Jump to content
House Price Crash Forum
Sign in to follow this  
Dave Beans

You Have More Rights In Returning A Dodgy Toaster Than You Do With A Dodgy Rental

Recommended Posts

http://www.theguardian.com/money/2015/jan/13/private-rent-rights-dark-ages-landlords

Yep, I've had this...water leaked from the bathroom, which fused a socket in a kitchen...was left like that for over a year..

Tenants are more likely to get their money back when they buy a dodgy toaster than they are from a landlord if their home is dangerously uninhabitable, according to a damning new report.
In its Renting Uncovered report, Citizens Advice is calling for renters to be given the legal right to money back if the property they are living in is structurally unsound, has unsafe wiring or is riddled with damp or mould.
Currently there are statutory obligations on a landlord to repair a fundamental fault in a rented property, but a landlord can evict the tenant if they pursue these rights to repair. This contrasts with the Sale of Goods Act, which states that goods people purchase must be as described, of satisfactory quality and fit for purpose, and which forces retailers to fix any problems.
Gillian Guy, the chief executive of Citizens Advice, said renters’ rights were stuck in the dark ages. “These days people rightly expect to get their money back if something they pay for is not up to scratch. Private renters can end up thousands of pounds out of pocket when they are let a home which turns out to be unfit to live in.”
She added: “We’re calling for a system which provides people with a refund if a private rented home doesn’t meet the most basic standards like safe electrics and being structurally sound.”
Richard Lambert, the chief executive officer of the National Landlords Association, said the CAB was in danger of tarring all landlords with the brush of illegality when the vast majority of tenants are happy with their properties. He said: “There are times when well-meaning landlords do not respond adequately to their tenants’ needs. In these circumstances, surely education and support are more effective than penalties and demonisation?
Poor legal protections coupled with an overheated rental market means that landlords have been able to pick and choose tenants, with the number of “revenge evictions” growing. Housing charity Shelter says about 213,000 people were subjected to such “revenge evictions” in 2013, which is around 2% of renters.
Citizens Advice published figures at the end of last year that showed that 20% more people sought help over eviction – despite being up-to-date with their rent – in the three months from July to September this year, compared with the same period last year
MPs will soon vote on a bill that will effectively ban such retaliatory evictions but Citizens Advice wants more to be done to protect all tenants in unsafe properties.
It wants Rent Repayment Orders, effectively fines for landlords, to be extended to cover private tenants whose homes are uninhabitable. Rent repayment orders already exist for when a landlord rents out a multiple occupancy property without the right license. The charity wants the money from these fines to be paid out to tenants.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If the repairs are obvious at the start of the tenancy then
(a) the tenant is a fool for not spotting them, or having a second pair of eyes with them on a second viewing.
It could be that people spend more time choosing a toaster than a rental property.

(B) a request to the landlord in writing, giving a reasonable time to repair the propertty before getting EH involved.
EH round here will step in and stop a landlord re-letting a property until repairs have been done to their satisfaction.

© often tenants are so desperate to live in the house they will put up the poor state of repair. Which strikes me as insanity.

If the repairs develop during the tenancy then the LL has to work out if they are caused by the tenant (ie: no heating or ventilation inadequate) and decide what to do to rectify this.
If they are due to poor maintenance then tenants should follow (B) above.

Repairs are tax deductable, improvements are not.
Is it any wonder that houses are not "improved".

There is no excuse not to have good insulation though as there is landlord tax relief on insulation costs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sarah, it's not that simple. Do you test every aspect of the plumbing when viewing a property? Even if you do, how do you know whether the landlord is indeed refurbishing and redecorating as claimed? Yes of course we're dealing with the big damp patch and replacing that foul-smelling carpet! And as for "putting up with it", beggars can't be choosers.

Edited by porca misèria

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sarah, it's not that simple. Do you test every aspect of the plumbing when viewing a property? Even if you do, how do you know whether the landlord is indeed refurbishing and redecorating as claimed? Yes of course we're dealing with the big damp patch and replacing that foul-smelling carpet! And as for "putting up with it", beggars can't be choosers.

Get it in writing or don't believe a word of it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sarah, it's not that simple. Do you test every aspect of the plumbing when viewing a property? Even if you do, how do you know whether the landlord is indeed refurbishing and redecorating as claimed? Yes of course we're dealing with the big damp patch and replacing that foul-smelling carpet! And as for "putting up with it", beggars can't be choosers.

The landlord just paints over the mould, and hopes that the tenant isn't there long enough to notice.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Get it in writing or don't believe a word of it.

Getting it in writing doesn't really help you when it comes to tenancy law as it stands. You still can't demand money back if your home is not up to a reasonable standard.

That's kinda the point of the article.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

http://www.theguardian.com/money/2015/jan/13/private-rent-rights-dark-ages-landlords

Yep, I've had this...water leaked from the bathroom, which fused a socket in a kitchen...was left like that for over a year..

This actually links in with The Economist article about building costs that linked to yesterday which bemoans the inability of our current system of "capitalism" (as the call it), to reduce the cost of housing.

It seems that the system is very very good at reducing the cost and increasing the quality of consumer items. Trinkets are now better quality and more affordable than ever, yet at the same time consumer rights have improved immeasurably. This is an achievement.

However, the cost of things that we may value more intrinsically, homes, education, healthcare are all rising in cost, but without a subsequent improvement in quality.

A (rhetorical) question for our politicians: Why is it that a consumer goods manufacturer with a supply chain stretching across the globe can be made to conform to basic quality and customer service standards without seemingly destroying global capitalism, yet a BTL landlord from down the road can't?

Edited by Bear Goggles

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

However, the cost of things that we may value more intrinsically, homes, education, healthcare are all rising in cost, but without a subsequent improvement in quality.

All of those things are either state monopolies or regulated to within an inch of their lives.

I'm not sure if capitalism is the thing to blame here...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Can be costly ...

A landlord who rented out a potential death trap has been fined £4,000. Absentee landlord, Liam Kelly, who lives in Ireland, was prosecuted for failing to carry out repairs to a house in Salford. He was convicted at Manchester magistrates court in his absence of failing to comply with a Housing Improvement Notice issued by Salford council. He was also ordered to pay £1060.54 in costs and a victim surcharge of £120.

Magistrates were told that council housing officers visited the property in Worsley Road North, Walkden, in February last year, following a complaint from the tenant. Officers inspected the whole house and found there was no smoke detector fitted to the ground floor and the back door was stiff and needed force to open and close it.The bedroom windows could not be opened at the bottom, meaning anyone in the house could not use them to escape a fire. There was also a one metre high damp patch in the middle of the living room wall and a leak from the bathroom had caused a hole, cracks and bulging in the kitchen ceiling. In March officers wrote to the landlord, the managing agent Reeds Rains, in Memorial Road, Walkden, detailing the hazards and the work needed. Both were invited to reply within 14 days but no response was received so the council issued an Improvement Notice requiring the work to be completed within the next three months. An inspection in June showed none of the work had been carried out. Mr Kelly, of College farm View, Newbridge, County Kildare, was invited to either attend an interview in Salford to explain why it had not been done, or send in a written defence but failed to respond.

Speaking after the case, Councillor Gena Merrett, assistant mayor for housing and environment, said: “Landlords have a responsibility to provide safe and decent housing for their tenants and to act promptly if problems are reported to them. Mr Kelly failed to do this and has paid a substantial fine for not taking action.”

The size of the fine has pleased council officers who were appalled last year when a Stockport-based landlord who left a vulnerable woman living in squalor for over a year escaped with a fine of just £510. The woman had to barricade herself into a house in Murray Street, Salford, which had no door locks, a court heard.

http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/greater-manchester-news/landlord-who-rented-out-unsafe-8420866

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Left a property yesterday – been revenged evicted. House looked fine cosmetically, tenancy agreement stated that the house would be in a good state. I believed that coz really what else could I do? I am not a plumber, spark or gas safely registered person. I won’t list the issues as too many but the highlights include lose live wires under the kitchen units, a gas leak, plumbing that for some reason reverted the washing machine water to under the kitchen flooring, cooker not working and no working ventilation. 5 weeks in and the EH condemned the house as unfit for habitation (although not bad enough to break a tenancy agreement). In NI where we seem to have regulation for HMO’s but very little for regular BTL. LL was forced to do some of the work but didn’t complete them, despite getting a non means tested council grant.

Deposit not protected either and because I had the audacity to keep on requesting essential repairs LL took to perhaps 10 calls an hour, text messages threatening to change the locks, to forcibly evict me , barging into the house after 10pm, shouting and screaming that I exaggerated the work needed (even though it was EH who detailed the essential repairs) and basically blaming me for their life being ruined! The last visit was shortly before Christmas when the LL actually squared up to me, finger in face and threatened to ‘get me’. My nerves are shattered, I couldn’t take it anymore so I obeyed the final eviction notice and left yesterday.

I expect that the house will be advertised for rent today (there were existing EH sanctions on it when I rented it). Seems that’s ok in NI.

I would agree that I would have had more protection from the legislation for returning a faulty toaster than for what I have been through these past months. I’ll not say any more as I intend to sort this through legal avenues now. The council are prosecuting too, which is all well and good, however some legislation that had allowed the tenancy agreement to be over ridden and sanctions to stop LL renting out the house again would be better.

Not renting again. Wouldn’t trust the LL's or the system.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Left a property yesterday – been revenged evicted. House looked fine cosmetically, tenancy agreement stated that the house would be in a good state. I believed that coz really what else could I do? I am not a plumber, spark or gas safely registered person. I won’t list the issues as too many but the highlights include lose live wires under the kitchen units, a gas leak, plumbing that for some reason reverted the washing machine water to under the kitchen flooring, cooker not working and no working ventilation. 5 weeks in and the EH condemned the house as unfit for habitation (although not bad enough to break a tenancy agreement). In NI where we seem to have regulation for HMO’s but very little for regular BTL. LL was forced to do some of the work but didn’t complete them, despite getting a non means tested council grant.

Deposit not protected either and because I had the audacity to keep on requesting essential repairs LL took to perhaps 10 calls an hour, text messages threatening to change the locks, to forcibly evict me , barging into the house after 10pm, shouting and screaming that I exaggerated the work needed (even though it was EH who detailed the essential repairs) and basically blaming me for their life being ruined! The last visit was shortly before Christmas when the LL actually squared up to me, finger in face and threatened to ‘get me’. My nerves are shattered, I couldn’t take it anymore so I obeyed the final eviction notice and left yesterday.

I expect that the house will be advertised for rent today (there were existing EH sanctions on it when I rented it). Seems that’s ok in NI.

I would agree that I would have had more protection from the legislation for returning a faulty toaster than for what I have been through these past months. I’ll not say any more as I intend to sort this through legal avenues now. The council are prosecuting too, which is all well and good, however some legislation that had allowed the tenancy agreement to be over ridden and sanctions to stop LL renting out the house again would be better.

Not renting again. Wouldn’t trust the LL's or the system.

Go to police,

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Can be costly ...

A landlord who rented out a potential death trap has been fined £4,000. Absentee landlord, Liam Kelly, who lives in Ireland, was prosecuted for failing to carry out repairs to a house in Salford. He was convicted at Manchester magistrates court in his absence of failing to comply with a Housing Improvement Notice issued by Salford council. He was also ordered to pay £1060.54 in costs and a victim surcharge of £120.

Magistrates were told that council housing officers visited the property in Worsley Road North, Walkden, in February last year, following a complaint from the tenant. Officers inspected the whole house and found there was no smoke detector fitted to the ground floor and the back door was stiff and needed force to open and close it.The bedroom windows could not be opened at the bottom, meaning anyone in the house could not use them to escape a fire. There was also a one metre high damp patch in the middle of the living room wall and a leak from the bathroom had caused a hole, cracks and bulging in the kitchen ceiling. In March officers wrote to the landlord, the managing agent Reeds Rains, in Memorial Road, Walkden, detailing the hazards and the work needed. Both were invited to reply within 14 days but no response was received so the council issued an Improvement Notice requiring the work to be completed within the next three months. An inspection in June showed none of the work had been carried out. Mr Kelly, of College farm View, Newbridge, County Kildare, was invited to either attend an interview in Salford to explain why it had not been done, or send in a written defence but failed to respond.

Speaking after the case, Councillor Gena Merrett, assistant mayor for housing and environment, said: “Landlords have a responsibility to provide safe and decent housing for their tenants and to act promptly if problems are reported to them. Mr Kelly failed to do this and has paid a substantial fine for not taking action.”

The size of the fine has pleased council officers who were appalled last year when a Stockport-based landlord who left a vulnerable woman living in squalor for over a year escaped with a fine of just £510. The woman had to barricade herself into a house in Murray Street, Salford, which had no door locks, a court heard.

http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/greater-manchester-news/landlord-who-rented-out-unsafe-8420866

Actually bearing in mind the cost of doing the work and the chances of getting convicted it is not that much of a deterent. If I were a Landlord and amoral I am not sure that would persuade me to do the work.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Police involved already and I have to say that they have been quite helpful. EH have also been good, it's just that they can't do more than the legislation allows.

Is EH that different here?

They stopped this LL re-letting until they were happy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is EH that different here?

They stopped this LL re-letting until they were happy.

To some extent it depends whether the local Environmental Health department has enough staff to deal with any / all complaints it gets. There have been a lot of cuts.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • The Prime Minister stated that there were three Brexit options available to the UK:   209 members have voted

    1. 1. Which of the Prime Minister's options would you choose?


      • Leave with the negotiated deal
      • Remain
      • Leave with no deal

    Please sign in or register to vote in this poll. View topic


×

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.