Here is a problem for the blog clinic from Jessica who is a tenant.
Been in property for 6 years – original agents sold out to another Letting Agent and I have been having problems ever since.
I have reported my bathroom floor collapse and broken toilet on several occasions, someone came out and ‘botched’ the work as Landlord would not pay for new floor or toilet.
It is now worse than before, we cannot use the upstairs toilet (I have 4 children), and apparently the Agents are waiting for quotes ( it has been several weeks if not months).
We have fixed the perimeter garden fence as best we can after several gales, but Landlord is insisting we have damaged it and is now demanding it is fixed as it was when I moved in! I reported the front wall as being dangerous about 2/3 years ago and was told by original Agents that Landlord said to knock it down.
I did eventually knock it down earlier this year and Landlord is now saying that if it is not put back as per original wall, I will be served notice to leave on 18 August 2014 which means my family will be homeless.
Your landlord sounds very unreasonable. I suggest you keep a careful record of everything that happens so you can challenge any untrue allegations had may make.
For example have you got the original agents request to knock the wall down in writing (for example is there an email)? If you have, then the landlord cannot criticise you for doing this as you were doing it at the request of his agents.
If not, it would be a good idea to put this in writing yourself and send a letter to the current agents telling them this (making sure you keep a copy).
Keeping a record of everything will also be useful if you ever want to bring a claim against the landlord – and from what you say you do have grounds to bring a claim for compensation, particularly for the bathroom.
So make sure that all complaints are in writing and that you have photographic evidence of the problems. You could also keep a ‘disrepair diary’, noting all the things that happen and the conversations you have with the agents / landlord as they occur.
Your Local Authority Environmental Health Department would probably back you up and maybe (after a property inspection) serve an improvement notice on your landlord ordering him to carry out works.
This could trigger eviction proceedings of course, but as you have children you would be eligible for being re-housed by the Council.