View Full Version : A quick rant. If i may...

02-23-2009, 12:12 AM
hey :wave:

my first real post here, and it's not even about the awful customers... oh well.

this is about my landlords.


well, where to begin?

We rent though a letting agent; the landlord owns a few properties in Swansea, and they manage them. we can only contact them through the letting office.

We moved into our current house in June last year. it's not a bad house, fairly old (about 1930's we guess) but still rather pleasant, especially for what we're paying for it. bear in mind we moved in in the summer.

when we moved in we noticed that the front bay window of the house wouldn't close properly. not a problem; it was summer. we told the landlords, and we asked for their inventory of the house (supposed to hand it in within the first month of tenancy)

nothing happened. we hadn't even got our inventory.

then winter started; and in Swansea, when winter starts, it starts.

we noticed in mid September that we had a slight breeze coming in through a few windows, most notably my bedroom, the spare room and the living (front) room.

we reported these, and other minor problems to the landlord's office.

nothing happened.

In December our gas was shut off for 4 days because of damage to the meter outside (it was hanging off the wall!)

once notified the landlord had it fixed fast, and we had the heating back on. (those few days were hell, we all got ill from that :( )

but still nothing about the windows, or the inventory.

we bugged the landlords office again. they sent *another* email to the landlord.


because of the severe cold of the winter we had to have the heating on full time or become ill again. and still the house was cold. the gas fire was on at one end of the living room, but at eh other you could see your breath the gap through the window was so bad; the curtains billow out in the wind.

in January we had out Gas bill through.


We've been to the office again (they've been really good about it all). the poor girl was shocked nothing had still been done.

i now have a dated copy of the original email sent to the landlords about the maintenance problems. it is dated November 16th.

after the last email they sent someone around. he checked the windows and agreed work needed to be done, he looked at other stuff from our list of issues and fixed a minor problem with the toilet.

that was a month ago. we still haven't heard anything. and it's snowed since.

I'm going to the CAB tomorrow morning, We want the Landlords to Pay the damn gas bill.

not only that but because of all the shite we've been through with them, we want out 2 months early.

and i intend to get it all, without charge. if i have to take them to court i will do. and i will win.

the house is not weatherproof; we have done everything we should have, out rent is up to date and we have otherwise been good tenants.

and a final kick in the balls;

our landlords' profession?

They own a window company.


so, what y'all think? have i got a good case; can i get our money back?

02-23-2009, 01:16 AM
Well, I'm guessing you are in the UK and I don't know the law there, but I'd say you definitely have a good case. These things are their responsibility and they are not keeping up with them. Is there any kind of renter's rights laws that you can refer to? You might check with your local courthouse or even a local library might be able to help you.

Good luck. :)

02-23-2009, 07:13 AM
Oh my goodness. It sounds to me as if you have a case, but I'd follow BookstoreEscapee's advice. I hope you get it all sorted out soon, that sounds like a terrible situation. *sends warmth over to you*

02-23-2009, 09:06 AM
The letting office sounds pretty sucky. Do they not manage the property? Here, if you use a "property manager" to manage your rental they'll do all that kind of thing for you. You as the tenant would never deal with the landlord, you'd simply tell the company, and they'd send the repairman and charge the landlord.

But that's "property management" not "letting" (which I've never heard of over here). Maybe it's not what they do there.

Sounds like a promising case, frankly, at least paying the gas bill. Not so sure about the getting out early. Look into it.

02-23-2009, 12:12 PM
I'm with the others.. don't know your local laws, but suspect if they're based on Common Law, you've got a good chance (maybe not the gas bill though...).

I had an incident with a rental company once too. I kept getting told "The owners will be renovating, they'll fix it then"... After I lodged a Breach Notice with the RTA (Residential Tenants Authority) which was ignored - I ended up taking them to Small Claims court, requesting full repayment of all money paid (breach of contract :D). It scared them into doing stuff in the days before the hearing. They also evicted me in the same period (I wasn't on lease at the time).

Technically, I won... still got kicked out, and won 2 weeks rent free. Magistrate asked "If it was that bad, why didn't you move?"...yeah - like that's free!

02-23-2009, 12:15 PM
The house is uninhabitable, simple as that.

Your letting agent knows it, you know it and your landlord knows it.

If you have the landlords address send them a letter by recorded delivery telling them that they risk (unknown sanction) if they fail to take remidial action immediately.

02-24-2009, 06:55 PM
Well, if you look up sections 11-16 of the Landlord and Tenant Act (1985) (as amended by the Housing Act 1988), they give the landlord's obligations to repair and keep in good order

(a) The structure of the Premises and exterior (including drains, gutters and pipes)

Check your contract. In mine it says that
If any of these terms are broken, the Tenant may be entitled to claim damages from the Landlord or ask a court to make the Landlord keep these promises

Check your contract, check the legislation, and if you can check with the letting agents to see what they can do. It seems like there's a case, even if you only use it as a threat to get the windows fixed, but you'd best get some proper advice before you do anything.

Good luck, and if there's anything else I can try to help with, be sure to let me know.

02-25-2009, 12:19 AM
Sounds like a promising case, frankly, at least paying the gas bill. Not so sure about the getting out early. Look into it.

Getting out early might be easier than the gas bill, actually. At least here in the states, renter's rights cover situations in which you can break the lease without penalty...such as the place being uninhabitable and the landlord doing nothing to fix it...

02-25-2009, 12:43 AM
Is the OP in the states? Under most of the laws that protect tenants, landlords have to keep their buildings/rooms up to code, and if they don't, they can get in shitloads of trouble and fined mucho dinero....

02-25-2009, 01:14 AM
Is the OP in the states? Under most of the laws that protect tenants, landlords have to keep their buildings/rooms up to code, and if they don't, they can get in shitloads of trouble and fined mucho dinero....

She mentioned Swansea in her original post...I'm assuming the one in Wales...

Though apparently there is a Swansea in Illinois, too :p

02-25-2009, 01:15 AM
Meh....I guess it's up to our CS friends across the pond then.....just hope their tenant protection laws are the same or better than ours!

02-26-2009, 12:26 AM

thanks for all the replies and support ^^

yes, I'm in Swansea, UK, not Illinois ;)

Went to the CAB (citizens' advice bureau) yeaterday, they think i'll beable to get out early, but probably not get the gas either :(
it appears we have to give 2 month notice for termination of contract, even though the contract is ending soon; we'd still have to give official notice also, as it works out, with us deferring on our new place for a month we'd only be needing to get out a month early, it barely seems worth it :/

(the girl at the letting Office doesn't think the Landlords will give it up without a fight either)

arrgh, it's all doing my head in, and to think i was considering buying a house >.<

thank you for the advice and quotes MannersMakethMan :) i'll be sure to ask you if i need anymore help ^^

03-02-2009, 08:53 AM
If, as Manners has suggested, it wouldn't surprise me if you could break lease without 2 months notice, given the situation. If the house is technically uninhabitable, then you shouldn't even be in it now, let alone having to wait another 2 months.

Either way, I'd still suggest giving them a scare anyway... otherwise they'll just keep doing it to the next poor schmuck who doesn't know their rights.