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Deposit + safety issues in privately rented flat

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I hope someone can advise me and my partner regarding issues with my ex landlord. Sorry for the long post, but it's a complicated story!


We moved into his flat in July 2009. Our deposit was registered with the Deposit Protection Scheme and we had a contract which looked fine. We started having problems in October when we asked our landlord to fix the boiler because the timer was not working. also we frequently had power failures and the light bulbs went off too often so we asked him to check the electrical systems. We didn’t even have access to the electrical panel, so every time we had to ask him to restore power and a couple of times there was no-one at home so we had to wait for him (he lives next door). We chased him again but he never got these things fixed. We later found out many serious problems: there was no gas safety certificate, when we asked for it he ignored our request but installed a carbon monoxide alarm and most importantly the flat was an unauthorised garage conversion.

We informed the Council who sent a Planning Officer. He later sent our landlord a Planning contravention Notice but he’s not replied so far. We notified the Health and Safety Executive and they’re going to request that the boiler is checked according to the law. Howerver I wanted a more thoroghy check of the place so I tried contacting many council offices (the Housing team, the Building Office and Environmental Health) but no-one wanted to take responsibility and inspect the flat to make sure it was at least safe to live in there. The Environmental Health office say that since this is still a garage they cannot come out because they only deal with living accommodation! In the end we had to move out and we’re now living in temporary accommodation waiting for the flat which we are going to rent to become available. To add insult to injury our ex landlord is now claiming that we caused a crack in the shower! I don’t even know how to do that! He wants us to pay £250-£300 and we asked him for proper quotes and said that he doesn’t have them, he’s just taken out the tray to let the floor dry out and that we will be liable for the rent until we sort this out! In the very short inventory the shower was not mentioned, but we remember the crack was already there, we should have said that earlier I know!

We would like to sue him to get our deposit back and compensation, what do you think we should do?

Edited by June1234

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