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Thread: Flat in disrepair, landlord won't lift a finger

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  1. #1
    EyyN's Avatar

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    Default Flat in disrepair, landlord won't lift a finger

    Hello,

    I have been living at my current flat for just over a year. Trouble started on day 1, and over the course more and more issues arose which the managing company, a very large national one, never repaired despite their promises. In fact, I have a written promise from a high-ranking official at the company, dated September of last year, that was still not carried out at all.

    The main issues that are still ongoing are:
    • A smoke alarm that's been beeping (a warning beep over a fault, not smoke) for over a month, every single second, day and night, which we can hear in the bedroom (as well as our one year-old). Aside from the beeping itself, it is obviously trying to warn us that the building has a ventilation issue, and is therefore a fire trap. To clarify: This is in the communal area of the building.
    • Cleaning of communal areas had entirely stopped in early July, with no notice or reason.
    • The space for the rubbish bins has been sold as a parking space (twice), preventing bins from being properly located. This resulted in garbage pile-ups at the back of the building that are not being cleared, attracting vermin (as well as cross-dressing hobos, I kid you not) who rummage through it.
    • My electric metre is incorrectly registered as commercial, preventing me from switching energy suppliers for the past year, and keeping me on a high tariff.
    • Communal post boxes located outside of the building, on a high street. I should note that this is a new build, and the post boxes were installed after I moved in. Since they were installed, there have been regular occurrences of mail theft, resulting in at least one resident's identity being stolen. This, of course, forced us not only to pay for mail redirection, but also for credit agencies to make sure we were not affected. The kicker is, when this happened, the neighbour affected told the landlord, who promised to warn the other tenants - they never did.


    These are merely the unresolved ones, and there are plenty which, after a lot of effort, have made it off that list. However, this has made my life a living hell for the past year. At the very least, I no longer believe this flat is worth its current rent if they can't even be bothered to clean the hallways.

    I am considering suing the landlord for private or statutory nuisance, and negligence regarding the fire alarm and post boxes. I've given them so many chances to make things right, and it's all recorded in emails. But is this a good idea? I can't even quantify what this means in terms of compensation.

    I'd appreciate any informed opinions!
    Last edited by EyyN; 10th October 2017 at 17:12:PM.

  2. #2
    warwick65's Avatar

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    Default Re: Flat in disrepair, landlord won't lift a finger

    Hi

    Just to be clear

    You rent the flat ?

    I ask because even when you own a flat with communal areas it is often leasehold and you pay a service charge to the landlord or freeholder

    Have you contacted environmental health at your local council - they could send a letter to the landlord giving them time to fix the problem and after that an improvement notice (I think it is called that)

    Much easier than taking on the landlord yourself @Diana M might be able to help
    Any advice or opinions I offer are based on my experience dealing with personal debt as well as other life events.
    I have no formal legal training
    Any advice is offered without liability
    If in doubt take professional legal advice or contact the CAB

  3. #3
    EyyN's Avatar

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    Default Re: Flat in disrepair, landlord won't lift a finger

    Thanks, Warwick.

    Yes, I am renting the flat. I have involved the council before, and even a local MP, but as soon as that died down they've gone back to their old methods.

    I have emailed Environmental a few days ago, who just tried getting back to me now (but I'll have to call them back tomorrow) - hoping they'll have the authority to do something about it.

    Meanwhile, last night I figured out how to silence the smoke alarm (after a month, finally some quiet). I've emailed the building manager that, for my time and effort, I'll be charging them £150, and I'll be picking up (and charging for) more of their slack if they don't begin repairing it. Don't really expect them to pay, but am trying to make a strong point that I've had enough.

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