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To send this email to my letting agents?

(24 Posts)
BrandyButterPie Tue 14-Dec-10 21:52:24

I'm being messaded about. The oven is broken for the second time in our 18 month tenancy. They have FINALLY emailed to tell me that the contractor has my contact details.

I have written out this reply:

"Thankyou - I will look forward to hearing from the contractor tomorrow, as I'm sure you can appreciate, this is now urgent as the work has been outstanding for a few months and we have two preschool children living in the house. Can I please confirm that this email refers to both:

-The gas oven that was declared unsafe and disconnected by an emergency gas engineer on the 29th of September of this year, and which had previously been warned about in the yearly gas safety inspections, and has not been considered safe enough by a gas engineer to reconnect since, leaving me and my family with no alternative means of cooking, despite us paying full rent as part of a rental agreement including an inventory that states we have use of a large range gas oven and stovetop, and:

-The possibly faulty wiring in the entrance vestibule that has meant that bulbs blow almost immediately we replace them, meaning that the entrance to the property is dangerous and unfit for safe use, which was reported two weeks after the faulty oven and also has not been fixed, despite said full rent being paid and such.

As I am sure you are aware, until last week I was a stay at hime mum, so would have been availiable for the repair people to perform the repairs at almost any time of day. However, now both me and my husband work full time, and so the repairs will have to be performed at a time that fits around our working hours. This means the repairs can be performed on a weekday before 10.30am or after 5.30pm, or on weekends. Of course this is with prior arrangement and notice. I am sure you appreciate that enough inconvenience has been caused to us in the time since these defects were reported to mean that we cannot submit to further problems.

Thank you for your time and assistance in solving this very distressing issue."

I would be v grateful if somebody could have a quick read and tell me if it is ok.

TIA!

nancydrewrockinaroundxmastree Tue 14-Dec-10 21:59:09

Frankly I wouldn't bother with an email, at this point. I would be on the phone to the letting agent demanding the contractors number so you can call and get him round ASAP.

BrandyButterPie Tue 14-Dec-10 22:03:56

I asked for the number and they said they couldn't give it out. hmm

hairyfairylights Tue 14-Dec-10 22:07:00

YANBU. give them hell.

KiwiKatie Tue 14-Dec-10 22:07:27

Send it!!

Hassledge Tue 14-Dec-10 22:09:27

I'd be asking for a concession on next month's rent. That's shocking.

BrandyButterPie Tue 14-Dec-10 22:11:09

My plan if the contractor is not in touch tomorrow is to make a data protection request to the letting agent so check what their version is, and ring up the people who manufactured my oven (since the letting agent claims they had troble finding someone to do the work depite somebody coming round a month ago to look at it and say they could mend it, which the logo of a local gas company on their shirt) to ask for a quote.

If the oven isn't mended by Christmas, would IBU to take me, DH and two DDs to a local posh restaurant for Christmas dinner, and take the bill off the rent?

gentlyfalling Tue 14-Dec-10 22:16:31

I work in lettings, so for what it's worth, I'd say send it, get it in writing that they're dealing with both issues. TBH they should've given you details of the contractor that's coming to do the work (otherwise any cowboy could turn up claiming to be the contractor) and if they haven't then make the point that you want to know exactly who the contractor is. You have the right to know who it is you're letting into your house.

Do you have the Landlord's details at all? His address should be on your tenancy agreement. If you do, it might be worth letting them know that the letting agent has left you without a cooker for two months. Odds on he'll be annoyed at them for not doing what he pays them to do, and he might even step in and help you himself. It sounds drastic, and probably suprising coming from me, but sometimes agents need a kick up the fecking arse grin

PaisleyLeaf Tue 14-Dec-10 22:23:07

yanbu
But do you need to be there for the work to be done? If the agent could be there instead it could perhaps get done sooner - and they owe you one.

BrandyButterPie Tue 14-Dec-10 22:23:36

The letting agent is blaming the landlord for a lot of the delay, saying that they wouldn't agree to the repairs. The landlord is living in Florida, so it is hard to say what is the truth.

I'm considering adding this:
"Please consider this notice that, as the repairs have not been carried out in a reasonable amount of time, and they are defects that seriously impinge on our quiet enjoyment of the property, we will be searching for a contractor ourselves if your appointed contractor does not make contact tomorrow and arrange repairs before Christmas. We will also be reducing our rent accordingly, for both the inconveinence suffered and the costs incurred to us from both not having the facilities that we have paid and planned for and for any repairs that we have to have carried out. We will of course provide documentation of our efforts to find good value, within the time contraints that have been created by the negligence of the letting agency and landlord."

BrandyButterPie Tue 14-Dec-10 22:24:33

Paisley - i don't really need to be there but tbh after all this I don't trust the agent to be alone in my house

Vallhala Tue 14-Dec-10 22:33:40

Data Protection requests are only for public organisations, such as Local Authorities, Schools and soforth. You cannot access information from a private individual or private company using the Act.

However you can and should refer the matter immediately to your local council's Environmental Health department as it is a safety issue. Also speak to the CAB. By rights you cannot withhold rent but I can see why you'd want to and have no sympathy for the Landlord or agent if you do.

You can take court action re the repairs but unfortunately there is nothing stopping the LL from refusing to renew your tenancy so tread carefully.

I;m not an expert on this, btw, but this is what I discovered when my good friend had problems with the range cooker and electrics in her rented house. If it weren't for the fact that she moved from her beautiful but very unsafe house last week I'd swear you were her!

There's a website with more info - hold on and I'll find it.

Vallhala Tue 14-Dec-10 22:36:54

Shelter's advice on repairs and private landlord's responsibilities

Here you are - this tells what can be done.

BrandyButterPie Tue 14-Dec-10 22:38:09

Vallhala- where are you getting that information from, as when I studied it, although that was admittely a long time ago, it was any data holder.

Thanks for the heads up anyway, I will leave that bit out. TI is a bit pointless anyway, given that they have that 40 day period to drag their heels in.

BrandyButterPie Tue 14-Dec-10 22:39:14

We are also considering going to the local paper and council - the letting agent is the largest in the area so won't like bad pubicity.

Should I put that in the email?

Myleetlepony Tue 14-Dec-10 23:31:14

Have you spoken to Shelter for advice? Do you have a current Gas Safety Certificate on your property? (By law you should have a copy).

BrandyButterPie Tue 14-Dec-10 23:49:58

Yes, we have the certificate - it just says that there is a caution about the oven as it had too small a flue (or something - I don't have it to hand) but that ia also on the previous one. We also have the documentation from when we had to call out transco due to our carbon monoxide detector going off, which meant all our gas getting cut off for a day, then an engineer came and reconnected all but the oven.

lowrib Tue 14-Dec-10 23:59:33

"Data Protection requests are only for public organisations, such as Local Authorities, Schools and soforth. You cannot access information from a private individual or private company using the Act"

Valhalla are you sure about that?

I learnt about data protection in college recently and they didn't say anything about data protection requests only being for public bodies.

BrandyButterPie Wed 15-Dec-10 00:04:08

It is anyone storing or processing personal data. I just looked it up.

Are you perhaps thinking of the Freedom of Information act?

LynetteScavo Wed 15-Dec-10 00:09:27

Send the email, and also phone.

But TBH, if you really want the repairs done, you will have to allow them in when you are not at home. You can insist the letting agent companies the contractor when s/he carries out the work, if it makes you more comfortable.

Would you dare suggest if the landlord doesn't pull his finger out, you will be looking for new accommodation? Might be worth a risk (or not!)

Vallhala Wed 15-Dec-10 00:10:04

Oh rollocks... it IS the FOI Act, yes! I'm so sorry. blush

Am over-tired, answering 3 messages at once, have been dealing with Niagara flooding my ruddy kitchen 3 times today despite the plumber coming out and am not with-it at all.

I'll shut up now and get me coat... blush

LynetteScavo Wed 15-Dec-10 00:10:59

Do you have a comy of the inventory? If the oven is on that, then you should have an oven....point that out to them. Hourly.

lowrib Wed 15-Dec-10 00:14:27

AFAIK everybody who stores data about other people is bound by the data protection act whether an individual, an private company or a public body.

We were given the example of a private landlord storing information about their tenants in college. They would be bound by the DPA.In practice however few know about it or comply properly with it. In fact our lecturer suggested that if you were in a dispute with an organisation for any reason, using the DPA against them was worth a go.

The Information commissioner's FAQs page for the general public can be found here

It tells people how to go about requesting information and makes no reference to what kind of organisation they are, e.g.

"Q: An organisation is holding information about me. How do I get it?
If you believe an organisation holds personal information about you, you can ask them to provide you with a copy.

"In order to do this you will need to:
make your request in writing (email is acceptable), clearly explaining or listing the information you want;
keep a copy of this request for your records. If you need to make a complaint to us at a later date we will ask you for a copy of your original request;
we would also recommend sending your letter by recorded delivery so you can be sure of its safe delivery."

and

"Q: Which Act allows me to get my personal information? And can they charge me?

"The Data Protection Act 1998 gives you the right to apply for a copy of your personal information. You will need to put your request in writing, by letter or email, and send it to the person or organisation you believe holds this information. Make sure to put your name and address and keep a copy. It is a good idea to make clear you are asking for the information under the Data Protection Act 1998.

"Yes, under the Data Protection Act they can ask for a fee of up to £10.00 for each request made."

lowrib Wed 15-Dec-10 00:18:58

cross posts sorry! blush

I know how you feel!

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