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Aibu Landlady and washing machine

(20 Posts)
Firawla Tue 12-Jul-11 14:06:48

We moved into a new flat nearly a month ago, and from the start the washing machine has not been working. Only got the chance to look at it a couple of days after moving and saw that the rubber ring thing is broken, so if used it would leak and the detergent drawer when I opened it, the drawer front fell off and when I managed to get the actual drawer open I found loads of mould growing inside it as powder and water had been left in there all mashed up (seems like had been there a long time, as was a lot of mould.)
Obviously this should have been seen by the inventory beforehand anyway, but the landlady had cancelled that as she had not moved her stuff out in time, even though we had paid £85 fee to the agent specifically for the inventory...

Straight away after we saw this we contacted landlady and told her about it, she said she will try to get it fixed but did seem quite half hearted so I already felt doubtful that she would sort it out. (About the mould she just said Oh i just used to use the detergent straight into the drum! as if it does not matter about mould being in the machine then!!!) So as we felt she is not looking too likely to get it sorted we did offer her the suggestion that we can just buy our own replacement one, and get rid of her old one but she said no no, she will fix it.

So we waited the next weds she said someone will come have a look, noone came. We went away for a few days and when we came back, still no progress, and no way of contacting her as she had gone to hawaii and has not given any phone # only an email address. So we contacted her mum which she had left as an emergency contact (although she had tried to ban us from speaking to her mum and likes to refer to her as her 'secretary' which I find quite rude, that's not a respectful way to refer to your mum, ffs!)

Her mum told us just buy a new machine and deduct it from the rent, as she understood its not reasonable to go without a machine for so long. Once we fwd the receipt to the landlady's email suddenly she got back into contact saying cancel the order, i will get it fixed, my secretary doesnt have authority to authorise purchases etc.. So we cancelled it accorcding to her request, and since then have waited in on 3 more days for repairmen to come and look at it, although noone has come. I actually don't believe she even contacted anyone to come on all of those days, and just told us to wait for the sake of it, as when we contacted the guy she told us she would be asking, he had not heard from her at all. She then had the cheek to say along the lines of 'he wont be doing it now, because you phoned him yourselves and i didnt give you permission to speak to him'

Now I have been waiting nearly a month with no useable washing machine, and we have clocked up £65 of launderette fees (no acknowledgement or apology for this from her at all, she just ignores all mention of it. quite rude imo as it is her fault!) and I think enough is enough so we have ordered a 2nd hand washing machine from our own money, as we feel like we almost could have paid for one with the money wasted on launderette, so sick of just throwing money down the drain. My machine will be delivered this evening and I am going to get her mouldy one removed as they will remove the old one for free and there is no space to have 2 machines (we gave her a few days notice of that and said she can either arrange someone to get it, or put it in the cellar of the property if she wants to keep it) however she keeps saying we are 'not allowed to remove her property' so if we dont want it she wants us to pay for storage for it and put it back at the end, despite that storage costs are extremely expensive and the value of the machine is probably £0 because normally people charge to remove junk anyway.

So I am just going to get rid of this mouldy machine, because I have had enough and need a working machine. We had said we would probably be happy to leave our new one at the end of the tenancy, depending how long we are here, or if not that then she can remove the value of old machine from deposit (although that will be very little tbh as it is not worth anything!) so I don't really see what her problem can be, however she is still insisting and making an issue of it. So Aibu to just get rid of it and get it over and done with.

I am due with dc3 in 1 month, who i have been told will be induced a little bit early so really just a few weeks, and also have a 18 months old and a 3 yr old, so obviously washing piles up quickly and it is a real pain not to have a machine. This landlady has no kids and tbh I dont think she is very much in touch with reality, as most people would understand the need for a working washing machine. She also had the cheek to say 'its not an emergency its just a high priority' - well if it takes a month to sort out priorities for her then I hate to see how she handles other things in her life!

She also refuses to give us her bank details to even pay the rent, keeps telling us to get it from the agency, even though the agents are not managing agents and generally she seems to want to make every little simple thing about 10x more difficult than necessary.

Sorry so long! I could rant about her more but then I don't think anyone is going to make it to the end...

TartyMcFarty Tue 12-Jul-11 14:15:14

I would be contacting the agents re your legal position over tenancy, as I would not be wanting to continue renting from such a twonk of a landlady. FWIW, we rent a property out and wouldn't dream of leaving a tenant without a working appliance if originally included in the agreement (ours was let unfurnished, but still ... )

Firawla Tue 12-Jul-11 14:25:24

Ours was supposed to be unfurnished too, and she did get back to us straight away when her mum told us to order it, saying 'appliances are not guarenteed with the property i will only fix it as good will' - which is fine if she wants to be like that, as happy to provide our own, just don't understand how she can then turn round and say 'but you cant buy your own cos i need to keep my crap one plumbed in'...
Agents have agreed we are not BU about the washing machine and that she is, but I just reallyy do not want to have to think about moving again as it was such a pain to find somewhere in the first place and I am sick of moving!! Although not really happy with the idea of dealing with this lady for repairs etc in future, just hoping nothing breaks..

cosysocks Tue 12-Jul-11 15:17:00

If ur renting unfurnished look in contract if washing machine inc or not. Sounds like she expects u to store her old machine, give her a bill for storage!! Regarding the inventory, do one yourself take photos, give a copy to agent. If she is this bad now what will she be like when it comes to getting your deposit back.

BettySwollocksandaCrustyRack Tue 12-Jul-11 15:29:46

What a nightmare - she sounds awful! I am a landlady and would never dream of leaving tenants in the lurch like this her first rental maybe???

Why does she need to keep it plumbed in. If I were you I would get a new machine, get rid of her one and store it wherever - she hasnt even bothered with the inventory so she cant be that bothered about stuff there!!

Sorry, she sounds dreadful and I hope she improves....quickly!!!

QueenStromba Tue 12-Jul-11 15:34:42

Since there was no inventory done when you moved in she will not be able to deduct anything from your deposit because the onus is on the landlord to prove that you are responsible for any damage done to the property. Legally your landlord must register your deposit with a tenancy deposit protection scheme who will decide how much of the deposit the landlord can keep in cases of dispute - they will laugh at the landlord if they try and keep anything without an inventory. Have you been notified about which scheme your deposit is registered with? If it hasn't been registered by the end of the tenancy then you can sue her in the small claims court who will award you 3 times your original deposit.

bubblesincoffee Tue 12-Jul-11 15:36:51

I wouldn't get rid of her machine, whether it's worth anything or not. Put it in the cellar, use your own, then put her one back (and plumb it in) when the tennancy is over.

If appliances aren't included in the rent, she doesn't have to fix it, but she shouldn't be messing you areound like this. She needs to make a descision and stick to it!

EricNorthmansMistressOfPotions Tue 12-Jul-11 16:29:23

Are you saying you don't have an inventory/schedule of condition?

Regarding the washing machine - she needs to repair it or move it out. I'd give her 7 days to do either and inform her that if she doesn't you will move it out yourselves and leave it in the garden/the street/the garage as you need to order a working one.

It's completely unreasonable of her to keep a broken machine in your kitchen!

HerHissyness Tue 12-Jul-11 16:48:51

I am an inventory clerk, what QueenStromba is broadly true. You pretty much can now do anything in that property, in the normal realms of fair wear and tear and there is not a thing she can do. Oh she can try, but the TDS people will laugh her off the planet.

the suing for 3x deposit is not as simple as that, as the LL can lodge the deposit up until the day of the COURT CASE and still not be fined, it's about getting the deposit protected.

NOW, as far as the machine goes, TELL her that you are removing her defunct machine, that if she wishes to retain it, to arrange for it to be collected. Otherwise you will be arranging for the council to come and remove it. State that any costs for the removal will be deducted from the next month's rent.

Then it's your machine, unless you know you'll want to leave it, in which case you will be also deducting the cost of the same from the rental.

Is the gas safety certificate up to date? If not, this is a criminal offence.

Firawla Tue 12-Jul-11 16:58:22

finally got the inventory done this afternoon, so atleast that is now done. the agent who did the inventory told me it should be fine to get rid of the machine and he has marked it down as just being scrap, so i think i will just get rid. its in our contract that we don't have use of the cellar, is why i cant really just stick it down there. she is using it to store her personal stuff.
not sure about the gas safety thing, will have to ask about that actually, haven't been given a cert but am presuming its been done. deposit is protected so not too worried about that, as have been through dispute resolution with that for a previous landlord before and found them very good, so if she wants to keep too much deposit will just challenge her through that

HerHissyness Tue 12-Jul-11 17:06:16

If you can access the cellar, stick it in there, if not then tell her it's been deemed as scrap and you are disposing of it.

Chase the agent for the gas cert, I'm sure it is OK, but you need to be sure.

Firawla Tue 12-Jul-11 17:11:10

we do have a key for emergencies, but worried if that will breach the contract if i stick it in the cellar as it does specifically say we cant use it? think she will b majorly pissed off if we put in cellar, and if i have to call someone else out to remove the washing machine later on they will probs charge for it whereas today can have it taken free by the people who are putting new one in... hmm so not sure

HerHissyness Tue 12-Jul-11 17:55:09

This is an emergency!

Email her and inform her that the machine has been pretty much written off by the inventory clerk and you are removing it to her cellar.

Nothing she can do about it.

if the new machine is coming today and they are offering to remove it for free, take them up on the offer. photograph the bugger first though to prove it is totally ruined and unserviceable.

HerHissyness Tue 12-Jul-11 17:55:58

you would not be using her cellar, you are placing LL belongings in there, where else would you put them? grin

Firawla Tue 12-Jul-11 18:34:02

Soo annoyed, the people delivering machine have called and said its not coming today as they had a fault with it! Hopefully they will bring one tomorrow though and shift hers tomorrow at the same time, but i really wanted it today.
Have photographed her one when we moved in, and emailed it to self so it had the date on it, and inventory guy took a little video of it aswel to show just how crap it really is.

HerHissyness Tue 12-Jul-11 19:11:56

Good, you are covered with that machine then!

good luck for tomorrow!

proudfoot Wed 13-Jul-11 09:47:08

YANBU, your landlord is an utter piece of work.

Glad you are getting a new machine organised and good to have done an official inventory and photos.

I wonder why she is being so weird about this machine if it is clearly scrap and junk.. awkward for the sake of it hmm

kreecherlivesupstairs Wed 13-Jul-11 09:57:15

proudfootsentimental reasons. wink
OP, how will you even get it to the cellar? Ours is down in our cellar and it took two men to manoevre it down there. You can't go lifting stuff like that, you'll knacker your back.
YANBU, your LL is ridiculous.

Lucyinthepie Wed 13-Jul-11 10:04:47

Stop dealing with the landlady and concentrate on the agent. Provided of course that they are managing the let and didn't just provide a tenant sourcing service.
Do you have a proper signed contract? Is it an Assured Shorthold Tenancy and how long for?
Do you have a copy of the letter confirming the details of your deposit being lodged.
If you do not have a copy of the gas safety certificate then the landlady is in breach of the law. Get on to the agent.
Get back to the agent and ask them to dispose of the scrap that they wrote off on the inventory. Have you got somewhere you can just put it for the time being? Even the garden!
If you can't get these small details sorted then I'd be planning to move on to be honest. Just a thought, have you any idea what's going to happen when your landlady decides that she wants some of her possesions that she's got in the cellar? She doesn't have automatic right of access you know.

Firawla Thu 14-Jul-11 17:16:42

I spoke to shelter and they told me to put it in the cellar, as apparently she is not even allowed to ban us from using the cellar anyway, as its an unfair term in assured shorthold tenancy. so think i will just ask the people who come to install the new machine to dump this one down there, as they do a free removal service of washing machines then they hopefully will agree to just put it down there, as they would be lifting it anyway?
lucy the agent are not managing, they were only supposed to be finding tenant, so not really sure why we are still dealing with them but she keeps telling us to go to them instead of her! she didnt want to pay for them to manage, even tho she is out of the country..
and no we dont have the copy of the gas cert, and after speaking to shelter pretty sure that our deposit is actually not secured, agent appears to be talking crap about securing in their "own scheme" which is not one of the 3 recognised ones...
dh is quite keen to just move on again asap because of this but i soo can not face moving again, so will see
anyway just really hope our new machine turns up tomorrow without a problem, never thought i would be so excited about a washing machine!

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