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To think this makes it worse, not better

(38 Posts)
Kaloki Tue 30-Nov-10 19:44:01

Just to put this in to context.

We rent privately. Our flat is falling apart. Landlord has refused to fix anything, to the point where we had to call in Environmental Health.

Here's where it gets really fun.

Landlord wasn't happy about this, so he turned up and threatened my DH (who has severe mental health problems).

Paramedics were called (DH attempted suicide), and police were called.

Both environmental health and the letting agents told the landlord not to do it again, especially as he hadn't given us any notice that he was coming round; breach of contract.

That day we packed our stuff and went somewhere safe, telling the letting agents so they could call us on our mobiles. Two days later DH has calmed down enough for us to go back to the flat and get some supplies.

Guess who turns up again? The landlord tries to let himself in, but we'd luckily put the bolt across. And he was yelling abuse at us and hammering at the door.

Fucked up right?

Now everyone agrees he's a freak and totally in the wrong, but some have said

"well, to be fair to him, he didn't think you were in, he thought you'd gone away"

To be fair to him?? So it's better that he was going to deliberately turn up at our home without telling us and let himself in?? How??

We've barely been able to go back to our flat since in case he turns up again. But I am seriously worried about him letting himself in while we are away. We've had to leave all our stuff there, and our pet rats.

Seriously, AIBU to think "he thought you weren't there" does not make it any better?

TottWriter Tue 30-Nov-10 19:45:29

No. He is a nut. I think you need to find another LL, and fast. sad

Tortington Tue 30-Nov-10 19:45:50

have you runbg shelter

i think you need some sound legal advice on this.

has the landlord been charged with threateniong behavious

did you call the police when he did it again?

Myleetlepony Tue 30-Nov-10 19:47:00

He does not have right of access to your flat, whether or not you are in it, while you have a current tenancy agreement. I think people advised you to get some legal advice with this, have you done that? Shelter were mentioned I think.

Kaloki Tue 30-Nov-10 19:48:23

Called the police twice. Luckily we've found somewhere with free legal advice, plus shelter have been helping, and a local advice team who deal with mental illness and housing.

So things are getting sorted slowly. We are most likely stuck paying rent till our contract is up, whether we live there or not.

I just can't see why anyone is excusing his behaviour in any way?

Manorjane Tue 30-Nov-10 19:49:31

Have you got children ?

fayc84 Tue 30-Nov-10 19:49:58

That's awful! Call the police if he tries to get in again. You have a tenancy and he was breached that by turning up unannounced.

Sorry to hear about your DH. I hope he is doing ok.

Are the letting agents being helpful? Are they able to help you find alternative accommodation as it does sound as though you need to get out of there asap.

Kaloki Tue 30-Nov-10 19:52:05

No, the letting agents won't let us go through them this time as we are apparently too much hassle.

pickgo Tue 30-Nov-10 19:54:47

No you're definately NOT being unreasonable.
In most rental agreements, (and it sounds the case with yours as your already referred to it) the landlord is not allowed to enter your home without giving at least 24 hours notice and, your agreement - you can suggest another time if it's not convenient.
That's what you're paying for - a home that is yours.
I've actually rented my house out for a couple of years so been a 'landlady'. It felt very funny thinking of my house as temporarily someone elses but you have to keep within the terms you've agreed by signing the rent agreement!
I'd suggest you write to him quoting your rent contract terms and telling him you will take further action if he breaches the contract again. It's not much to lodge a petition for a court hearing (£60ish) and you've got witnesses.
Sorry to hear of your DP - what a time you must be having. Good luck.

perfumedlife Tue 30-Nov-10 19:56:15

Surely he has broken the terms of the lease so you should not be held to the end of the contract?

Kaloki Tue 30-Nov-10 20:02:28

Seems it doesn't work that way perfumedlife.

I assumed the same.

pickgo We have a legal firm helping us now. Even if we could reach the bastard (the adress on our contract doesn't exist, and the letting agents wont give us any other info), we'd rather not talk to him without someone official involved.

Messages have already been sent via the letting agents, but he wont reply.

sb6699 Tue 30-Nov-10 20:05:27

Oh you poor thing.

YANBU - he has no right trying to let himself in whether you are there or not.

I am angry on your behalf at your letting agent's attitude - wonder if it was the same one I had last year.

Hope things get better for you soon x

StayFrosty Tue 30-Nov-10 20:07:17

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

sb6699 Tue 30-Nov-10 20:09:00

Did Environmental Health issue an Enforcement Notice and that's why he's had the workmen round?

If they have, you can ask for compensation for the time you lived in unnacceptable conditions (can everyone tell I've been speaking to Shelter recently!)

Vallhala Tue 30-Nov-10 20:20:26

Kaloki, that's appalling. You poor things.

There is some info on access to a Landlord's contact details here, which you may find of help.

I can't offer much more but I see you're in Herts, not a million miles away from me. If I can help by taking in your rats for the time during which you're away from the property and getting sorted (am a former rat owner and animal rescuer), or find you someone else through my rescue contacts who will foster them until you're sorted, please don't hesitate to pm me.

I wish I could do more, I'm a tenant too and have for years been grateful for my freedom from all the constraints a mortgage brings whilst angry at the way bad landlords are allowed to get away with so much unacceptable behaviour.

Kaloki Tue 30-Nov-10 20:33:23

sb Yes, thy did. Only one thing has been "fixed" thus far. We weren't given notice, again, first thing we knew about it we were packing some things in the bedroom when a ladder appeared at the window. hmm There's still damp coming through the apparently fixed hole though.

Vall You are an angel! I may have to take you up on that, maybe not for now as we can pop back and feed them etc. But if we get offered temporary accommodation it really would be great.

Vallhala Tue 30-Nov-10 20:37:53

Not a problem Kaloki, just shout if and when you need help. As I said, I wish I could do more. A friend has recently suffered similar in terms of neglect and shitty conditions thanks to the landlord, leaving her in a house which was electrically dangerous and also unsanitary. When she complained she just got her tenancy threatened and told if she didn't like it she could get out.

Eventually that's just what she and her 3 kids had to do and she moved last week. So, as you can imagine, such landlords are top of my shit list atm.

sb6699 Tue 30-Nov-10 22:36:27

You should ask the council for the procedure in claiming compensation - it would at least help with funding another deposit.

Kaloki Tue 30-Nov-10 23:11:53

It's awful isn't it. We've had three bad landlords in a row now, difficult to be positive about finding somewhere new.

Will do sb, hadn't thought of that.

LittleMissHoHoHoFit Tue 30-Nov-10 23:32:14

OK, so you have been told to speak to Shelter, and the CAB. Good move.

LL rights to access: The LL has NO right to access under any circumstances - save that of a dire, and I mean dire emergency. 24 hours written notice or not. If you don't want him there and communicate it to him in any official capacity, and he continues, to do so THIS is what you do:

1. change the locks. Don't worry about what it may say in the contract. The building may belong to him, but by renting it from him you it is assigned to you for your exclusive use. It is your home. To cover yourself you can inform the LL via the letting agent that you are changing the locks to protect your home, your possessions etc, but will re-instate the locks when you leave.

The above is gospel truth, I had to do this myself, and the law is well and truly clear on this, Shelter advised me, CAB advised me and my lovely property letting guru friend on here advised me.

2. If he continues to approach you, call the police, this is serious harassment, and harassment is a criminal offence, and he could end up in prison, and with a large fine. given what has already happened to your DH, he really is in the frame for a criminal conviction on this, and I would think that the police will encourage you to press charges.

3. If the property is not being maintained, I'm guessing there is no valid/current gas safety certificate? This is also against the law, large penalties can be levied.

4. Do you know where your deposit is lodged BTW? Make sure you know, cos this will be the next issue you face, you know that don't you..

Ultimately the relationship between you and the LL has broken down, you will need to find somewhere else to live. I feel for you, but you need a better place to live.

I have been through similar, it is just awful, and your DH ill too, you poor poor thing. Fingers crossed you will get something better soon.

LittleMissHoHoHoFit Tue 30-Nov-10 23:33:15

oh yes and you do NOT have to supply sets of keys to anyone should you not wish to do so.

Kaloki Tue 30-Nov-10 23:44:40

LittleMiss We were going to have to go anyway, we were told months ago that the landlord intended to sell when our contract ends in Feb. And he was using this to justify not doing any repairs.

There is a valid gas safety certificate, and our deposit is safe. (Been caught out by both of those previously) Although when we first moved in we had a gas leak and couldn't turn the gas off. Transco came out, looked at our gas meter/mains and realised that the handle was positioned in a way that no one could reach it; it had also snapped off.

At the time they had it on file that the landlord had been told to fix it before. So they fixed the leak, and told the landlord (again) to fix it.

Few months later there was another gas leak, this time Transco said that as he hadn't fixed it, they would do it and bill him for it. And they did, this involved replacing the handle and moving the meter.

According to the letting agents the landlord was furious that it had cost him money. It also turns out that he had bought a handle for it, and wanted the LA's handyman to fit it. except their handyman isn't corgi registered so couldn't (and wouldn't) anyway.

So really, none of this should have surprised us.

mamatomany Tue 30-Nov-10 23:53:36

Jesus, I'd like to see him take you to court, you'll get your deposit back I'm sure of it.
And no YANBU

LittleMissHoHoHoFit Wed 01-Dec-10 00:25:09

Do you have a signed inventory kaloki? signed and dated with photos signed and dated by YOU?

If not, then you will get your deposit back whatever this shit head tries.

Kaloki Wed 01-Dec-10 00:31:41

Yep, we do. Got a whole CD full of photos as well.

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