Jump to content
House Price Crash Forum
conned_tractor

House Share

Recommended Posts

Evening all,

The joys of renting eh, what is it with the superiority complex that landlords bestow upon themselves.

Anyway, the situation is that I am about to vacate a house share which I have been living in and before I have even moved out I am having issues with claims for cleaning with the landlord as he thinks we should make it sick and span on his command to allow him succesful viewings.

Superficially the house is OK-ish, well livable whilst working away from my family for the past 9 months as has been the case. There are broken tiles (just one or two) on the kitchen floor, the lounge sofa is unusable as the frame is broken (although it looks good and fooled me when I moved in), and the general state of repair is bad(ish). This is how it was when I moved in, but as it was the cheapest and most convenient for the job I was starting and it was only to be used as digs as most of the time I would be at work anyhow so it didn't matter too much. The landlord makes a huge point of any repair that occurs like it is a big deal, however, the things that have been sorted in my time here are the fixing of the gutters as it was overflowing and a broken window - but as far as I see it these are very much in his interest. Apart from that he was happy to sit back and let the money roll in.

He has started the ball rolling with asking us to pay for a cleaner to come in this weekend because he was "appauled by the state of the place" when showing a prospective replacement around (in his interest again). He wants the people here to share the bill, which isn't sizable but that isn't the point. I can see this escalating to more claims when I move out as has been hinted at although not stated - reading of parts of the contract about vacating.

I live in the house share 3-4 nights a week, although it is rented on a full time occupancy basis (well paid for on a full time occupancy basis), and is shared between 4 adults (until recently) - one has just moved out. One has a self contained flat(?) on the upper floor and generally the house is quite cramped, but at the price £350 pcm was reasonable at the time I was looking. The other 3 (including me) have their own room. The bathroom, kitchen and lounge is shared between the 3 adults.

I can see this accumulating and have said no to this request on the basis that it easily cleaned, is in the shared area of the house, although my inclination to clean it is diminishing at the moment. He has resulted to insults claiming that he could not live in such a state and the fridge is distgusting, well it would be seeing as it is around 20 years old (it even has a broken handle).

I don't beleive the house is registered as a HMO, the bills for the house seem to come to the old guy upstairs in the self contained bit (yes, most of them ;-) ).

The deposit is not in a TDS scheme, however, I am not sure if this applies to HMOs (though I don't think it is registered as such and I'm unclear on the precise definition of a HMO here).

The other adult in a room of their own has no contact as it was never signed and returned to her - I am assuming her legal position is still assumed even without a contract. I wouldn't like her to lose out as she is younger and possibly a bit more vulnerable/ niave to a landlords claims. She has told me she was shafted by her last landlord (for the deposit) on leaving and "sort of expects it". I would like to help her if I can and also let her see that she doesn't have to be shafted on exit from a rental property home, as she assumes. It is her permanent residency.

My position is I have a (WHS?) four page contract with terms that include "fines" for late payment of rent, possession of goods left in the property become the property of the landlord, etc., which I didn't really care about signing since I am aware that unfair terms are not enforcable. And I didn't expect to be late with the rent etc. I moved in in March 2010 and I am due to move out before Christmas, although I am paying rent until the end of the month.

The landlords position is of "disgust with our living standard", generally insulting, assumed rights of entry (he can f. off as I have no problem calling the police if he tries to enter my room without very good reason) and the general snobbery that goes with being an ametuer landlord - although coming across all nice at the start. I think he is chancing his arm and worried he will have only one room let and trying to make up for it by shafting us out of our deposit.

It was only some time after I moved in that I found out from another tenant that the room I was staying in already had a contract on it, i.e. the previous occupant had moved out and he had asked for a months rent in lieu of notice, then a few days later I had moved in. A little dodgy if you ask me.

There was no itinery, it was a bit of sh!thole when I moved in and it is a bit of a sh!thole when I am moving out - there are 3 of us that can vouch for this - all tenants.

If anyone can offer some advise I would be very grateful, and even happy to buy you a pint as believe it or not I am quite a generous person, I just don't don't like people trying do other out of their hard earned on the basis of being a chancer.

Edited by conned_tractor

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Fair amount of stuff to answer, so ill do the ones i can

Regarding the cleaner, just tell him to piss off, simply say something along the lines of "i didnt make the mess, its nothing to do with me and im not paying to have it cleaned" you say your rent is 350pcm, how much was the deposit? as it could be little enough that u just walk and chalk it down to experience, also do you pay the rent in advance? otherwise you could write off the deposit for the outstanding rent?

Regarding the viewings, he cannot force you to clean up, so again just ignore him and dont rise to his bait, sounds like you know all this already and he sounds like a right bell end to be honest, you have about 2 weeks left there from what u say so get your stuff out soon as you can and go.

It all sounds a bit tricky and messy and the further away from it you are the better

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You sound like an absolute nightmare, if you don't mind me saying.

There is clearly a problem with mess in that place. You and your housemates seem to have let it degenerate to the point where the landlord feels a prospective new tenant would turn up their nose at it. Why on earth have you let it get to that state?

Anyway, there's nothing the landlord can do about the mess in the communal areas, even if there is a deposit. You all have separate contracts (whether written or unwritten) so the mess can not be ascribed to any one individual. You're in the clear, though you may have to fight for your deposit (if there is one) in court. You'll win though.

If I were the landlord, I would get a cleaner in there for a few hours a week, and increase the rents to pay for it. It sounds like it would still be a good deal for tenants.

Don't have a go at me for being a landlord lickspittle. I am very rarely sympathetic to the landlord point of view on these forums.

Edited by MacGuffin

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Your situation sound awful. I would walk away and look for somewhere else to live.

As for the cleaning, it's not your fault so why should you pay ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Fair amount of stuff to answer, so ill do the ones i can

Regarding the cleaner, just tell him to piss off, simply say something along the lines of "i didnt make the mess, its nothing to do with me and im not paying to have it cleaned" you say your rent is 350pcm, how much was the deposit? as it could be little enough that u just walk and chalk it down to experience, also do you pay the rent in advance? otherwise you could write off the deposit for the outstanding rent?

Regarding the viewings, he cannot force you to clean up, so again just ignore him and dont rise to his bait, sounds like you know all this already and he sounds like a right bell end to be honest, you have about 2 weeks left there from what u say so get your stuff out soon as you can and go.

It all sounds a bit tricky and messy and the further away from it you are the better

Telling him to p' off is the line I have taken, as I see it being the end of the wedge. But I have actually caved in slightly and am doing a bit of cleaning this evening to show good will - I doubt it will affect any decisions he makes, but that is only my assumption.

The mess that is prominent are some footprints around the external doors and this was the week after the worst weather I can remember for a long time and also the week that I was only in the house two nights.

Yes I do pay the rent in advance, and I have paid Decembers rent as I should've. This leads on to another point that I will raise in a little while in a follow on post.

He is acting a bit of a bell end to be honest, and he always came across so nice - although blatantly a bit of a bullshitter in my personal opinion.

I am here to carry out my job, which is a contract position 200 miles away from my family, and have until end of December to go. The beauty of it is, the company I am working for have actually asked me to stay on, so I may need to possibly find somewhere else to rent down here, although I haven't accepted this job offer yet.

I can't wait to get out, hopefully to a job near to my family (wife and two young kids), but either way I don't think I will be continuing renting at this place.

More to follow on...i'll get to you in a minute macguffin.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You sound like an absolute nightmare, if you don't mind me saying.

There is clearly a problem with mess in that place. You and your housemates seem to have let it degenerate to the point where the landlord feels a prospective new tenant would turn up their nose at it. Why on earth have you let it get to that state?

Anyway, there's nothing the landlord can do about the mess in the communal areas, even if there is a deposit. You all have separate contracts (whether written or unwritten) so the mess can not be ascribed to any one individual. You're in the clear, though you may have to fight for your deposit (if there is one) in court. You'll win though.

If I were the landlord, I would get a cleaner in there for a few hours a week, and increase the rents to pay for it. It sounds like it would still be a good deal for tenants.

Don't have a go at me for being a landlord lickspittle. I am very rarely sympathetic to the landlord point of view on these forums.

Right then macmuffin, (I'm only teasing by the way, I do mean any insult)

I have been hanging round these boards for a number of years, albeit infrequently, and your name does indeed ring a bell as having been around a while.

I appreciate your comments very much and don't mind you saying this at all. In fact I appluad your honesty and am grateful for your post - it takes two sides to make a story and I am having a bit of a rant about it as I am a nit upset by his actions.

As a background to me, I was an attempted STR twice over in 2008, after the second sale fell through my wife had had enough and we decided to stay put - we had our second child on the way at the time. My opinion on housing and society in general will not fit on this page and will bore you to tears as I am not a born writer - in fact an Engineer (Ph.D), so as boring as they come. But I'm not an academic, in fact I scraped through academia, but have practical skills a lot of academics don't have. I am practical enough to build multi-story extensions (when we decided to stay put), fit kitchens/ bathrooms, etc, so know my way around a house from architrave to z-purlins. Right I have said I will not bore you, so here's trying.

The place is not the tidiest place in the world - this is true. It was not tidy when I moved in though. Fixtures and fittings are old and tired, the general maintenance of the place is not great and has not been attended to - unless absolutely necessary.

Of the necessary, and only, maintenace that has been carried out this includes:

  • A leak in the top floor bathroom (it is on three floors), which came through to my bedroom, the middle floor bathroom and to next door neighbours bathroom.

  • A broken window, it was like this when I moved in but he has quized me several times about since.

  • Blocked overflowing guttering - I understand this can be really bad if left unmended - it was repaired after about 4 weeks (it was like chinese water torture at the time).

Of the required maintenance, of course in my opinion (and none of this was broken during my stay here):

  • The stains on the paintwork attained through having the leak which have not been painted over.

  • Broken tiles in kitchen floor.

  • Broken fridge handle, missing draws to freezer.

  • No skirting in kitchen - apparantly never got round to it. (i'm sure he will if it stays empty).

  • Broken sofa frame, sofa in lounge is not usable.

  • There have never been any doors on the walk-in cupboard (literally now) in my room.

  • There have never been any handles on about half of the drawers on the desk in my room.

  • Gap under window in kitchen of around two inches, although does draft so is not essential, it is cosmetic but a touch unsightly.

The problem is he has shown someone round and the have not taken the room - I don't know what was said, but he has moaned to all of the tenants about the state of the place.

The only real dirty patch that was present was around the doors on the hard floors and a couple of leaves had blown in - now this I admit was a little mucky, but we have just had the really bad weather and 4 adults traipsing in and out. And I hadn't been in the place for a few days as I had gone back to my family home before the worst of the bad weather in the region I am woking and had only been in the house two nights that week.

If I can just pick you up on this bit:

There is clearly a problem with mess in that place. You and your housemates seem to have let it degenerate to the point where the landlord feels a prospective new tenant would turn up their nose at it. Why on earth have you let it get to that state?

It seems by your tone, that you are speaking slighly condensendingly as if you assume I am possibly a student renter or somesuch with little respect for the house in which I am staying (not to pigeon hole all student renters, but...well, I've been there, and you know some students are just plain grimey). Or have I got the wrong end of the stick here.

I know its difficult to get a situation across clearly in words, but I am not 'on the make', I just want my deposit back and as I said earlier from my current conversations with the landlord i get the impression that charging us for a cleaner is the thin end of the wedge.

More progress to come shortly...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry about this all. Just a few questions - I have tried to keep it short.

I have paid the rent for December.

I have paid one month deposit at the start of the contract.

The contract is due to end the end of December and I should in theory get the deposit back if no damage has occured. There is damage, but it has always been there.

Now this is the stupid part, and I never liked it but eventually accepted it as OK. In order to make the landlords life easy, there is a wooden box, into which the rent is paid at the end of he month. He usually writes me out a reciept and leaves it on the side. All was fine and our paths rarely crossed. This month there was no reciept.

Now with all this hassle with the cleaning, he hasn't provided a reciept and says he can't get reciept to me until next week. I told him this is unacceptable as I am getting increasingly nervy about his intentions. He said he will post it. I said OK and gave him my family home address. I have, in the exchange of text messges, an acknowledgement of the reciept being due for the rent paid and he saying he will post it.

Is this enough evidence of it actually being paid?

Can he withhold/ refuse to give a reciept?

In the same text message exchange when I provided my address, I also asked for his address, he said he doesn't give it out and I will not need it. I assume he is fobbing me off again? Does he have to provide it? It would make anycourt proceeding easier (if necessary).

The other problem is that the contract is in his polish girlfriends name, however he has been the main contact who deals with it? Who am I supposed to deal with from a legal stand point?

I am on the back foot here. I have, it seems quite niavely, paid up in full like a good lad. And now the complaints, and bad manner/ attitude towards me have started. Curiouser and curiouser.

Another quesstion, is he allowed access to my room without my permission, I assume not but just wanted one of the more experienced on here to confirm.

Am I worrying too much? I know I'm getting stressed about it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Firstly, I apologise for the tone of my earlier post. I didn't mean to sound condescending, though it may have come across as too harsh.

I did say I didn't think the landlord had a leg to stand on with regard to the cleaning issue, so I wasn't THAT bad!

I would recommend the OP speak to Shelter ( http://www.shelter.org.uk/ )about whether the landlord is required to put the deposit in a TDS, given that new AST has been signed since the legislation went into effect 3 years ago.

As for the receipt issue, I take it that the OP is concerned that his landlord, by failing to produce a receipt, might be trying to create a situation where he can accuse the OP of failing to pay his December rent, and then retain the deposit to cover it? Seems kind of far-fetched, but who knows? I would have thought the landlord would be more likely to try and accuse the OP of breaking things, damaging his bedroom, etc in order to get his hands on the deposit.

If the OP paid by cheque, that's fine. He can ask his bank to verify what account the cheque was paid into, if it ever came to court. If the OP paid by cash, then there may be a problem. I think it is a bad idea for the OP to allow the receipt to be posted to his home address, as it may conveniently go 'missing' (i.e. never get sent). Can the OP tell the LL to call round, or offer to go there?

You can find out the address of a property owner on the Land Registry website. It might not be current, but it is a start. It will cost you £4 to download the title register.

Note to everyone: Never ever pay cash without getting a receipt THERE AND THEN.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • 312 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.