Our landlord is uncontactable(39 Posts)
Apologies if this is the wrong section but I thought there might be some landlords here.
The landlord will not speak to us over the phone, or come to the house. He will only text, and takes days to reply.
There have been a few issues including a broken boiler and his answer has always been 'google it'.
The kitchen has no floor - he was apparently in the middle of doing it during our second viewing, so we were surprised to see there was still no floor when we moved in.
So DH has been leaving answerphone messages and texts asking when it will be done, landlord has text every few days saying he will do it soon but never does. He's now been ignoring us completely for almost two weeks.
What can we do? The inventory lists a new kitchen floor. We stupidly signed this because we thought he was doing it right there and then. DH would put down some lino or something himself but the agreement says we can't do anything to the house (including putting up curtains/pictures/posters) without his written permission.
I'm annoyed about it because what do we do if there's an emergency with the house and he won't answer the bloody phone?
Thanks for all the advice. I think we will be spending the day contacting shelter/the council etc tomorrow and seeing what our options are.
We have a phone number and a phone number for his mum. We've never been given an address, I will ask for it and see if he replies, will a text count as a written request?
Things got arsey today. He sent a text saying he would have done the floor if we'd let him in when we were out (we said no to this for obvious reasons) so apparently he's now going to 'let myself in and do it when I feel like it'.
I am SO uncomfortable with this. I'm on maternity leave so here on my own all day and don't want a strange man walking in whenever!
We are going to change the locks tomorrow. I don't care if its allowed or not, I'm not feeling unsafe in my own home.
Can not wait to leave!
You're allowed to change the locks as long as you keep the originals and change them at end of your tenancy (returning to same condition). So tell him to call the police if he starts banging on your door and if he tries to force entry/harass, you call them.
oh great, not. It is trespass for him to come in without your permission - his property but your home while you rent it from him. Tell him this. He cannot come in without permission unless it is an emergency, and even then it is iffy.
time for 101 in the morning, before spending money changing the locks.
Hard to tell from a text but it sounded more like willy-waving, 'my house I'll do what I want' type of thing rather than a real threat to walk in unannounced, because if he was really going to do the floor why not just tell us he's on his way, even 2 hours notice would be fine. But now the threat is there I feel like I have no privacy.
DH has replied with 'we aren't comfortable with anyone in the house while we are out or without notice.' I doubt the LL will reply but it's in writing now that we aren't happy with it.
We're putting a chain on the inside of the door instead of changing the locks for now. I don't want to feel unsafe getting a bath or whatever in my own home. If he does walk in is that enough to let us end our tenancy early?
Did you contact shelter / the council?
If a rental relationship starts off like this then it can only get worse when he starts blaming you for things further down the line. You need to move out or you will be left at home with a tiny baby and a landlord who is a terror.
What a nightmare.
You've been given good advice about your rights. TBH if I were you I would be looking for another place ASAP, this guy / situation will only get worse.
Just this time make sure you do everything right - deposit, inventory etc.
Please call Shelter for advice; 0808 800 4444
You are not legally liable for rent unless you have an address for for your landlord in the UK. This is because you need to have an address for service of Court papers (if it ever came to it), it doesn't have to be their address, it can be an address for a representative, eg a letting agent, but you have to have one! As soon as you have one you become liable for the rent including all back rent so if you do chose to withhold the rent put it in a separate bank account and don't touch it.
I would suggest (following advice from Shelter). Texting your landlord and saying that you have been given legal advice that you are not liable for rent until you have an address for advice in the UK and you'll be putting the rent in an account in your name until you have the address you need when you will transfer it. Once you have the address I would send a letter recorded saying that you signed the inventory on the promise that the floor would be completed and it isn't so you want the inventory amended. Make it clear you have taken photographs and have people who are prepared to make it clear the floor was never laid. Ask for confirmation that the floor will be done by a certain date and say if you have 't heard from them by a certain date you will be doing the work yourself (after getting three quotes) and will withhold the money from the rent.
Pleas be aware though that this all sounds v dodgy and I think you'd be better off giving notice and leaving!
Please speak to Shelter (I was a legal advisor in Housing but years ago now so you should get some up to date advice).
Do not say you are going to do work on the flat without his consent. Not legal and from what you've written, it sounds as if he is still thinking it's his "home" rather than a property he owns and lets out - his tenants' "home". I think that kind of empty threat would negatively escalate the already uncomfortable situation.
, he would not t
Gah, sneezed as I posted and iPhone autocorrected to some random words
Apart from the bit about getting the work done yourself, which I am not sure you can (legally), I think the rest of edible's advice is good.
Your LL has to give you 48 hrs notice of a visit. If turns up unannounced and tries to force entry, call the police.
But to be honest, this already sounds too stressful. I would give notice and move elsewhere ASAP if I were you.
And do get urgent advice from Shelter, because you signed an incorrect inventory, and I think it is currently possible that you could be sued/charged for removing the new floor you agreed was there, even tho' it wasn't.
What a horrible situation. Really, it's a Saturday - get out looking at houses and find somewhere else asap. It is the only way you are going to feel safe - and .at's the most important thing about being at home. The stress of it all on top of being pregnant is just not worth it.
get someone to asses fire regulations. Sounds like it might fail.
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