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Hi

 

I have a concern or two about my tenancy and wanted to get some pointers if possible please.

 

I have been living in a rented 3 bed house in Peterborough since 2003. I have paid the rent on time every month without fail and the house is always kept clean and tidy. I do have some issues I need some advise on.

 

Firstly, my deposit was not protected as I moved in in 2003, but should it be protected now?

 

Secondly, the landlord makes an annual appearance if we are lucky. Some would be pleased at that, but the ONLY time we have seen the landlord in 7 years is when he comes around with his cowboy plumber to do the annual gas safety certificate. It is now done just on time, but for the first 5 years it was done a month late each time. The house has GCH, gas hob and gas fire. The last safety check took 7 minutes. (I timed them). The boiler was not opened at all, the flue was not even looked at from outside and the test of the cooker involved turning on a single ring and then turning it off again.

 

The landlord does NO maintenance at all. In the 7 years we have been here, he had to be called out 3 times. The first time was the electric element in the oven. He turned up on his own and put a used one in. This lasted 3 weeks. I then bought a brand new one and fitted it myself. The other two times have been when the GCH packed in. On both occasions the landlord came out to fix them himself. I knew this was wrong, but I do not like confrontation. He did fix it, but the boiler made a horrible noise after that. When it broke the next time I had the courage to insist that a Corgi man came to do it properly. He had 4 different engineers who came and each one said the boiler needed replaced until he finally got one who bodged it up to work again.

 

The house has several tiles slid off the roof and hanging over the gutters. As a result the gutters now drip whenever it rains. I cannot use the back door as the door is so hard to shut that i just leave it shut. It has expanded due to all the water running down from the gutters I think.

 

In the 7 years I have been here, the landlord has done effectively nothing. I have paid him over £50,000 in rent.

 

I will be leaving in the summer as I will be going back to Australia with my wife and 2 kids. I want to make sure I get my deposit back, but also feel very aggrieved that the landlord has treated us as a free ride through life. I will not pay the last months rent to recover my deposit, as I have seen advised on here a few times. But what about the boiler/gas checks. Is there anything i can do about that without getting myself evicted? Is there a minimum the landlord is supposed to do? I am worried about tiles falling off one day and hitting one of us.

 

Any advise will be great. Thanks.

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I remember something else that has bothered me. The house has partial double glazing. The front door, side windows and back door are NOT double glazed, which to my mind is pointless doing any at all. The ones that are done are not done well. They are UPVC and you can hear traffic through them, so leaking or not sealed/fitted properly is my guess.

 

The outcome of this is that the central heating is on 24/7 virtually. If the heating is on timer, you can feel the cold within 10 minutes of the heating going off. Last week during the snow it was cold even with the heating on full blast all day. We measured the hallway downstairs at 11 celcius and my bedroom at 14 celcius.

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From what I have read on these forums, no your deposit should not be protected now. Refer to the sticky on the TDS.

 

As regards repairs, refer to the sticky on Disrepairs in privately rented accommodation. The landlord has an obligation to carry out repairs. Get the tiles dealt with immediately as they are a danger. However, you seem to want the landlord to carry out the repairs because he has done very little during your occupation of the property and as a means of protecting your deposit. Presumably to re-let it he would have to carry out a fair amount of work, after all you have been in occupation for seven years.

Refer also to the sticky Unfair deposit deductions. If there was no inventory the landlord has no grounds for withholding deposit.

 

Seven years occupation means a large allowance should be allocated to you to cover wear and tear.

 

I think it best to try and leave on amicable terms. I suggest that you write to the landlord setting out in a detailed list all repairs that should be carried out. If you have notified him of these previously then refer to that too. Landlords run their let as a business; they need to maximise their income and keep their costs down. He has had to pay for the accommodation that you are living in. From the sounds of things, nothing will be done prior to your departure. Bear in mind that you only seem intent on resolving these issues with your departure looming next summer - you will not benefit significantly from having this work done. Refer to the Rats problem and notice period on house thread for points you should be looking at on departure.

 

However, from what you have said it does seem that you intend to depart to Aus with the intention of losing your deposit.

 

Cheers

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I will be leaving in the summer as I will be going back to Australia with my wife and 2 kids. I want to make sure I get my deposit back

 

 

However, from what you have said it does seem that you intend to depart to Aus with the intention of losing your deposit.

 

Thanks for replying. Nobody else bothered, so I do appreciate it. But I think you will see that I do NOT intend to lose my deposit and will not be doing so. From what I have read on here, it is very common for UK landlords to steal the deposit. If you tried that one in Autralia, you would be fed to the crocks - literally!

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Perhaps losing was the wrong word to use! You have stated that you will not pay the last month's rent so that you can recover your deposit. The landlord then has the right to deduct rent arrears from the deposit. Rent and deposit are not the same. To me you are losing your deposit (but benefitting by not paying the rent) - a technicality perhaps.

 

I do not think that UK landlords try to steal the deposit. Though I do think that a number of them regard the deposit as fair game for recovering damages. They seem to think that if something is damaged they are within their rights to recover that cost from the deposit. But they do overlook fair wear and tear and apportionment. Maximise income, minimise costs.

 

I would say that if you have looked after the property and leave it clean and tidy you would be in a good position not to have deductions made from your deposit as you have been in residence for seven years. You need to address the repairs issue in writing in advance. You will also need to give the appropriate notice and arrange for meter readings, checkout, handover etc. Was an inventory done on your occupation of the property?

 

Fortunately for UK landlords, we don't have crocs!

 

Read the stickies as they are very informative.

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Typing this at speed, but hope it assists all the same.

 

You've lived there 7 years, paid @£600 per month, and will be off in 6 months. Eviction takes time to sort - can run in to several months - so, personally, this may be of less concern. No guarantees, mind.

 

Personally, I'd be setting up an amicable exit and do it by way of engaging in a positive exchange of emails with the Landlord, if you can.

 

There IS a "minimum the landlord is supposed to do" though (section 11 obligations for starters), but for now have you written to the Landlord to simply advise

 

"I am worried about tiles falling off one day and hitting my family"

 

How many of the items you describe have been recorded in writing to the Landlord?

 

In some cases liability may not arise until the Landlord has been advised of the problems. In other cases there is a strict liability on the Landlord's part to certain matters, but it would be helpful to know what, quite, has been recorded in writing - and what the response, if any, has been too. Please advise.

 

Replacement PVCu windows in part? Not uncommon, but would ideally need to know more about age / construction / existing heating / insulation before could comment much further

 

Deposit? Has your tenancy ever seen a rental increase/been renewed, as this will have some bearing on this. Let us know.

 

I would add, however, that re-reading the myriad posts on CAG surely does not warrant comments such as "Thanks all., Great forum! Obviously I just typed all that for your entertainment." and "Nobody else bothered!".

 

To my mind - and please accept this in the spirit intended - whilst it unfortunate you did not receive an immediate reply, as many others often do, such comments are, arguably, a disservice to those who do visit here.

 

Why have I bothered to reply now? I have personally received tremendous help from CAG at a time when it was needed - and I am especially mindful that the responses I see (both good and bad) are written in the spirit of wishing to help. Not that that in itself is a good thing, but some of the replies are often extremely helpful.

 

I have no connection with CAG whatsoever, but feel it is a useful service, seemingly operated via a number of anonymous posters in their own free time - offering (mainly) well balanced help and support for those who very frequently need it the most.

 

You posted on Tuesday morning and by today, Friday, had received two non-judgemental replies. All for free and in the run up to Christmas too. And this makes a third. I wish some companies that I have paid over the years to provide a service were as responsive.

 

Hmm. Best I stop, but I have found CAG to be very helpful and happy to repay the favour to anyone that I can, time permitting.

 

OK, really best I stop now. Sorry about that :) More seriously, post again with answers to some of queries raised and doubtless there will be further feedback.

As for me, happy to help out. I am not a Landlord, but I have been in the past. I am not an Agent, but I have been in the past. I am, therefore, a has been, so always seek independent and suitably qualified advice elsewhere before relying upon whatever has been posted here :-)

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