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Just Moved In, Missing Items And Damages - What Can I Do?

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Hi there,

I'm looking for some advice as to what I can do, what legal recourse I may have to deal with my new landlord and the agency of scumbags and deceitful thieves (KFH in London).

We've just moved into a new flat which we are now paying an extra 20% over what the last tenant was paying for, and a bit more than what we were previously paying for our last place which was of better standing - unfortunately the last landlord needed to move back into their flat and we had to find somewhere else to live at the worst possible time of the year to look.

The previous tenants totally wrecked the place with their dog, however when we saw the property we were promised that everything would be back in order and fixed up. Other than the smell of dog that lingered for a couple of weeks after we moved in, it had been kind of cleaned up, however a number of items in this "fully furnished" flat are missing, as well as some key items damaged and needing replacing.

The only thing left of the vacuum cleaner is the tube, 2 of the 4 kitchen chairs are broken and unusable, light switches are missing their nobs, kitchen drawers are broken, the front door lock isn't working properly which means we have to rely solely on the deadlock which isn't safe at night in case of fire, the insinkerator (sink waste disposal unit) is broken and a foul smell emanates from it etc...

We were promised these would be all up to snuff when we inspected the property and that these things would be provided.

On the first day, upon receiving the keys I noticed these missing or damaged items and headed straight back to the agency where I was told "of course!" the vacuum and other missing items would be replaced and these things would be fixed.

It's now been almost 3 weeks and a company is coming next week to get a quote to the landlord.

My wife was told over the phone that these might not be replaced nor fixed depending on the landlord.

Given how long it has taken to action any of this, I'm afraid I've landed a really shitty landlord who just won't do anything about any of this (some of the broken or damaged items have been on the inventory reports for quite some time now).

If that is indeed the case, I've been ripped off and misled into signing a deceitful contract as many of the things we were told would be provided aren't there.

What can I do? If the landlord isn't going to provide these items, I'll have to get them myself, which I feel isn't fair and is not what I agreed upon for the money I'm paying... Can I withhold rent? Can I get out of this contract? I really don't feel comfortable renting with this agency.

I'm mighty p***ed off at the moment, I feel like I've just landed my family in a squat when I'm paying a very large rent when last year, for 10% less we lived in something of much higher standards and of comparable size.



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Really sorry that you have been misled and deceived. It's been pretty standard behaviour in flats I have rented. If they are a pigsty when I see them for the first time they are usually even worse when I move into them. No LL I have ever dealt with or agent has ever cleaned up a flat up to the agreed standard.

Find out if your local Council has a tenants rights officer. Westminster used to have a really good one. They may be able to help.

This is what I do.

1. accept that I am stuck with the place until the end of the term - and decide how long I want to stay

2. find the name, address and telephone number for the LL. Learn as much about them as possible. Are they living abroad, are they a company?

3. Start making a pest of yourself. Send a registered letter to the agent and the LL cataloging the problems. Explain that you need them fixed within x number of days.

4. document all the damage, document all the lies and broken promises (in my experience these are always the flats where something goes wrong with the bond and I end up in the small claims court). Take photos

5. Don't do too much on the phone. As much in writing as possible

6. If the problems are not remedied, write another registered letter explaining that you will be receiving quotes for the damages/repairs

7. Still no answer, send another registered letter to say that you will be going ahead with the repairs unless you have an answer within x days

8. The next part is hard. You need to consider who your LL is and if the money will actually be recoverable. I then take the LL to the small claims court to recover the amount spent. Be prepared to be threatened with eviction. It's all good paperwork for the small claims court if you end up there. Some people don't pay the last months rent when they leave. Then fight the battle over the deposit. We have little legal protection.

9. Make sure that your deposit is covered in a scheme

This comes down to a battle of wills in the end. Not surprised that you are p*** off.

Edited by Flopsy

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