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Home sweet home for RedVixen NOT!!!


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Okey Dokey what a mine of information this site is :)

 

My home - an epic that goes on forever

 

Bottom floor of a victorian terrace - very cheap rent right now however

 

Landlords agent visits without warning whenever he feels like it especially when he knows I am at work. Initially I just left my key in the front door and used the back but he started to remove the door handle and use needle pliers to turn the key - brought workers in one day without warning and the cheeky bar steward phoned me at work and moaned about how untidy it is. Now I have jammed the key with an elastic band until i can afford to change the locks.

 

I do not have written contact details for my landlord or his agent

 

I moved in from another of his properties on assuming same conditions as previous property - I have never had a written tenancy agreement but have been a tenant of this guy for over 10 years now. However the prat upstairs tells me he has equal rights to the garden which I thought I had sole use of (he has a 3-400 metre round trip to get to the back gate) The landlord has never made this clear to me so I just keep arguing with the idiot

 

I also received a council tax application form about 4 years ago after the landlord finally informed the council that it was two separate properties - fine I thought, I hadn't needed to pay council tax on the last place and the landlord did not inform me that the situation was any different in this one. Wrong - 5 year council tax bill arrived over £3k. Now I was a registered student at the time so managed to get it down to £1300ish but despite explaining the situation to the council I still had to pay it all - the landlord claimed that it had always been the case with that property but I know two sets of previous tenant and it wasn't. The property has one outside fron enterance and then we hav our respective doors off the hall way. There is one gas supply that comes into my flat and is separated after the main meter with a defunct pay meter in each flat - more about that later. All the hall lights and the single shower pump and fire alarm for both flats is on my electricity circuit. Does this meet the planning conditions for separate properties or should it be multiple occupancy - I suspect soe regs changed 4 years ago hich would have resulted in the landlord having to pay something out on the property

 

The gas bill has ben put in the name of the guy upstairs who is a complete idiot and until recently insisted that we pay half each despite the fact that I work and train so a out most of the time and he has been on the dole for at least 8 years and is inall the time during winter. It ws only this year we managed to get him to accept that although the meters in each flat don't work money wise they still record electricity usage

 

I have stopped this now especially since he seems to think he doesn't have to pay formt electricity of mine that he uses - his upstairs hall light is on now despite the fact he is currently staying somewhere else - huge rows all the time

 

There is crack in the wall between my bedroom and living room (front and back rooms) which is identical on both sides and I noticed today getting worse

 

There are two areas in the undecorated kitchen where the walls are disintegrating and the artex on the ceiling is coming down. When one of the bathroom windows broke (plane glass so not regulation anyway) it took three months and me refusing to pay rent to get it fixed - lone female ground floor flat :Cry:

 

Only one door between the bathroom and kitchen

 

The only advantage of the place - last year I had a really bad spell financially and he has swallowed a lot of arrears and I am paying it off gradually - however as much as he tries to make out he is doing me a favour - me staying here means he thinks he can put off spending thousands getting the place back up to standard.

 

I have contacted the council private tenancy officer who was abit wet - said to put the repirs in a letter and if he doesn't comply they will put the same list on their paper so he has too - I honestly don't think the place can be repaired with me still in it. I desperately want to get out but am temping so don't have enough for a deposit on a new place just not sure about how best to go about things

If you can keep you head when all of those around you are losing theirs try parking your helicopter somewhere else

 

 

The PPI Saga

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Landlords agent visits without warning whenever he feels like it especially when he knows I am at work.
- please read the following post http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/landlords-tenants/74053-access-property-landlord.html#post641916

 

I do not have written contact details for my landlord or his agent

these deatils should be given to you if you ask. Make a formal request.

 

The rest is really a balancing act; yes, there are disrepairs and confusion with the utilities and the idiot neighbour but if you push landlord too much he can ask you to leave any time, he just needs to give you 2 months notice. Your tenancy is periodic so not much security.

The landlord seems to be a bumbling amateur. Save hard and get out- but I am sure you know it.

Sorry, no magic tricks :(

[sIGPIC][/sIGPIC]

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Now I have jammed the key with an elastic band until i can afford to change the locks.

 

I would highly reccomend not doing that.

 

I would also reccomend just moving out. If you really want to stay then as teh housing officer stated put all requests in writing as you then have a record of what and when you have asked for.

 

Are you and have you always been a student whilst in this property?

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No I haven't always been a student.

 

If I can changed the locks (the council have given me the OK on that one) why shouldn't I barr access another way until I can afford to buy a new lock. I can still use the back door and its been like that for weeks with no comment from the landlords agent. I know he has tried to break in because he doesn't bother to screw the reamining one screw in the door handle back in. The key and lock aren't being damaged the band just means the key can't be turned with needle plyers from the outside. In my previous place with them there was an additional yale lock that a previous tenant had put in that he didn't have. The situation was the same here but the guy before me kicked the door down and broke the door frame in that place.

If you can keep you head when all of those around you are losing theirs try parking your helicopter somewhere else

 

 

The PPI Saga

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Make sure that you can open the front door very quickly if you have to, Vixen. In the event of a fire, you don't want to be trapped in a part of the house that you can't get out of.

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Demon - I can get out the key turns as normal my side you just can't do it from the other side with plyers. The key is always in there anyway so i know where it is in case of fire - failing that the huge front bay window is single glazed and will break easily

If you can keep you head when all of those around you are losing theirs try parking your helicopter somewhere else

 

 

The PPI Saga

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Good. I live on the second floor of a block of flats; my exit options are one door and, er, a thirty foot drop out of a window of my choice. I'm saving for a fire ladder that doesn't need to be fixed to the windowsill; until then, I'm nervy about fire exits and such. Was the first thing I thought of when I read your post.

Until you can move out of that hell hole: have you thought about calling the police and making an official complaint about the breaking and entering? While you rent that property, you are effectively the 'owner', allowed to specifically say who can and can't come and go. The landlord's agent is not only coming in without your permission, but is breaking in (possibly causing damage) each time. May be good ammo if you need it to have a police report on file.

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Click the scales if I've been useful! :)

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30 foot woh - thats a long way - I have security issues where I am but as its ground floor the fire stuff isn't so bad. - you can get rope ladder things can't you? Although where you would attach them to I wouldn't know

 

Haven't thought of calling the police yet - I think I would have to make a formal complaint to the landlord first. Trouble is he knows exactly what the guy is like but doesn't do anything about it. I am wondering if he declares his 'second' job to IR

 

I can't afford to move yet.

 

What is frustrating at the mo is that there is someone who is considering lettingme have his flat for a year but as i temp neither of us wants to take the risk til I have a longer term contract - don't want to mess a mate about

If you can keep you head when all of those around you are losing theirs try parking your helicopter somewhere else

 

 

The PPI Saga

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I had a ground floor student flat for a year - never again! - we used to get people sticking their heads through our open windows asking for a light! amongst other things... I could never live in a ground floor flat again, I hate having my windows closed, in any season.

IMHO, I wouldn't even bother waiting for a response from the landlord with regard to the agent if 'he knows exactly what the guy is like' - make your complaint to the police a priority as it compromises the entire security of your flat. Did any of those workmen see him entering the flat that time with a pair of pliers and a screwdriver? Make the point to the landlord that if the agent can do it, then anyone can; mention to the police that he has done it in front of workmen, and so complete strangers know how to get in too.

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Demon - they would have seen because they couldn't have got in with the spare keys - as did the prat upstairs probably. When I change the locks that will change because I will keave the key hangingon tehdoor but not in it so he won't have akey to get in and won't be able to use mine either

 

I have cats so a ground floor flat is ideal - they are used to having free access to the outside world so I am not going to take that away formthem it will cause problems. I should imagine it is rough having a ground floor flat on a campus

 

I do wish I could leave some windows open for fresh air but they are too big

If you can keep you head when all of those around you are losing theirs try parking your helicopter somewhere else

 

 

The PPI Saga

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Basically they say that so long as the landlord can still have access to do repairs which quite frankly he never does I can change the locks if he refuses to allow me quiet enjotment of the property.

If you can keep you head when all of those around you are losing theirs try parking your helicopter somewhere else

 

 

The PPI Saga

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OK, the advice I was given by senior housing solicitor goes: the locks can be changed (in all circumstances, not only with harassing landlord/agents), providing that there is minimal damage to the door, the old lock or barrel is kept safely and put back in at the end of tenancy and the landlord has means of either contacting you in emergency or has a spare key (hehehe, that defeats a whole point in your case).

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The Landlord has my mobile number in case of emergency and I can arrange for a spare key to be left nearby but he isn't having one:)

If you can keep you head when all of those around you are losing theirs try parking your helicopter somewhere else

 

 

The PPI Saga

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  • 1 month later...

Quick update - after another attempted break in where the idiot didn't bother to replace the one remaing screw and I found I couldn't get out thefront door - so I caled the police - if they find its him they won't do anyhitng becasue he can't break into his own property but it boosts a harrassment claim - solicitors will be contacted to see what they think this week as will environmenatl health

If you can keep you head when all of those around you are losing theirs try parking your helicopter somewhere else

 

 

The PPI Saga

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The police SHOULD do something, and you need to hassle them until they do. It is legally no different to him breaking into a random house - during the course of the tenancy you are, in effect, the legal owner of the property.

7 years in retail customer service

 

Expertise in letting and rental law for 6 years

 

By trade - I'm an IT engineer working in the housing sector.

 

Please note that any posts made by myself are for information only and should not and must not be taken as correct or factual. If in doubt, consult with a solicitor or other person of equal legal standing.

 

Please click the star if I have helped!!

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If the landlord enters your flat without your permission, s/he is guilty of trespass which is a criminal act.

Frederickson - CCA Sent 11/4/07 - Lost - Claiming back from post office

Connaught Collections - CCA Sent 11/4/07 - No Agreement - returned to client

Lowell - CCA sent 11/4/07 - No agreement - returned to client

Moorcroft - CCA Sent 11/4/07 - No Agreement - returned to client

Red Castle - CCA Sent 11/4/07 - Copy returned but no T&C's

Robinson Way - CCA Sent 16/5/07

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I did try to tell the police officer this but they won't act on it - they are essentially classing it almost as a domestic issue - I have aproblem with my landlord I have to sort out becasue they won't

 

No one saw him do it this time and I suspect theworkmen he let in by breaking in (no notive given) wouldn't speak against him

If you can keep you head when all of those around you are losing theirs try parking your helicopter somewhere else

 

 

The PPI Saga

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  • 4 weeks later...

Update

 

I have contacted the local authority private tenancy team - the harassment officer talked to my landlord who denied trying to get in and claimed the last visit for the gas certificates ahd been 10 months ago and had been a prearranged appointment by phone - pre arranged in my book involves a phone call before they go in - NOT when they are already in there having broken in. Anyway they are claiming they haven't tried to gain access since then - MORE LIES. Unfortunately my word against theirs

 

Anyway the locks are now changed and the landlord now knows I am prepared to act. He is now trying to contact me for access to do the gas certificates again - althought they told the council officer they were only done 10 months ago.

 

Next week they will be getting a letter about the state of the place from environmental health giving them 28 days to put it right - I will be surprised if they can do half of it whilst I am living there. I am also disappointed that EH are not coming out to view the place - bloody usless really

 

I am trying to get some information out of a solicitor regarding compensation for the state of the place. - but really I WANT TO LEAVE

If you can keep you head when all of those around you are losing theirs try parking your helicopter somewhere else

 

 

The PPI Saga

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  • 1 year later...

Update

 

Still here but not for long - a couple of friends with empty properties have said I can have these since the rental market is as slow as the house buying one at the moment.

 

The report form the housing team I allowed to be closed - I was temping and I was not prepared to let any of his cowboys in without me being present and at the time couldn't afford to take days off for people who I know from experience never turn up when they say they will

 

On Monday I will be contacting them again. Despite several regulations not being adhered to the landlord has made no effort to sort out the problems - promised phone calls to arrange access to get things done have not materialised

 

The gas certificate is now more than 12 months old - now the engineer did contact me to come on do that a month ago but I wasn't around at the time he is actually OK and the lack of contact since suggests he has finally got ****ed off with them. There has certainly been a few years where one wasn't done last years is the only time I have received the safety certificate

 

So list of problems - the fire surround, the inch gap under a fire door, the lack of sound proofing, the disintegrating walls - one spot right to the brick all of which can apparently be repaired by just skimming. Bathroom walls peeling as they are so damp, air vent come off the wall - the kitchen floor is even disintegrating where they is a small step to the back door, disintegrating ceiling in the bathroom - leaking from above. Only one door between the bathroom and kitchen. The unannounced visits at 7AM on a saturday morning followed by phone calls at the same time (logged) phone calls just before 10PM. The fact that my electricity is eaten by the idiot upstairs as all the hall lights are on my circuit as is the one water pump for both showers. I have an outstanding housing benefit claim which is hopefully going through though it is taking its time as I have been working on a casual basis and my income has been up and down - but no rent has been paid since January. There is no rent book anyway and if you pay rent to the landlords agent he never gives receipts so i always pay at his *cough* Band B *cough* where I do get a receipt.

 

There is no tenancy agreement and never has been the deposit was £50 10 years ago so not worried about that.

 

Question I have today is can I use a similar letter to the DCA do not darken my door one to stop him visiting my home - bearing in mind that before I changed the locks he used to let himself in on a whim - I even caught him on a couple of occassions not even bothering to knock first - he just put his key in the door as I usually worked on that day and he knew that so wasn't expecting me to be in - so why come round

 

Also he won't quite be getting a months notice but as he would need to spend several weeks working on the place to make it habitable I feel I will be doing him a favour there, he can get started earlier. He has threatened notice to quit if I don't phone him but that is of no importance at the moment. As he has surely breached any implied contract many many times over surely I have a case to just go

If you can keep you head when all of those around you are losing theirs try parking your helicopter somewhere else

 

 

The PPI Saga

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