Hey there, I've been doing a fair bit of reading of this forum and elsewhere, and I think it's time I express my problem.
As a student in his second year, I managed to get a house in time for the next year (2010). Everything seemed fine, the landlord mentioned that there needed some work to be done in the basement, and that he'd be in there from time to time working on it.
It is a large house with many rooms, he also expressed that he cannot have more than 2 people in (at the time) he did not want to faff around with the process of getting a license for students, I chose to take a blind eye to this as I was very desperate at the time for a house. He simply said for us to keep a low profile for the time being till the contract is sorted
After my contract is up he wants to move in, which is fair enough I'll be gone by then.
However, there have been numerous problems that have arisen, at first I just took them on the chin but it has got to the point where I think my LL is being out of line, it has gotten to the point where I do not feel comfortable in this house no longer, and I just cannot concentrate with my work because of it.
Let me explain...
For the first month me and the other tenant did not have a contract, as according to him he was still sorting this out. I found out that the LL had been moving people that were staying in the hostel he owned nearby, he did not ask us about this, I have seen roughly 3 other people however there have been more.
I had guests over on a weekend, while we were talking in the living room the LL asked to speak with me, in which he started to rant at me for, I cannot remember his exact words but he mentioned that he wanted to keep a low profile again, he then went on to saying that the kitchen was a mess (It wasn't) threatening to kick me out because I did not have a contract yet and he could.
We were not noisy or having a party, simply sitting down and talking. I was in a bit of a shock because he sounded very angry, raising his voice at me.
I then noticed that he was not doing any work on the basement, but simply leaving his tools in there, in which he casually comes into the house to collect them, although we normally never see him, for the most part he was not doing any work in the basement.
We finally had a third tenant living with us and the contracts sorted out.
Then the landlord came in to mention that the floodlight in the back of the house was on (I did not know it could even be turned off without disconnecting it), he then noticed that my roommate had a portable heater (against the contract), however he has good reason to use that heater.
The house is an old one, and the windows let alot of cold air into the house, ontop of this we have storage heaters, which do not do a good enough job of heating the rooms, to give you an example of how bad it is, every morning our shower gels are half frozen in the bathroom.
He said "f*ck the contract, I'll make you all pay for the electricity" despite us being on a contract where he pays for the bills.
The next problem arose over Christmas, all of the house (3 of us) decided to go home. Due to poor weather conditions (snowing) we had to leave early, so we tidied the house the best we could, my room was a bit messy but I did what I could and left. However, the LL went into all 3 of our rooms without asking, albeit it was to replace our storage heaters with new ones, but he did not ask us about this.
We came back to the house to find out that he and his wife had been cleaning it while we were gone, again without telling us they'd be in the house. A few days later he came knocking at my bedroom door asking for rent, I had thought my father had payed for the month, so I told him if he hadn't then I would do so. I have been late for payments, but no more than what the contract says, according to the contract I should pay within 15 days of the due date.
He then started to shout at me, saying that he is sick of my crap, and that the kitchen was a pigstye (It wasn't), why we didn't take out the recycling (which we keep neatly stored in a bag in a large draw, and that my room was a mess, if the rent wasn't payed then he'd kick me out in 2 months, then called me a "f*cking asshole" as he left.
A few days later we talked on the phone, I told him why my room wasn't tidy but he just dismissed this as being an excuse. I took the time to make sure the kitchen was reasonable from then on, even if the other tenants don't.
A while after this there is alot of loud noises coming from the basement, drilling sounds and hammering, everything in the kitchen had been caked in a layer of dust.
It turned out he was knocking one of in the walls in the basement in, he did not tell us this till we asked him about it, absolutely no notice. They were working down there for a good few weeks, and the drilling started as early as 9am.
My other flatmate told me that the LL was talking about me, saying that I never clean the kitchen, and that my curtains are always closed, it is clear he does not like me so much, as most threats and complaints are always directed at me. He called me to say that kitchen was a mess (I've got some photos which i'll try put on later) and that if I don't clean it up in the next two days he would kick me out in two weeks, he said I can take it up with the council, he doesn't care, but I'm out in 2 weeks if its not clean.
He said seeing as my room was a mess and that the other two tenants rooms were clean, I am entirely responsible for the kitchen being messy. He complained that the bin was full, and that we have a dishwasher so he does not understand why we don't put plates straight in there. When he came to look there was ONE dirty plate on the counter, and that is only because I wash my dishes myself.
So grudgingly I cleaned the kitchen up as much as I could, even if the mess wasn't mine or not.
Come 2 days, he did not turn up to inspect, however about 4 days later he is now saying that he kitchen is still a mess when it clearly is not.
A smaller issue, is that we have an internet cap, and if we go over we get charged, which is fair enough, we pay it. However this month, he has told us that he has stopped us being able to go over, because he is sick of trying to get money off of us (He never bothered to ask)
He also complains that the stairs need hoovering, which we do, but this is not a good reason to have to shout about it.
Sorry for the massive post, I have tried to explain everything I can remember.
It has gotten to the point where I don't like being in the communal areas of the house because I know he's around, he is very intimidating to talk to and that is the main reason why I can't answer back most of the time.
He wants to live here when we're gone, so I guess that is why he is being overly protective of his this house, but it is ridiculous, I cannot stand it but It is impractical for me to leave when I have 3 months left before uni is over.
Thank you for reading.
here is a TL;DR Version:
Comes into the house without asking
Throws mostly empty threats of kicking me out
Has been in my room without my permission
Does not give us inspection dates, simple turns up and complains when he feels like it
Not giving me 2 months notice, 2 weeks instead
Unreasonable with the cleanliness of the kitchen
Loud noisy work without telling us before hand
Intimidating, verbally abusive
Leaves his possessions in the house, in the spare rooms etc
We are not allowed to use the spare rooms
Seems to take no notice of the contract
Unreasonably cold house (Said that the inclusive billing was because the heaters would need to stay on, even so its unbearable during winter)
Am I in the wrong or is this completely out of line for the landlord?