going to court: 1. First, speak to your landlord about your concerns. 2. If this doesn’t work, write a formal letter setting out the problem. 3. Use a mediation service, which is usually cheaper and quicker than going to court. 4. As a last resort, you can take your landlord to court. Deposit disputes If you can’t get your deposit back, and your landlord protected it in a tenancy deposit protection scheme, contact the scheme they used. Rent disputes If you’re a private tenant and think your rent is too high, you might be able to appeal to the Rent Assessment Committee. Going to court If you or your landlord takes legal action, the case may go to a small claims court. Small claims are cases worth less than £5,000, or £1,000 if the case is about repairs to a property. The courts provide a free mediation service for small claims cases, which can take place over the phone. Free advice for disputes You can get free advice about disputes or housing problems from Citizens Advice or Shelter. A solicitor can also help you, but they might charge a fee. If you have to go to court, you can get advice on the day of the hearing from the housing duty desk at the court. Part 7 - Rent arrears If you get behind with your rent, your landlord may evict you and you could lose your home. Shelter has advice and information if you’re in rent arrears or having difficulty paying rent. It recommends talking to your landlord and trying to come to an agreement with them. Always read any letters from your landlord – they may contain information about action your landlord’s going to take. Going to court over rent arrears If you can’t reach an agreement with your landlord, they can ask a court to evict you. Part 8 - Deposits Landlords usually place deposits in government-approved deposit protection schemes. Under these schemes, your local council will send a guarantee to your landlord for the deposit. Contact your local council for more information. Deposit protection Your landlord must usually place your deposit in 1 of 4 government-approved tenancy deposit protection schemes. The schemes help make sure you get your deposit back if you meet the terms of your tenancy agreement. PART 9 - TENANCY DEPOSIT PROTECTION Overview In England and Wales, if you rent your home on an assured shorthold tenancy that started after 6 April 2007, your landlord must place your deposit in one of the following tenancy deposit protection (TDP) schemes: Ø Deposit Protection Service (Custodial and Insured) Ø MyDeposits Ø Tenancy Deposit Scheme Ø Capita Tenancy Deposit Protection These government-backed schemes ensure you’ll get your deposit back if you: Ø meet the terms of your tenancy agreement Ø don’t damage the property Ø pay your rent and bills Your landlord or letting agent must put your deposit in the scheme within 30 days of getting it. At the end of your tenancy If you and your landlord agree how much deposit you’ll get back, it must be returned to you within 10 days of the tenancy ending. If you’re in a dispute with your landlord, then your deposit is protected in the TDP until the issue is sorted. Holding deposits Your landlord doesn’t have to protect a holding deposit (money you pay to ‘hold’ a property before an agreement is signed). However, once you become a tenant, the holding deposit becomes a deposit, which they must protect. Deposits made by a third party Your landlord must use a TDP scheme even if your deposit is paid by someone else, like a rent deposit scheme or your parents. Information landlords must give tenants Within 30 days of getting your deposit, your landlord must tell you: Ø the address of the rented property Ø how much deposit you’ve paid Ø how the deposit is protected Ø the name and contact details of the tenancy deposit protection (TDP) scheme and its dispute resolution service Ø their (or the letting agency’s) name and contact details Ø the name and contact details of any third party that’s paid the deposit Ø why they would keep some or all of the deposit Ø how to apply to get the deposit back Ø what to do if you can’t get hold of the landlord at the end of the tenancy Ø what to do if there’s a dispute over the deposit If your landlord doesn't protect your deposit If you’re not sure whether your deposit has been protected, ask your landlord or contact the approved schemes: Deposit Protection Service (Custodial and Insured) 0844 4727 000 MyDeposits 0844 980 0290 Tenancy Deposit Scheme deposits@tds.gb.com 0845 226 7837 Capita Tenancy Deposit Protection 0845 412 9969 Getting your deposit back If you think your landlord hasn’t used a tenancy deposit protection (TDP) scheme when they should have, you can apply to a county court. Get legal advice before applying to court. If the court finds your landlord hasn’t protected your deposit, it can order the person holding the deposit to either: Ø repay it to you Ø pay it into a custodial TDP scheme’s bank account within 14 days The court may also order the landlord to pay you up to 3 times the deposit within 14 days of making the order. Search for a county court. At the end of the tenancy If your landlord doesn’t use a TDP scheme when they have to, the court may also decide that you won’t have to leave the property when the tenancy ends. Disputes and problems If there’s a dispute over a deposit Your tenancy deposit protection (TDP) scheme offers a free dispute resolution service if you disagree with your landlord about how much deposit should be returned. You don’t have to use the service - both you and the landlord have to agree to it. You’ll both be asked to provide evidence, and the decision made about your deposit will be final. If you can’t contact the landlord You can ‘raise a dispute’ to recover the deposit if your landlord is registered with one of the following schemes: Ø MyDeposits Ø Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS) Ø Deposit Protection Service Insured Ø Capita Tenancy Deposit Protection The scheme will refund your deposit if the dispute resolution service agrees this is fair. There may be a limit on the time you have to raise a dispute. Contact the relevant scheme as soon as possible. Get help and advice You can get more help and advice from: Ø your local Citizens Advice office Ø a solicitor or advice agency Ø Shelter PART 10 - HOUSES IN MULTIPLE OCCUPATION Your home is a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) if: Ø at least 3 tenants live there, forming more than 1 household Ø you share toilet, bathroom or kitchen facilities with other tenants A household consists of either a single person or members of the same family who live together. It includes people who are married or living together and people in same-sex relationships. If you live in an HMO, your landlord must meet certain standards and obligations. Find out more about HMOs from Shelter. Some HMOs must be licensed. Read the guide from the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) to find out whether your landlord needs a licence for your house, and what this means for you. How to complain Contact your local council to report hazards in your HMO. The council is responsible for enforcing HMO standards and can make a landlord take action to correct any problems. PART 11 – ANTI-SOCIAL BEHAVIOUR If you’re experiencing anti-social behaviour from a neighbour living in rented accommodation: 1. Speak to your neighbour: they may not realise they’re causing a nuisance. 2. Contact the landlord of the property: if the anti-social behaviour continues, ask the landlord to do something about it. 3. Contact the police: if the problem carries on, report it to the police. If the landlord takes no action Your local council can make a special management order if a landlord doesn’t take action to stop cases of serious and repeated anti-social behaviour. This means the council takes over management of the property to tackle the anti-social behaviour. The landlord still owns the property. If people in a number of houses in an area are behaving anti-socially, your local council can create a ‘selective licensing scheme’. This means all landlords of properties in that area must have a licence to show they’re meeting minimum standards. Contact your local council and ask to speak to the anti-social behaviour co-ordinator. PART 12 - EMERGENCY HOUSING IF YOU ARE HOMELESS Your council must help if you’re legally homeless, but how much depends on your eligibility, your level of need and if your homelessness is your fault. Check if your council must give you emergency housing. Legally homeless You may be legally homeless if: Ø you’ve no legal right to live in accommodation anywhere in the world Ø you can’t get into your home - eg your landlord has locked you out Ø it’s not reasonable to stay in your home - eg risk of violence or abuse Ø you’re forced to live apart from your family or people you normally live with because there’s no suitable accommodation for you Ø you’re living in very poor conditions - eg overcrowding If you’re legally homeless, your council must provide you with help – this could range from giving advice to arranging accommodation for you. The amount of help they give you will depend on things like: Ø if you became homeless through no fault of your own Ø if you’re eligible for assistance Ø if you’re in priority need Eligibility for assistance If you live permanently in the UK, you will usually be eligible for assistance. If you’re from abroad, you may not be eligible because of your immigration status. Shelter’s emergency housing rights checker helps you work out if you’re eligible for assistance and what you’re entitled to. Priority need You’re in priority need if: Ø you or someone you live with is pregnant Ø ‘dependent children’ live with you (under 16s or under 19s if they’re studying full-time) Ø you’re ‘vulnerable‘, eg as a result of old age or disability Ø you’re homeless after a flood, fire or other disaster You may be entitled to Housing Benefit to help with your housing costs. This is the Private Renting Guide in PDF:
  2. Hello. About a year ago while I was at uni I got caught getting on a train without a ticket. The matter went to a magistrates court, I plead guilty by post, paid a fine and thought it was the end of it. I'll soon be graduating and am an otherwise upstanding citizen with no other blemishes against my name. I'll be moving to London for work later this year, and will be looking to rent somewhere. However I've since discovered that it seems like having a criminal record for anything, even something so minor as not paying for a train ticket, could potentially invalidate the insurance that any landlords might have. This puts me in a bit of a quandry, and as such I've got several questions. 1) Is it common for lettings agents or landlords to do a DBS (which I believe replaced the CRB) check? And if so would this conviction show up on it? Would it stop me being able to rent anywhere? 2) Would this cause most landlord's insurance housing insurance to be invalid? 3) If so, what options do I have? It seems I'm totally screwed. I'm way to poor to afford to buy a place for myself, but one stupid mistake on the train seems like it could potentially preclude me from being able to get rental accommodation. I'm really getting a bit wound up by it all. It seems completely insane that the vast number of decent people with minor blemishes on their record could potentially be unable to get rental accommodation without either lying about criminal background or inadvertently voiding their landlord's insurance, with unpleasant consequences should anything happen while renting. Anyone got any ideas?
  3. Hi I'm just after a bit of advice on what to do. I moved to Oz a few months ago and recently rented my house out in the UK using a letting agent. I owe around 40-50 % of the property value. I just have a normal repayment mortgage on the property and did not advise the lender of my intent to rent. I was about to advise the lender that I want to rent it out and ask for their permission and I understand they will probably put me on a higher rate. I have no problem with this and can afford it without any issues but I am worried what will happen if they refuse? Can they repossess the house if they find out I am renting it out without their permission? Many thanks
  4. Hi We have been in our current home 4 years. When we moved in no windows opened, we asked for them to be opened....2 years later the landlord opened the bathroom and bedroom window. The rest in the house are still painted shut. In the meantime the bathroom, with no air, has got disgustingly damp, mouldy, and peeling paint. We have just handed in notice and landlord states the windows were painted shut on purpose to avoid drafts through single glazing!! Also, in my notice letter i said i could not remember seeing an inventory when we moved in , as i had with past landlords, and in his response he states the estate agents have a copy along with photos. The house is not managed by the estate agents, they just found the tenant (us) and did credit checks etc. I called the estate agents today and there is no inventory and the lady seems confused as to why, yes they had photos, but it looks like after we moved in!! The landlord did not enter this house, while we were in to take photos...so was he allowed in while we were not here...and should the photos not have been taken before we moved in? The agents are sending us copies of these. Any advice would be great - i HATE private landlords!! thanks x
  5. Hi all I wasn't sure where to post this so here goes. I have been a council tenant for nigh on 30 years. In September 2011 I underwent a quadruple heart transplant which had complications and led to several TIA's. Last wee I was diagnosed with Paget's Disease of the breast. I guess I have come to the end of my "sell by date". What does this have to do with council renting .. ah there's the rub. I am a single parent with a 26 year old son who is in full time employment and who lives with me. I receive partal Housing Benefit and partis Council Tax Benefit. My son does not pay rent but contributes to household bills such as food, fuel bills, etc. I now feel that it is imperative to have him on the rent book so that he will have a place to stay (in London) should anything happen. My query is if I name him on the rent book will: a) I lose my entitlement to reduced rent and council tax; and b) Will the council make me pay back any monies from the time he started work (3 years - which will be thousands). Any help gratefully appreciated.
  6. Hi, Received a letter from the estate agent asking us to pay our rent into a different account. Verified this was genuine and had confirmation from Estate Agent and Landlord. Reason given below: The 2 guys who own the estate agents (Neil & Gabriel) are having problems. Neil is trying to buy out Gabriel to solve the dispute. In the meantime Gabriel is refusing to co-sign the bank transfers from the company account and Neil claims that he is unable to transfer any rent paid into this account. Neil has setup a sole trader account so he is able to transfer the money to the landlord. My concerns: - I'm breaking the terms in the tenancy agreement as i'm paying money into an account different to the one on the contract. - Neil and Gabriel aren't getting on, Gabriel could claim Neil is trying to fraudulently do him out of money - Is Neil telling the truth, do you actually need both parties present in order to transfer the money? Thanks.
  7. Hi there We found a house we loved and paid the agency holding fee of £288. This was also to reference us. When it came to the agency asking our current landlord for a reference, he gave us a 'bad' verbal reference based on the fact that we had constant issues with him after we had no hot water for 2 months, apparently asking for it to be fixed makes us 'demanding' tenants. Anyway, the new agency called me to tell me what he had said but said he had also been asked to fill out a written reference for us and so if he did that and it was ok, then it should be fine with the new landlord. I explained the situation and said the only thing we have ever spoken to him about is the hot water, have always paid rent and kept our flat in a nice condition he even extended our tenancy by a month, so we cant be that terrible!! Anyway, he did in fact fill out a positive written reference for us, but the girl at the new agency said she had to tell the new landlord what our current landlord had said about us!! I argued and said but what hes saying is unfair etc, she said she would present the full picture to the new landlord and see what he said. So the new landlord has refused to rent to us even though we passed both the employment and landlord reference! The agency are refusing to give us a refund of the fee even though we passed!! Its not our fault their client has decided that he doesnt want to rent to us based on untrue and unfair information. Surely the agency have to offer us an alrernative property or a refund as at this stage we've lost both our new home and nearly £300!! Thanks
  8. Hi everyone, Found the forum on google when doing some searching on my current situation/problem. Seems like its a very helpful forum so was hoping someone will be able to advise me or shed some light on what i can do. Here is a quick(ish) summary: Me and the other half were set to start renting a house in July in Newcastle. Shes at university over there and my plan is to relocate once i have found a job. The agency emailed us saying the current tenants would like to stay until September, fair enough its saves us a few months rent as my other half wouldn't be moving in until September anyway. So dates were arranged, house would be ready and keys collected on 3rd of September. So the 3rd of September came, the day we also start paying rent and we go to collect the keys. We sit around for 30-40 minutes waiting to be dealt with yet different people keep coming and asking which house we are here for etc. Finally a guy comes out and asks when we would be moving in, i just said not today. His face lit up as if to say thank god for that. Doesn't say anything else on the matter, basically hands us the keys and says i will email you over the inventory list as i have not had chance to get it ready. So me and my girlfriend go off to the house to check it all over. Once we get there its pretty clear that the previous tenants have only just moved out. The house is an utter mess. A quick list of the things i can remember off the top of my head - Wooden laminate flooring coming apart Skirting boards been kicked off etc 90% of the walls throughout the house are all grubby/ripped wallpaper Kitchen cupboards dont shut at all Part of kitchen worktops damaged/burnt Alarm sensor on back door hanging off Holes in various ceilings around light fittings Shower hanging off the wall Sink basin loose Tiles smashed Toilet seat broken Roof mouldy/damp. The list could go on. So by the time we had took pictures of everything/documented all the damage the agency was shut. So we set off back home. Next day i phone up the agency to express my views and question what the hell is going on. I wanted to know why the house was not ready for us and why they wasted my time collecting keys when we clearly could not move into a house that is not habitable, why we are paying on rent now on a house that is not ready and what are they going to do to sort it all out. He told me he didn't want to sound political but it depends what you class as not habitable! As for damage/repairs he told me it depends on the landlords current money situation and what he can afford (so if he says he cant afford it does the house stay as it is?) Rent starts from the tenancy start date whether the house is ready or not I cant look for another house until they find someone else to take over this current agreement. What the hell should i/can i do ? I have had some basic legal advice. Do i give them the opportunity to rectify the house/redecorate or do i tell them to shove it and I'm going to find another house and cancel the payments but so far they over £1k of our money including deposits. I have already found 3 other places that we would be happy with and the companies seem much more professional. It needs sorted asap as i currently live/work nearly 100 mile away so i will be relocating there eventually but every journey is going to be nearly 200 miles at the moment, so Monday was a complete waste of my time and a day wasted off work. 1 legal company told me to write to them explain they have 7 days to sort the whole house out and otherwise its a breach of the agreement and i will opting out of it and going for a house elsewhere. They also said i could just opt out of it now but there is a good chance they will chase me and try to sue me? But i would have evidence to fight them. All this needs sorted very quickly either way, my girlfriend is due back at uni on the 24th. They are just lucky i am yet to find a job over there otherwise i would of been f**ked not having anywhere to live! What should i do? My worry is if i give them a chance to sort it all and they have proved to be this useless already, what would they be like say 3 month down the line and the roof started leaking in? Any help/advice would be greatly appreciated right now, so stressed! If you would like any more information to help me out then please ask, i have probably missed something out. My head is battered at the moment. Thanks Ben Edit: The more I sit and think about it, the more I really don't even want to give them the chance to put it all right, I think I would prefer to just go elsewhere with a much more professional company.
  9. Hi, I have been unable to use my kitchen sink and washing machine for three weeks now as I have a leak that is causing damage to the downstairs flat. I rent and I am waiting for my landlord to fix the leak but it is taking ages. I have to use a launderette which is costing me money I can't afford. If landlord delays things further am I within my rights to knock off some of my rent from to cover the excess money I am having to pay in launderette fees. Also how long is reasonable to be without a usable kitchen sink? Any help much appreciated. Thanks
  10. Hi all; thanks for taking the time to read this. We are looking to move to a new town, and by reasons of luck and chance, we've never rented with an agency before. We've found a home we like, but it's with an agency and they are requiring a £200 credit check before advancing our application. My husband is baulking at the cost. Is there any way to get a credit check independently and hand it over to them, or is that pointless? Is an expensive credit check something we just have to accept? Thanks.
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