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Hi,

 

I am a student living with 10 other people in a shared house with 9 individual rooms. The landlords have become increasingly worse throughout this year and now it just seems as they don't care anymore. I will make a list about what I think is wrong and I would like to ask if that is enough to go to the council for.

 

-Moldy bathrooms

The bathrooms in this house are heavily moldy, we have told them several times that they need new ventilation and heating in the bathrooms as the temperature there drops to below 10 in the winter, but to no reaction.

 

-Heating problems

As mentioned above the bathroom basicly has the temperature of the outside all the time, there is no heating in there. The livingroom has heaters, but they did not work for over 7 months now and they sporradicly come by and say they've fixed it, but they are still not working.

 

-Landlords coming to the house

The landlords seem to come by as it pleases them, today one of them even walked into my room without even knocking. I heard from my law friend that they have to give a 24hour notice. Is this true?

 

-General equipment for the house not there

There is one vacuum cleaner shared amongst 10 people, our contract says that they have to provide power, repairs and equipment such as hoover and a washing machine.

 

-Deposits and rent

They demand to have the rent in cash or cheque, leading my international friends to have to go to the bank and carry 1300 pounds from the bank and back home. We've asked countless times about their swif and iban numbers but they simply refuse to give it to us. Our deposits were taken without any forms filled out and they have now said that they are going to use them for repairs to things which were already broken before we arrived here.

 

-Mouse problems

Before we came here they promised us that there was to be no mice or roaches, but just 2 weeks into it we noticed that there was mice. We were told that we had to buy mouse traps and catch them ourselves and that they probably came due to our presence and cooking.

 

-Regulantions on inhabitants of the house

Last week we called an official who told us that the house is only meant for 9 people, the landlords have written contracts for 10 of us and seems to be happy that they are getting the pay from the extra person.

 

-Fire hazards and general regulations

The house has 4 floors with an equal amount of landings, there are wires going across every landing and fridges standing on the landings. Is this allowed?

 

Should I go to the council and will I have much chance of getting any help there?

 

Thanks in advance,

 

Magnkarl

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Yes, most definitely go to your local Environmental Health Officer. This sounds like a "House in Multiple occupation" - I can tell you that even a plant in a pot on the stairs or landing (common areas) is not allowed, never mind a fridge or blessed wires everywhere! What sort of fire protection is there - is there a good alarm system, smoke detectors and a sprinkler system installed? Are there signs in prominent places around the house stating what to do and where to assemble if there is a fire? Mice? Landlords responsibility unless it can be proved that you or any of your housemates have caused this.

 

Give them a call, they have the power to force this landlord to bring the property up to a legal lettable standard. Don't say anything to the landlord, just let the EH guys deal with it.

 

You could also discreetly contact your local fire station and tell the station officer you are worried about the risk of fire and ease of access from the building should this occur, would he please come and advise? He'll be more than happy to do this and he will also lay the law down.

 

However, do be prepared to have to move, all of you - either because your landord takes retaliatory action, or because EH say the property is not fit to live in.

 

Good luck.

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Do you know if your deposits are protected?

You ought to find out if the LL has a licence for 10 people, I have just read that rent is not payable if the licence isnt correct. Do have a google on this as there is a lot of info on it that might help you. I am moving out of my area of thorough knowledge on this so dont rely on anything i have said without checking it out first x

Edited by help me kick his butt

Please note, my advice is only my opinion.

If you have found my advice helpful, please tip my scales, thank you

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The house is definetly only meant for 9 people, aparantly they seem to think that having two people in a singles room is allowed. I will contact the authority about this and see to it that they fix this place up.

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