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Hi all, 

 

Almost three weeks ago it was evidently made clear the house-share I was living at was infested with rats in the kitchen. I made the landlord aware of this and they said they would take action and asked me if I was happy with the chosen method of killing the pests to which I replied and had no response and the message was left unread for two weeks until the situation escalated and I came home to a Bedroom that had been ravaged by rats (no food was left out and clothing/items were damaged as well - photo evidence was taken both of damage and proof of rats ie feces) 

 

After this, I messaged (as all my calls were ignored) the landlord and made them aware and stating that I would like compensation, would be moving out a month before the end of my agreement due to the health risk and would like my deposit back. At this point I was told that the owner of the tenancy company would give me a call to handle the situation. This has not happened and we are three days on, my additional follow up message has been ignored as well. 
 

At this point I just want to walk away and not pay this months debt which would see me “break my contract” due to not paying the rent. What is my stance on this? Would I be able to not pay my rent for this month and receive my deposit back? Or am I in a position to offer my deposit as rent (it is the equivalent to one month) and leave? 
 

My only worry is receiving a CCJ due to not paying the rent and being taken to court. Any advice would be greatly appreciated! 

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Hello and welcome to CAG.

 

I've moved your thread to the Residential Lettings forum, people should be along to advise over the course of the day.

 

Best, HB


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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It seems to me that a rat infestation is quite sufficient to amount to a termination of contract by the landlord – especially if the landlord has taken no steps to deal with it even though he has been informed about it.

Are you operating directly with the landlord or with the agent? Do you know if your deposit is on the deposit scheme?

What are the other people in the house share doing? How many of them are there? How long has the rat problem existed? How long have you been in the property?

I certainly think the one of the first things I would do tomorrow would be to phone the local authority and tell them. They may be all sorts of albums with the property in the way that it fails to comply with letting regulations and it seems to me that you need to escalate this to an official level as quickly as possible.

By the way if you do decide to leave then it's extremely important that you make sure that everybody has your new address – especially the landlord and any agent – because if they suddenly decide to be silly and to begin a legal action, you want to be certain that you receive the papers.

Make sure that you get everything in writing or put everything in writing. That telephone calls are confirmed in writing and also you should read our customer services guide and implement the advice there.


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Hi @BankFodder

 

Thank you for responding. 
 

The house is owned by the agency and I am dealing with one of the agents. I have tried to get the owner of the agency to give me a call. I was promised that he would give me a call on Thursday which did not happen either. 

 

I have also been a tenant since the end of December 2019. My deposit is kept with a third party holder - what would be the correct process with them? 
 

There is one other tenant in the house and she has also expressed moving out and is considering taking legal action. She has told me that this is not the first time that rats have been a problem as she has lived there a number of years and this issue has come up in the past but then went away so she figured the problem had been solved. (I have asked to get this in writing.) She has also been completely ignored by the agent (the agent is the only contact we both have) and is not sure how to progress. 
 

I will update them of the address change and call the local council in the morning. My only worry is that as a young and foreign working professional new to the processes that may be implemented in the Uk that I am taken advantage of and lose out financially, especially during such a stressful period. 
 

Thanks! 

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I'm afraid that landlord and tenant is not my particular area of expertise – but I would certainly call the local council.

Does the property have smoke alarms? Is there a proper electricity certificate in place? Is there a gas safety certificate in place?

I should phone the local council tomorrow and start telling them that you are very worried about the property and its condition – especially the rat infestation.

Please will you tell us the name of the agent? Who is the third party who is holding the deposit?

 

Also because it is getting pretty clear that the relationship and the confidence between you and your landlord has been badly undermined, I think you should set about finding another probably to move into as quickly as possible.

Of course I suppose that the next thing will be that you will have a battle about the condition of the property when you eventually leave. I suppose neither you nor your code tenant took any pictures of the property when you moved in so you have got nothing to show its condition of that time. If that's correct – then big fail.

Whenever you move into a new property you should take pictures of everything and back them up properly. This can help to deal with problems when you try to move out and suddenly you find that the landlord is blaming you for all sorts of things and effectively trying to hang onto your deposit to pay for a completely new paint job.


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All the above certifications are set out and there are smoke alarms. 
 

I unfortunately made the mistake in not taking photos when I arrived however did take a video upon leaving. 
 

The deposit holder is mydeposits.co.uk and the landlord is “Want This Room”.

 

Fortunately I have already moved out and settled in. I will call the council and respond then. 
 

Thank you! 

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Yes that’s the one. 

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Quote

James PARKER

Filter appointments

Total number of appointments 3

Date of birth  March 1984

WANT THIS ROOM LIMITED (10797815)

Company status  Active
Correspondence address  Hollinwood Business Centre, Albert Street, Oldham, United Kingdom, OL8 3QL
Role ACTIVE  Director
Appointed on  7 November 2017
Nationality  British
Country of residence  England
Occupation  Director

 

 

Have you got any pictures of the rat infestation that you could put up here please.

 


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Hi

 

I have to agree with BF not only yourself but the other tenant need to both contact the councils enviromental health team to report this rat infestation at the property and the previous issue the other tenant knows about. I would also ask as well if the landlord/letting agent is registered with the Private Housing as most council now required all private landlords to be registered with them.

 

Now I am not defending the landlord/letting agent here but it could be that they are having difficulty getting a pest control supplier to come out due to the COVID-19 but then again they could have easily contacted the council who have there own pest control for advice or to come out and deal with this.

 

Have you have a good look not just inside the property but especially outside the property to see if there is any rubbish build up (not just your property look at the others properties without being intrusive and check for any holes or where they may be getting in if so temp block them using steel wool or cheap metal scouring pads) also ask the neighbours if they are having any issues with rats. Also in contact with the landlord/letting agent i would emphasize the following link:


https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-and-renting-guidance-for-landlords-tenants-and-local-authorities

(note download the first document 'Guidance for Landlords and tenants' specifically read through clause 3 fully and use the link and those specific clauses with the landlord/letting agent)

 

Now you say your deposit is with a third party which I do hope is a Tenancy Deposit Scheme and you should be aware of which schem your deposit is in as they are required to provide you with a copy of the prescribed terms of that specific scheme. (have they?)

 

Tenancy deposit protection: https://www.gov.uk/tenancy-deposit-protection

 

Also look at this Tenant Fees Act 2019

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2019/4/contents/enacted

 

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/tenant-fees-act

 

 

 


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I cannot give any advice by PM - If you provide a link to your Thread then I will be happy to offer advice there.

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

Please Donate button to the Consumer Action Group

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Want This Room Limited (Registered Office)

 

Hollinwood Business Centre
Albert Street
Oldham
United Kingdom
OL8 3QL

 

Company Number: 10797815

 

Incorporated: 1 June 2017

 

Company Type: PLC

 

Company Status : Active

 

Director: James Parker  (Appointed 7 Nov 2017)

 

Companies House link: https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company/10797815

Endole link: https://suite.endole.co.uk/insight/company/10797815-want-this-room-limited

BizDb link: https://www.bizdb.co.uk/company/want-this-room-limited-10797815/


 


How to Upload Documents/Images on CAG - **INSTRUCTIONS CLICK HERE**

FORUM RULES - Please ensure to read these before posting **FORUM RULES CLICK HERE**

I cannot give any advice by PM - If you provide a link to your Thread then I will be happy to offer advice there.

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

Please Donate button to the Consumer Action Group

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Hi @BankFodder and @stu007

 

Thanks for getting back to me. 

 

The photo evidence of the items that were in my bin which was knocked over as well as the items of clothing and feces from the rats that were in my drawers are in the folder in the link below: 

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1f2zJIKvZANURiA2yXzhzeYl0f9JMIDb2?usp=sharing

 

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1f2zJIKvZANURiA2yXzhzeYl0f9JMIDb2

 

I appreciate the help and will be getting in touch with the council soon. 

 

With regards to the deposit scheme, the deposit sits with MyDeposits which (from what I can tell form the website) allows me to raise a concern/dispute. 

 

I have still received no correspodence from the agent as of Thursday afternoon despite numerous attempts. 

 

Thanks.

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Are your communications with the agent in writing?

Yes, I think you should start raising a written complaint with the deposit holders well. Outline all the issues.

However, getting in contact with the council is a priority – and sorry to say, it's 11.30 now  it probably should have been done by now. Confirm in writing. Hopefully get them to write back to you and confirm and you can then send that confirmation to the agent and also to the deposit holder


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