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Landlord threats to serve notice over "wear and tear" and rent increase


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Posted (edited)

myself &  14 year old son have lived in private rented property for 6 1/2 years and during that time landlord has had 4 managing agents. The ones he has now are a nightmare (although I have no doubt they are acting on his instructions) 

 

my tenancy agreement says that inspections are quarterly but the agents often get the dates wrong and sometimes it is 8/10 weeks and they are wanting to book another inspection.  

 

To put you in the picture

the property is a 3 story house and built on the side of a canal.

The back of the house (downstairs room, kitchen and sons bedroom) all have balconies that overlook canal. The largest balcony is the downstairs room which actually juts out over the canal but for the first 3 years i could not use it as it was rotted.  He eventually had it replaced but with inappropriate materials for a canal climate. 

There is ivy that grows up under from the canal that comes through the slats so it is a constant battle keeping the balcony clear.  I jet wash the balcony but it is a losing battle in the winter and he has not had the balcony sealed (he told me this and said he would sort it as soon as the weather improved)

 

sorry for the long narrative but my issue is now that I had an inspection last week and he has come back with a long list of things he is not happy about and if not resolved then in 2 weeks he will serve notice!! The agents in the same breath also told me he wants to increase rent by £120.00 per month!. I have never missed a rent payment and very rarely go complain about any issues as if they are minor i deal with them.

 

following the inspection his issues are: -

 

carpet - the carpets are coming away from under the rods and he says from the photos they look like they are not looked after!.  Now this house was a newbuild over 15 years ago and the carpets are the same ones put in at the time (I know as my next door neighbour moved in over 10 years ago and they have the same carpet lol). 

 

The agent told me he was considering replacing them but has put this on hold as he thinks I have neglected them.  i will add that I got my carpets professionally cleaned at the end of November and I have done a few times since I moved in and i have sent the agents the invoice for his.  All the carpets are threadbare.

 

Balcony Decking.  He is saying it has been neglected but it hasn't been build with correct materials and in 12 months i suspect it will be rotting.

 

Living Room.  Just before Christmas I had this completely decorated and new blinds and curtains fitted.  Bizarrely the agent, as soon as she came into the living room, got on her knees and took a photo underneath one of my settees.  They are saying that this part of the skirting board has bubbles so landlord said i have "probably put bleach on it" what the hell.  She never looked at any other part of the living room.

 

This is just a small part of what he has "concerns" about  and to be fair the agent who called me said it is clear the property is looked after and just needed to speak to me so she can go back to the landlord.

 

We love living here, we have made it our home and have in no way neglected it, in fact on Saturday i spent a couple of hundred quid having the small piece if grass area at side of driveway dug up and pebbled ready for summer pots.

 

oh forgot to mention that my boiler has been broken for over a month and although they have done a temp repair and i do have heating and water the boiler still leaks black gungy water.  As a result i have towels on my kitchen counter top but the water has done some damage to the sealing around the counter top and down the side of the floor cupboard (which has been noted as a concern on the inspection report)  The repair man said the landlord is looking for quotes for fixing this boiler so the leak continues!

 

thank you for any opinions you can give 

 

Lady H

Edited by dx100uk
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Hi

 

Carpets

 

As these have been in the Property over 15 years and now the Landlord is complaining due to the recent inspection that the carperts are coming
away from the rods, how long does the Landlords expect a carpet to last especially as you mention they are thread bare. Sounds as if the Landlord is trying to get betterment IMO when the Landlord should be resolving this matter as these would then be a trip hazard for the Landlord to fix.

 

Or have you tries to stretch the carpet to refit under the rods?

 

Balcony Decking

 

Saying you have neglected this the Landlord would need to prove this but as the Landlord has failed to to seal the balcony propertry as you were informed by them how could this be your issue again seems the Landlord is trying for betterment.

 

Living Room

 

As for the skirting with bubbles on it I assume this is to the paintwork on the skirting which is easily rectified by sanding and repainting again imo the Landlord is using this as an excuse for betterment.

 

Rent Increase

 

As for the Rent Increase that was mention on the Inspection Visit the Landlord can't just Increase the Rent without giving proper notice see below link:
https://www.gov.uk/private-renting/rent-increases

 

Boiler

 

As for the Boiler broken and a temp fix while the Landlord gets quotes to fully repair and it is still leaking water this is a safety risk as water could impact any electrics in that boiler depending on its makeup, that leak needs to be fixed urgently.

 

https://www.gassaferegister.co.uk/gas-safety/renting-a-property/

 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/smoke-and-carbon-monoxide-alarms-explanatory-booklet-for-landlords/the-smoke-and-carbon-monoxide-alarm-england-regulations-2015-qa-booklet-for-the-private-rented-sector-landlords-and-tenants#:~:text=The regulations require private sector,effect from 1 October 2015.

 

Tenancy Deposit

 

If you paid a Deposit it should be protected in a Tenancy Deposit Scheme and you should have been given a copy of the Prescribed terms of that scheme:

 

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


If in England you should also have been given a copy of the How to Rent Booklet:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/how-to-rent

 

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Some really good advice here.  I totally agree that the landlord is looking to improve the property at your expense - most tenancy agreements expect the property to be maintained in the same condition subject to normal wear and tear (e.g. you can't expect a carpet to last forever and it needs replacing eventually)

 

As a landlord, none of this looks like tenant responsibility to me but natural wear and tear to me (subject to the terms of your lease).

 

Also you should receive an annual gas safety certificate and have an electrical safety certificate not more than five years old.  Check that you have this mainly for your safety but also it's a legal requirement

 

 

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Thank you for the advice.  I do get an annual inspection and the agents have come back to me to say the landlord had been notified that I said it was now fixed.  Incorrect as all repairs are logged on a portal and the last message was that landlord has been notified of repair required and he is getting some quotes.  I agree with you about the repairs and I have decorated the majority of the house which I know is not my responsibility but I want it to look nice.  I am waiting for them to come back once they have spoken to landlord so I will update    

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Hi

 

you are more than welcome to the advice that is what we are here for.

 

Make sure and have a good read of the links I posted as well.

 

My main concern is the Boiler leaking especially if it is a Combi Boiler which contains electrics even if it is the old boiler type it may have electrics in the vicinity which is a serious hazard as electric and water do not mix even with the temp fix it is still leaking so the temp fix has not resolved the issued as it has failed as water is still leaking thus a serious hazard and also causing further damage to the Landlords own property.

 

You need to make sure the letting agency is aware of this and the damage it is causing as you need to have a record of this as you don't want the Landlord suddenly claiming you caused the damage due to this ongoing leaking of the boiler.

 

What date was the Temp repair to the Boiler done? 

 

Please keep us update on this

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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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