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daz1981

Landlords junk stored in property

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Hi,

 

I'm about to sign a new assured shorthold tenancy but I'd like clarification on the issue in the title.

 

As part of the tenancy a double garage is included, however the landlord currently has a lot of items stored in there (old desks, fridge/freezers etc.). As we're renting an unfurnished property with full access to the garage, what rights do we have to force the landlord to remove these? We've asked him to do this already prior to taking up the tenancy and he refuses, but we still want the property as it's in an ideal location and a perfect size for us, it's just we don't want the place to be a store room for his junk.

 

The question is can we force him to remove this stuff, does it depend on whether it's included in the inventery, and what options do we have if it is/isn't included in there?

 

There are a couple of other issues such as an exposed external wall where he's not blocked up an old exterior door properly, and uneven/unsafe floor tiles which he refuses to fix, but i'm aware that these issues can be sorted via the health and safety of the property once the tenancy starts. I don't want to create too much of an issue at present about that because they can still refuse us as tenants if we argue too much, but we can force them to fix them once we are in the tenancy agreement. The letting agents advised that the home is sold as seen and if there's anything unsafe in the house which the landlord refuses to fix then they're not liable because we were aware of the problem before agreeing to the tenancy. I politely informed them that the signed contract does not bypass the law regardless of what they put into it, but I decided against arguing that too much as we can sort that once we've moved in ;)

 

Thanks in advance for any advice

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There are a number of threads in this forum which, if you read them, will I think lead you to the following conlusions:

 

1. If you really want a landlord to do something do not rely on a promise to get it done, get it done before you sign up.

 

2. Having obligations imposed on a landlord by the general law is one thing, enforcing those obligations is quite another.

 

If you want a trouble free tenancy the attitude of the landlord and his agents suggests that this is not the property for you.

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Hi Aequitas,

 

Thanks for the reply.

 

I'm aware of the problems and any work which the landlord has agreed to already (just general cleaning and removal of household rubbish in some parts of the property) will be documented prior to the tenancy starting and will be signed by ourselves and the letting agents who are acting on his behalf. This will also state that any work not done by an agreed timescale will mean we can get quotes for the work ourselves etc. to get this done (I'm aware of the process to follow for this after reading other posts on this forum).

 

The letting agents are the same as most others I've dealt with, i.e. if something really needs sorting they'll get it done the same day, otherwise things tend to drag on. However they are a large business and if there is an official legislation we can quote regarding the issues i'm sure they'll act on them and put pressure on the landlords to sort it, but at present i'm not sure if there is anything in the AST regulations that covers this.

 

I know what you mean about the landlord and I would like to just walk away. However properties do not come up for rent very often in this area, especially not very large detached ones, so we don't have many other options for this. The layout of the house is really nice and it's 10 minutes from my work in a really nice area, so while I really want to get these things sorted, it's not enough to make us pull out. If we can't do anything about getting rid of the junk in the garage we can move it about and we'd lose about 25% of the available space, so we'd cope but it's not ideal and it's not what were paying for.

 

I think the landlord is being more difficult because we applied for the property as soon as it came on the market, so he's not had a situation where it's been vacant for several months and he's desperate for tenants, so I presume he thinks that if we did pull out he'd easily get someone else in so he's less inclined to move on the issues we'd raised. :(

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Would such approach be acceptable, potentially. I am not a legal expert at all though...

 

Sign, Move in, ask landlord to remove his junk a few times (in writing), eventually hire a storage facility, move his junk to the storage (on weekly or monthly contract). Deduct appropriate amount of money from rent untill LL collects his junk and storage contract is finished.

 

Simples...


--------------------------------------------------

Yorkshire Bank ~1200£ of charges reclaimed many moons ago, settled out of court

HSBC ~350£ of charges reclaimed many moons ago, settled out of court

HSBC ~4000£ flexiloan CCA request sent May 2009, 'sorry, we do not have your CCA' letter received June 2009, AccountInDispute letter sent.

HSBC ~9000£ CC CCA request sent May 2009, no response, AccountInDispute letter sent.

HSBC - preliminary letter for about 300£ of unfair charges plus interest sent May 2009, LBA sent June 2009, N1 POC and Schedule of charges submitted July 2009

Egg - CCA, SAR, "no more calls" letter, DMP offer sent July 2009. Got a DN from Egg - wont say a word on this one until court papers are received.

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Would such approach be acceptable, potentially. I am not a legal expert at all though...

 

Sign, Move in, ask landlord to remove his junk a few times (in writing), eventually hire a storage facility, move his junk to the storage (on weekly or monthly contract). Deduct appropriate amount of money from rent untill LL collects his junk and storage contract is finished.

 

Simples...

 

No. The landlord has the right to rent the house with (within reason) whatever junk he likes. Furthermore, the tenant has to take reasonable care of the landlord's junk. There is nothing to stop the tenant carefully storing the junk at the tenant's own cost.

 

Good luck with getting the landlord to fix the "uneven/unsafe" floor tiles!

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If you want a trouble free tenancy the attitude of the landlord and his agents suggests that this is not the property for you.

 

As a Landlord, with this sort of attitude at the start of the tenancy, I don't think this tenant would be for me. I would just see a big "T" for trouble ahead!!:D


Kentish Lass

Information given is based on my knowledge and experience and is not to be considered as legal advice

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No. The landlord has the right to rent the house with (within reason) whatever junk he likes. Furthermore, the tenant has to take reasonable care of the landlord's junk. There is nothing to stop the tenant carefully storing the junk at the tenant's own cost.

 

I do not think it is quites as simple as that.

 

First, we can say that it is quite possible for a landlord to exclude part of premises from a tenancy. One would normally expect this to be one room, an attic, a basement, a garage or shed.

 

Secondly, I suppose that a landlord can reserve the right to keep some personal belongings in the premises. However, this starts to get quite close to "derogating for the grant." The rule is that you cannot give with one hand and take back with another. If such a right is reserved (and that would necessarily mean that the items would not be included in the tenancy) I cannot see how this can impose any obligation on the tenant to take care of them, though clearly he must not damage them.

 

In this case the property is being offered unfurnished. The landlord is not entitled to leave anything in the property.

 

Whatever the legal niceties, if you are thinking of taking a tenancy and something needs doing, the only way to make sure it is done is to get it done before you sign up. If you trust to the bland assurances of an agent as he hands you a pen to sign up, do not say you were not warned when it never gets done.

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