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Anyone ever sue their UK landlord? Or a lawyer?

I will do my best to make this brief.  We moved into our current flat on 27th March.  It is okay, but in a council building (which is fine) but wasn't disclosed to us.  We signed a two year lease b/c we, honestly, we were not thinking and the agent had removed the break clause (yes, we did read the lease and have rental properties in the states, were tired and just missed it). Anyway, after the first day we noticed the shower does not get cold water!  At all, its hot or nothing.  We have turned down the boiler, but in my opinion, that is unacceptable.

We told the agents (who are paid to cover the maintance) and also tired to get out of the lease.  We went to a lawyer, who said they were bad landlords, but no smoking gun.  But advised us to get the shwoer fixed and subtract it from the rent.  Long story, we did, but they couldn't lcoate the stopgap (plumber part) fast foward to now, FINALLY the landlord is willing to do something!  It's been six month, but will not until we repay the 517.00 that we had to pay for the plumber to come.  We have three plumbers (the one we hired and two the landlady hired) who agree it is a problem and its a true problem.  

We just recieved a letter today and it states

"For your information, the previous tenants at teh property never had complaints about the shwoer adn it is out of goodwill gesture that the landlady is willing to repair the shwoer for you".  

Good will!  ... Good will my A** it is in our lease that they have to cover those costs.  We are not going to repay.  And she will not fix the shower until we do.  DH is on his way home and I just told me and he says we are going to sue. 

Anyone have experience with this?  According to Westiminister council, we can also contact them as we have a landlord who is unwilling to make repairs.

Any suggestions...  

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Re: Anyone ever sue their UK landlord? Or a lawyer?

  • I don't have any advice, but I'm sorry you're having to deal with this.
  • I loooooathe renting here.  Seriously, we always have a problem at our place (mold, shower, washer, fridge, you name it, there's been a problem) and our estate agents are such crap with coming to fix things or take us seriously. Our fridge busted a month ago and it took them over a week and a half to get us a new one!  And when my dh freaked out at them and said that we had a two week old at home and we needed a fridge b/c this was just getting stupid they told him that he was over-reacting.  Well, needless-to-say he flipped $hit and said he was going to sue them and dont you know, we had a fridge the next day.  Unbelievable!

    They have, in the past, given us the same excuse as yours in saying that the old tenants never had a problem, which is such a lie.

    I don't have any experience with suing but maybe try speaking with your local Citizens Advice Bureau to see if they can help at all or can offer any suggestions.

    Sorry you're dealing with this.

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  • I completely agree.... I rented in the States before and never had these issues.  Oh, we also have water damage/mold.  The council just came in and comfirmed in on Tueday. I want it fixed.  Mold is so bad and can have major health issues.  This landlady is not backing down and we will sue her, but it is just a the time factor.

    We had an okay landlord for teh last place we said for two years.  When we left we had an indepedent inspection and he said it was very clean, but needed a professional cleaning as it had been two years.  We agreed to pay 250 for the cleaning and the landlord wanted to paint.  It wasn't painted before we mvoed in, but we agreed to split it and that was included in the 250.  Three months later he fianlly got in touch with us after several emails about final costs so we could get our deposit back adn gave us a bill now saying 550!  He charged us 60 to wash the outside for four window.  We are disputting it!

    It is jsut a pain and our shower is really hot! 

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  • Get in touch with your local CAB (citizen advice bureau) least that's what I've always been told.
  • Hi, No more advice than what you've already gotten, but I just wanted to say sorry you're dealing with this. I can't believe they are charging you for cleaning the outside of the windows, on top of all of that!

    Renting here is really a PITA. We spent six months with a stinking toilet and a ceiling infested with mold. I was told the ceiling was fine, not the worst they've seen, and they didn't know why I was complaining. They also said our toilet smelled fine. I'm sorry, but it reeked ALL. THE. TIME! After six months they finally sent a plumber who said there was a leak in the wax seal below the toilett and that's why it smelled so bad! Oh, so there *was* something wrong. We can give 30 days in January. Trust me, they're getting it. 

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  • We didn't sue a landlord but did bring them against a regulatory body in Ireland (and unfortunately and unfairly lost) due to our flat basically being a damp (to the point of mould growing all over the bed and walls) and lack of heating. It was a horrible thing going through and I'd consider going through it and the benefit versus the hassle/aggrevation.
  • I can recommend like all the other PP to call the citizen's advice bureau. They were my right hand in all the crappy issues I had to deal with- not just renting but just about anything else. And they are free.

    You do have rights as a tenant. What those rights are the CAB will be able to provide for you in writing, and they can also provide what you can and can't do about it, what you should or shouldn't do about it, and who to call. They also have lists of solicitors specific to your type of case, should you need one.

  • I'd check out the cost of a solicitor before I sued.  As Loopy said, it can be an ordeal and I'd be even more annoyed if I had to spend a lot of money to go through it.  
  • image Mrs. DRJ:

    He charged us 60 to wash the outside for four window.  We are disputting it!

    OMG!  I can relate!  Our last place that we rented was shiny, sparkly clean when we left there and the estate agents tried charging us ?200 for 'dust and cobwebs'.  I was like 'say what!'  Yeah, that didn't go over well with us either.  I am beyond a clean freak and I don't have dust or cobwebs in my house when I live in it let alone when I leave it back to you and am waiting for my deposit back.

    After a lot of phone calls and e-mails back to the estate agents later they let us go back into the apartment to 're-clean' and this time we took photos of everything we cleaned and videoed us cleaning the whole place and white-glove tested everything so that they could not in any way, shape or form come back and say we left things dirty.

    They also gave us crap about the windows and I thought, how the eff am I supposed to clean the outside of the windows when we live on the second floor?!?!?

    I agree, I never, EVER had any renting issues with anyone in the States.  The UK sucks in this respect.

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  • GL with your landlord dramas

    we had an awful time when we moved out of our last flat, when we moved in we asked for one of the beds to be removed so we could bring out own. We moved in & it was still there, so I called the agent, they called her, she said she'd have someone come pick it up eventually. So I just said look can I get rid of it? They said fine. So we sold it for like 50 pounds - done. A year and a half later, we move out she says - the bed isn't there - you have to pay for a new one. Ummm excuse me? You were going to get rid of it FOR us - we asked!! And that was the deal for us to move in! 

    Also we got stuck with a cleaning charge after we had cleaned that place like crazy as well - really stinks! :( I was SOOOOOO mad - but we were out of the country by then, so there was nothing we could do but just take our greatly reduced deposit money and move on

  • I really don't want to get into our stress from the last flat we rented (floods, mold, deposits, etc). Needless to say I can sympathise. Contact the cit advice and see, but also accept that you may just need to acCept it, learn from it and move on. (We did - after 6 months of constantly trying to sort something out.) GL!
    Mum to W (4) and M (nearly 2)
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