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Landlord half-repair, house a bombsite, no washing facilities - what to do?

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Hello everyone


My friend and I moved into a new house (rented) in mid-June. When we attempted to shower the day after we moved in, we immediately noticed that the shower:

1) is extremely loud. Its an old-style motor-pump, and the pump is going. When the shower is turned on the whole house shakes and wakes up the other housemate

2) cuts out. As the pump is going about 3-5 minutes into the shower, the cold water stops being pulled through and the water turns extremely hot. The first time I used it I scalded my arm.

3) cannot be used twice in the morning (when we need it to get ready for work)


We immediately rang the handyman (the landlady had already told us that any repairs would be done through her handyman) and told him of the problem. He agreed that the motor was going and that this type of shower means that yes, showers have to be short and that there must be at least an hour gap between showers - which is completely impractical when two adults who work live there (it is a family-type house). The handyman rang the landlady to inform her, who agreed to replace the shower.


We are now 8 weeks later, and still do not have a shower. A week ago the handyman came to do some cabling for a new shower. Firstly he has left the house in a mess - we have holes in the wall, exposed cables, tiles off the wall and no shower. He also told us to stop ringing him as he is 'busy'. As such we directly contacted the landlady to say how unhappy we are. She has a long-standing friendship with the handyman and refused to get someone else in. She stated that we have a bath and therefore have no right to complain and that it would be done as soon as the handyman could.


The problem is six months ago I had a cancer scare (I'm 27) and had a biopsy. Tomorrow I have to go for a check-up and most likely will have to have another biopsy; after which I cannot be immersed in water so cannot use a bath. This means that as of tomorrow I will have no washing facilities.

The landlady has agreed to the repair, but the handyman is just too busy/lazy to do it. What can we do?



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The lazy handyman is the landlady's problem, and should NOT be yours!


Write to the landlady - keep your letter short and to the point. List the problems e.g. shower unusable (her saying you have a bath is not good enough - when you took the property, it purported to have a usable shower...), cables etc. and property left in a mess by her handyman. Tell her you have waited 8 weeks to get a usable shower, that her "handyman" is refusing to complete the job and that this situation is not acceptable. (You do not need to give any reasons, eg. your medical problems.)


Tell her that unless the shower installation is completed (including all clearing up necessary), within the next 7 days, you will obtain estimates for completion of the work from competent plumbers and, taking the cheapest, arrange for the work to be carried out and deduct the cost from the next rental payment.


That should generate some action!! Good luck.

Kentish Lass

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

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