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Hi all,

 

this may be a long one. We've been in our rented property for nearly 3 years (since August 2011). We rent privately from landlords who used to live in the property and have never been landlords before renting this house.

 

A few months since we moved in, problems with the house started - damp patches, due to the balcony mostly, which they promptly got "sorted". The house was then less than 10 years old and all of the houses on the small estate had similar problems with damp, due to shoddy building work.

 

The damp problem was never resolved despite "builders" being sent by the insurance company to sort the problem. It was always botched.

 

Last year we noticed rain pouring (yes, pouring) through our bedroom window, and as Winter came it became so cold that we had to have the heating on so much more!

 

Landlords were informed of every little thing and contacted their insurance company (because the house was still under warranty).

 

Builders came, bodged it and left, time after time.

 

Fast forward to the beginning of this month and the landlords are sick of it all. They've decided to wash their hands of it and put the house up for sale. They issued a section 21 (and it IS valid).

 

We've found somewhere else and are moving in on the first July, we're having the carpets cleaned at current property, gardens manicured, we've done all minor repairs (replaced broken loo seat, touched up paint on walls etc).

 

Landlady has now asked for us to sand down and treat all the window frames and paint every room the exact colour it was when we moved in! (Peach, yellow, dark blue etc). Well, we spent over £1000 decorating this place last year in neutral colours and the damp problems completely wrecked all our hard work.

 

We spent £150 to get someone to come and repair the shed roof even though that is not our responsibility. We also had to get a plumber to come and repair the loo which cost £40 and last year the heating packed in and we got someone to come and repair it costing us £90. We informed landlady o all of this and she did not accept responsibility.

 

The oil fired boiler hasn't been serviced at all in the 3 years we've been here but I realise this isn't a legal requirement. However the last month or so the three of us (me, husband and son) have all been feeling really ill when we've been at home. But when we're not here we feel ok. I wonder if this is possible carbon monoxide leak?

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Just to respond to some of the issues you have raised here.

 

The boiler is very serious and there is a legal liablity to have a gas safety certificate (CORGI) issued every year. This is a very serous matter and if you have the slightest suspicion that there might be CO around then you should insist that it is done immediately. In fact, to cover yourself, you should get your own CO sensor and check it yourself as well. They are very cheap. Do regular checks.

 

 

You duty as a tenant is to return the property in the condition it was when you took it - less reasonable wear and tear. I would say that this would not mean that you have to return everything to Zero. The window frames etc will have suffered wear and tear by being exposed to sunlight. This is part of the natural deterioration of the property.

It sounds as if there is trouble brewing.

 

Keep a log of everything. Take photos of everything. As far as returning the colour scheme to original, did you discuss it with the LL before you did it? If - yes - then given the truncated tenancy, I think that you have a good case for saying that she must contribute.

Did you redecorate because of the damp? If - yes - then I think that you have a good case for refusing on the basis that the redecoration was necessary because of problems for which she was responsible. If it comes to a fight, then I htink that you need to start listing all the problems caused by the poor condition of the property and for which the LL was responsible. In a counterclaim I would argue that you were entitled to XXX peaceable enjoyment and that the LL breached the contract by not maintaining the property to proper contractual standards.

 

Even if you are going to move out, I would check the CO of the boiler. If you find it then note it doewn, inform the LL in writing and tell him that you are now are of his legal duty to have an annual CORGI certificate and that this is a serious breach.

If you do find CO then I htink that a visit to the doctor to report your symptoms and to get a view that this was probably caused by the CO.

If all of this pans out then you put yourself in a very strong position to challenge the LL, to get all of your deposit back and more if the LL starts any funny business. I would make a formal report of the lack of safety cert to the local council.

 

It is all about building up your case.

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By the way - are there smoke alarms? Has an electricity safety cert been issued? I expect that the answer is no. Put it all in writing to the LL and make it clear to them that they need to quieten down if they want to avoid serious trouble.

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Check around and see if there is any safety cert requirement. Check the CO. Even without annual service obligations there must be a responsibility to make sure that it is safe

 

The rest of what I have posted still stands

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I advise to the best of my ability, but I am not a qualified professional, benefits lawyer nor Welfare Rights Adviser.

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"The rest of what I have posted still stands"

 

Except for the fact that smoke alarms and electrical safety Certs (NICEEC) are not required for residential, non-HMO properties, neither is oil-fired boiler safety Cert, though all sensible precautions. Score 0 / 3.

T would be better advised buying a £20 CO monitor and siting it in same room as boiler. IMO

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Yes it's in the DPS. I've posted this as another thread but will paste it on here, hope that's ok - "Hi all,

 

We recently moved to a new house after being issued a S.21 (because the landlords want to sell the property).

 

We vacated the property within the 2 months and are now in our new place, and tomorrow our previous landlords are coming to inspect the old house which we've had professionally cleaned. There were a lot of problems with the property whilst we lived there, such as damp, water damage and bricks falling out of the wall.

 

I have a feeling that when she comes to see the property she will say that she'll release our deposit (because she does things like this, she doesn't like confrontation, and will text us later) - so is there any document I can use/print (like a contract/agreement) for her to sign so that she can't go back on her word? We will also be taking a friend with us as a witness.

 

TIA"

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You need to contact the scheme that you have moved out and claim your deposit back, to get the ball rolling.

Should be returned in about 10 days. subject to any dispute or agreed deductions.

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