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Johnny1978

Just signed an AST, my flat is very scary and i want out - how?

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Hello,

 

really quick because i'm at work and shouldn't be on here but am very worried...

 

Basically, i signed a tenanct agreement AST, two weeks ago for a ground floor victorian flat. Many promises were made to me about the flat (heating woukld be fixed, etc) that did not materialise. water is leaking under my sink under electrical sockets, the buzzer does not work, etc..

 

however - the main thing is that i feel scared to be alone there at night. my neighbours (different landlords) leave the front and back doors open all the time. this terrifies me, and i want out -how? :(

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You signed an AST 2 weeks ago, pres a 6 month fixed term?

You were given opportunity to view the property / location before signing?

Was an arrival inspection / inventory carried out by agent/LL/self? & signed?

What problems were noted/agreed?

 

Bad news is you appear to be liable for the rent for the fixed term (6 month?) and cannot give Notice until month 4 or 5 and not vacate until end of fixed term. Even if LL did allow you to vacate early you could be liable for rent and re-advertising costs until a new tenant moves in.

 

Discuss your security concerns with LL and draw his attention to the lack of heating and water leak. If he is a reasonable LL you do not want to sour any relationship by trying to find problems so you can leave early. This is not to say you should ignore problems that are the LLs responsibility.

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Hi Caprice

 

Heres some info. I would put all your concerns in writing, send it Recorded to your Landlord. That way he will take you seriously.

Tell him these matters need to be sorted out ASAP.

 

http://england.shelter.org.uk/get_advice/renting_and_leasehold/rights_and_responsibilities/landlords_responsibilities

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In conjunction with Tenant responsibilities page also on Shelter website

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Hi, now i have more time!

 

Thanks for the links - I'll read them in a bit.

 

I went to work this morning - the front door was open.

 

i came home - the back door is propped open.

i shut it.

At ten pm now - it was open.

 

Now, all the piles of post have disappeared!

 

As far as i am concerned, i signed up for a flat with two external doors - not two that are permanently propped open. Also, there was a lot of post in the vestibule - bank statements, final bills, previous tenants stuff- now its all gone except for one or two letters!!! Again, i would NEVER have lived here if i knew what was going on. Somebody is up to something here, i know it.

 

it's things like this that i didn't sign up for. i think i have the right to want out.

 

i spoke to my agents who said they will discuss the matter with their bosses, i.e how to stop it and if i can get out of my contract and let them re-advertise. but i hate living here - i'm constantly on edge. last night i heard somebody walking about and opening the doors again. i have a right to feel safe in my own home - i have paid my agents £1000 to feel like this. I just hope they let me out of the contract....

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Are these doors you keep finding open part of your flat or a hall way or something else ?

 

If these doors are part of you flat,then who got keys and who going in your flat with out your permission,you have the right to privacy and to feel safe in your new home.

 

You have the right to change the locks to your flat to keep your privacy and home safe while your out,if you do change the locks make sure you don't damage LL doors and frames and put the LL locks back when you move out.

 

Your LL/agent have to give you at least 24hrs notice before they come around to do work and so on and you can insist on been present All the time they are there.

Edited by 45002
locks

Just say No to 0870 and 0845 Numbers,Use

http://www.saynoto0870.com/search.php

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45002, it is reasonable to assume thet the front & back doors in question are common entry doors for all flats, opening to a common hallway, with the ground floor entrance, with lock, off.

If OP was referring to her private entrance to a self-contained flat, I assume she would have had plod around pdq for suspected burglary.

No tenant has the right to change locks on common entrances, as that could exlclude tenants of other flats & LL.

 

I stand to be corrected by OP.

 

The LL or his agent/contractors can effect entry without notice IN AN EMERGENCY eg water, gas leak.

 

The LL can give min 24hr, or pref longer, Notice to inspect the property and then enter the property even if tenant not present, though pref with an Ind witness. Consider possible abandoned property

Edited by mariner51

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45002, it is reasonable to assume thet the front & back doors in question are common entry doors for all flats, opening to a common hallway, with the ground floor entrance, with lock, off.

If OP was referring to her private entrance to a self-contained flat, I assume she would have had plod around pdq for suspected burglary.

No tenant has the right to change locks on common entrances, as that could exlclude tenants of other flats & LL.

 

I stand to be corrected by OP.

 

The LL or his agent/contractors can effect entry without notice IN AN EMERGENCY eg water, gas leak.

 

The LL can give min 24hr, or pref longer, Notice to inspect the property and then enter the property even if tenant not present, though pref with an Ind witness. Consider possible abandoned property

 

I stand corrected if they are common entry doors to All the flats in the house,but i still would advise the tenant to change the locks to there flat door as i posted to give that tenant feeling of security.

 

A LL could break a emergency,but they would have to have a very good reason as you posted or risk legal action by the tenant.

 

It is good to try and work and get on with a LL/agent,But a LL /Agent cannot just enter a tenant home with a spare set of keys after giving 24 hours notice on there own,All tenants have a right to Privacy and can refuse entry to there home,if they wish to do so.


Just say No to 0870 and 0845 Numbers,Use

http://www.saynoto0870.com/search.php

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"All tenants have a right to Privacy and can refuse entry to there home,if they wish to do so."

 

Incorrect

 

A number of people have a Statutory Right of Access to any home,sometimes forcibly, not least the Police.

An individual may have the right to Privacy, but a tenancy only confers the right to 'quiet enjoyment'

A weekly inspection may be considered harrassment but an occassional random inspection, with due notice, would not. IMO

Personally, I would allow 3 post delivery days before inspection, after posting Notice of Intent first class. It is then up to the tenant to decide if they want to be present or arrange a more acceptable date.

The LL or Agent is entitled to current set of access door keys providing access to all rooms so why should they have to break in to their own property in an emergency. If a water/gas leak is reported and the tenant is on holiday. if the LL effects entry and turns off the supply, it could could be argued they were also protecting the tenants possessions.

With 24 hr notice, what if tenant does not respond or is not present and a 'moonlight' abandonment of property is suspected, should the LLjust go away?

 

Case study1

Tenant in sig rent arrear, failing to reply to tel calls

LL serves 24hr notice of inspection

Arranges to meet with Council private residential housing officer at property on nominated day

No response to doorbell by tenant

LL effects entry using personal key

Council officer notes LL notice and postmark on mat, obvious signs of abandoned property and state of property

CO witnesses LL serving notice of presumed abandonment with request to contact LL within 7 days to avoid change of locks

 

This legal procedure avoided the necessity for Court action for repossesion. Without further contact the tenant's detritus was 'skipped' 3 months later

The tenant disappeared, leaving the LL with a hefty bill for arrears and renovation.

 

Case study 2

 

Law abiding LL grants AST which specifically excludes illegal activities, but no LL inspection

During the tenancy the Police effect forcible entry (£500 danage to LL property) for using property as brothel, cannabis farm, distribution or use of controlled drugs.

Conviction so LL not entitled to Police damages claim

In this case I would suggest the Court should apply reclaimable LL damages against the tenant or increase the custodial.

Edited by mariner51

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Any landlord entering a tenanted property without the tenant being there or without permission leaves himself wide open to serious troub le, and it is not right that the landlord can do this either.

 

An emergency, yes, where life and limb is in danger. And, always in the presence of a police officer. Suspected abandonment? No. Notice on door to ask tenant to contact you, and then sellotape across the door and jamb at three points, visit each day to see if seal broken. Extensive enquiries with neighbours, enquiries of any next of kin details you may hold. After 7 days, if no joy then enter. Inventory, photograph, do not touch or remove anything at this time. (Well shifty look around maybe, check dates on mail etc) Leave property secured and as it was unless you discover a body, gas leak or animal or some such thing, pin note to door again, and you should be serving NOSP now as well. Not just at the property but at any address you hold for them. Now it is up to you - you could clear the property after a reasonable time, and dispose of all, and then have the tenant come back from an extended holiday and sue the arse off you. (Could be argued that they should have informed you they were away for so long).

 

Best bet all round, albeit costing you money, where you are unsure if a property has been abandoned then go through the Court process to cover your backside.

 

As I write, I am aware that my most recent employer is currently being screwed (sued?). Because they were so incensed that a resident had been growing cannabis in one of their properties, that as soon as they traced him in prison, they evicted him as quickly as the law allowed, and disposed of all his belongings, right down to his driving licence and passport! Plus the only photo's he had of his deceased daughter. I await the outcome of the court case with interest, however, I know already which way this is going! In this case I am very pleased because I hate my ex-employer and they are stupid, but to all you landlords on here, I do sympathise, I know it costs a lot to do it the right way, but if you always do it the right way you should never come unstuck.

 

Just my ten pence worth as a former HO!

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"All tenants have a right to Privacy and can refuse entry to there home,if they wish to do so."

 

Incorrect

 

A number of people have a Statutory Right of Access to any home,sometimes forcibly, not least the Police.

 

Correct on Statutory Right of Access to any home,Police and so on

 

I would always advise anyone to try and get on with your LL/Agent.

 

But tenants regardless of what type of tenancy they have,can refuse entrance to a LL/Agent even with written notice.

 

And this was confirmed to me sometime ago in writing from one of the best run Council Private Tenancy office in the UK and a solicitor specializing in housing.

 

All Tenants in the UK have a right of privacy.


Just say No to 0870 and 0845 Numbers,Use

http://www.saynoto0870.com/search.php

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But tenants regardless of what type of tenancy they have,can refuse entrance to a LL/Agent even with written notice.

 

And this was confirmed to me sometime ago in writing from one of the best run Council Private Tenancy office in the UK and a solicitor specializing in housing.

 

All Tenants in the UK have a right of privacy.

 

In alot of tenancy agreements (inc. the one I have in place which is based off my University's Housing Scheme's standard one which in endorsed by the council) there is a contractual term requiring the tennant to allow/permit entry for inspection after the landlord has given 24 hours notice.

 

Now, if a tennant refused access, a LL could go to court to enforce this leaving the tennat liable for costs.

 

Ta,

H


I am not a lawyer - I'm an Engineer with an interest in law. Advice is given with out prejudice and is my opinion on the information I have been provided with based on my experience, understanding and interpritation of law. If you are in any doubt please seek the advice of a qualified and insured legal professional.

 

Victories:

Abbey (OH) - £680 ..... Barclaycard (OH) - £2200 ..... MBNA (OH) - £1800 ..... Shop Direct (OH) - £220

Brunell Franklin (a.k.a. Conkers) - Out of "contract" & no charge

:D

 

In Progress:

MBNA (OH) - PPI & bad default with premature termination

Capital One (OH) - ~£800 Penalty Charges

Suzuki Finance/Blackhorse (OH) - Commission, Unlawful removal, PPI, Charges

 

A Lightbulb Shop - "loss of bargain"

 

If i've helped, please feel free to hit the star ;)

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In alot of tenancy agreements (inc. the one I have in place which is based off my University's Housing Scheme's standard one which in endorsed by the council) there is a contractual term requiring the tennant to allow/permit entry for inspection after the landlord has given 24 hours notice.

 

Now, if a tennant refused access, a LL could go to court to enforce this leaving the tennat liable for costs.

 

Ta,

H

 

I do agree with you about landlord inspections when the tenant is present,but im mainly talking about LL/Agent going in when ever they like and No one is there,you only have to search this forum to find cases of tenants finding out LL/agents going in a flat where unannounced.

 

Injunction very unlike,more like LL gives tenant notice to quit after 6 months if a tenant has AST and as i said I would always advise anyone to try and get on,work with your LL/Agent, problem is a lot of LL/Agent dont under stand a tenants rights to privacy.

 

We seam to be going back in time in the UK,where LL/Agent are becoming more like LL from the Pre "Kathy come Home" Era.

Edited by 45002

Just say No to 0870 and 0845 Numbers,Use

http://www.saynoto0870.com/search.php

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I do agree with you about landlord inspections when the tenant is present,but im mainly talking about LL/Agent going in when ever they like and No one is there,you only have to search this forum to find cases of tenants finding out LL/agents going in a flat where unannounced.

 

Injunction very unlike,more like LL gives tenant notice to quit after 6 months if a tenant has AST and as i said I would always advise anyone to try and get on,work with your LL/Agent, problem is a lot of LL/Agent dont under stand a tenants rights to privacy.

I agree that the LL/LA are in the wrong if they do not announce the visit and enter with no one about. However, if they have given reasonable notice (as per contract) and the tennant hasn't objected and the LL/LA turns up and the tennat is not there then I think it is acceptable for them to enter and carry out the inspection.

 

not all ASTs are 6-month - my tennants are on 12 month with no break clause, but then, we are a house full of students ;)

 

 

As to the OPs problem, I agree that you need to put your concerns in writing to the LL/LA.

 

If there was no issue with doors being left open, would you have any issues with staying there or are there other major problems?

 

I know you have mentioned maintenance issues and from personal experience (going from being a tennant last year to being a landlord this year), things aren't going to be perfect. What you have listed seems a bit major - did you get these promises in writing? and what does your agreement say about time scales for maintenance/non-performance of repairs by LA?

 

 

Turning to the door issue - I know that you have mentioned that there is another flat with a different landlord and I was wondering if there are ay other flats? Are you aware of who/which flat is responsible for leaving the doors open and have you tried approaching them?

 

Do you know if there is a management company or other person responsible for the areas shared between the flats - if so, addressing your concern to them might help as they can contact all of the residents and should take on security concerns as it has the potential of affecting their buildings insurance ;)

 

 

Thanks,

H


I am not a lawyer - I'm an Engineer with an interest in law. Advice is given with out prejudice and is my opinion on the information I have been provided with based on my experience, understanding and interpritation of law. If you are in any doubt please seek the advice of a qualified and insured legal professional.

 

Victories:

Abbey (OH) - £680 ..... Barclaycard (OH) - £2200 ..... MBNA (OH) - £1800 ..... Shop Direct (OH) - £220

Brunell Franklin (a.k.a. Conkers) - Out of "contract" & no charge

:D

 

In Progress:

MBNA (OH) - PPI & bad default with premature termination

Capital One (OH) - ~£800 Penalty Charges

Suzuki Finance/Blackhorse (OH) - Commission, Unlawful removal, PPI, Charges

 

A Lightbulb Shop - "loss of bargain"

 

If i've helped, please feel free to hit the star ;)

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"We seam to be going back in time in the UK,where LL/Agent are becoming more like LL from the Pre "Kathy come Home" Era. "

 

Or a minority of modern tenants who 'know' their rights but not their responsibilities, and who prob did not understand their Tenancy Agreement when signing it, just LL reponsibilites, not Tenant responsibilities. Often their first phone call about a problem is to environ health not the LL.

 

I do not want a return to the Rackmann era nor the bad LLs of today, just reasonable LLs & tenants.

 

There are websites where tenants can slag off their property (address) / LL - freedom of expression

 

I supported a searchable national register, where tenants could rate their rented property/LL provided Tenants were listed and rated. Bad LLs & tenants could be easily identified.

Fear of slander/liable & DPA killed that idea

 

Re LL entry for inspection I believe a sensible Judge once decided that whilst a LL should try to accomodate the tenant's wishes, this may not always be possible. Provided due Notice has been served the LL has a right to inspect his investment.

 

Until the pendulum swings to the centre, potential reasonable small investors will avoid the private rented sector, there is insufficient public/social housing and unreasonable tenants on benefits will suffer from this shortfall

 

Just my opinion

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Glad someone mentioned Rachman. Eyes open and brakes on landlords AND tenants.

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