Here is a question to the blog clinic from Richard who is a student tenant
Basically when I moved into the house the contract has already started so i expected the house to be clean and spotless, however when I moved into the house it was a complete dump, and the boiler was not working for the month.
Me + rest of the tenants decided not to pay until the landlord came to fix the issue, however when he came he brought the bailiffs over to intimidate us into paying us his rent, one of the bailiffs even used aggressive language towards my housemate because he was advising him on not using one of the toilets.
Im sure there must be something we can do as tenants because as students we feel as if we are being violated and in no way should we be intimidated into paying rent.
Also for all the housemates its bills included so it doesn’t feel right paying for central heating and hot water if we have not had it for the past month
No, its not right and it sounds as if your landlord is one of those rogue landlords you read about. These are not easy to deal with but here are some suggestions:
- Put the rent in a separate interest bearing bank account and tell him you will hand it over once the repair work has been done
- It sounds as if your landlord is not one who will resort to the courts, but if he threatens to sue you for the withheld rent, say that if he does this you will counterclaim for compensation for the disrepair in the property
- Contact the Local Authority and ask them to come out and do a ‘Housing Health and Safety Rating System’ survey – if they find any ‘category one hazards’ (and it sounds as if they will!) they will serve an improvement notice on your landlord ordering him to carry out works
- Contact your college accommodation office and tell them what has happened. They may be able to advise you. Also if this landlord is on their books, they will probably take him off
By the way, I think it is most unlikely that the ‘bailiffs’ are actually official bailiffs. They sound to be like thugs bought along to intimidate you.