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To get a quote, get the work done and send the bill to the letting agents?

(15 Posts)
wkmmum Mon 24-Sep-12 14:06:56

Came back from a few days away in half term at the beginning of June to find a leak in my flat. Contacted letting agents who came and have a look and arranged for someone I come and assess it. Insurers came and said there's a leak from the waste pipe but as the pipe is enclosed walls etc will need to be knocked down to find out where exactly the leak is (could be in my flat or any of the flats above) and fix it.

Over 3 months later and still nothing's been done. The wall has gone mouldy (it's in DS's room) and no matter how often I phone nothing's happening.

The letting agents say that the landlady has decided she wants to sort it out herself (via insurers) even though they keep telling her that that's what she's paying them to do. She apparently keeps telling them that she'll contact me but never does.

I'm now 31 weeks pregnant and need this sorted before baby arrives. I really dot want to be dealing with building work and redecorating with a newborn in the house. There's also the possibility that I may have to move out when it's being done.

I can't withhold rent as it's paid by housing benefit. And if I contact the council and ask them to withhold money it'll be incredibly difficult to restart my claim again.

So WIBU to email the letting agents and landlady giving them a week to give me a date (which needs to be soon) that the work will take place? And tell them that if they don't I'll get some quotes, get the work done and send them the bill?

I really have no idea what else to do!

LFCisTarkaDahl Mon 24-Sep-12 14:09:01

But how can you if getting it fixed means knocking walls down? You can't do that.

wkmmum Mon 24-Sep-12 14:10:01

I mean getting someone in to do the work and send them the bill.

LFCisTarkaDahl Mon 24-Sep-12 14:11:19

Well no, you can't get someone in to knock walls down to find the leak.

financialwizard Mon 24-Sep-12 14:11:32

Can you go into the letting agent with pictures or ask them to come round and see the damage that has been caused by the fact that the leak has not been repaired? If the LL is going through the insurance company they should have sent out a loss adjuster by now (I think that is the right job title).

I think you WBU to get the work done and send them a bill without at least warning them first, so I think you should call and get the LA round and tell them it has to be done by x date or you will get someone in to do it and send the bill to the LA. Although you might find that the contractor will not do the work without it having been authorised by the LA/LL in the first place.

Paiviaso Mon 24-Sep-12 14:11:46

If you get the work done yourself, I wouldn't expect your money back.

I would get on the phone and start getting seriously irate with everyone and threaten some sort of action due to the mould in a child's room and you being pregnant.

Hopefully some other MNetter will be along to tell what kind of action this would be as I don't know!

UnexpectedItemInShaggingArea Mon 24-Sep-12 14:11:47

Go into the letting agents, with your DS, wearing your most pregnant looking clothes.

Burst into tears and refuse to leave until an actual appointment has been made to get the work done.

And start looking for somewhere else to live.

YANBU for getting fed up with it but YABU for wanting to sort it yourself.....I totally get where you are coming from and your LL sounds like she is not the quickest in the world but maybe the insurance company are mucking her about.

If its a big job then no, you just cant take it into your hands and deal with it, frustrating as it is, you need to let the LL sort out the insurance company.

Hound the agency everyday, thats about all you can do!!

NoComparison Mon 24-Sep-12 14:27:51

Can the council housing department help? I don't have any experience, but presumably the property they are paying for (via housing benefit) needs to be up to some sort of standard?

bigsnugglebunny Mon 24-Sep-12 14:28:01

If there's mould, it's a hazard - ring your local council environmental health team. They'll come out and do an assessment and your landlady could face a fine.

financialwizard Mon 24-Sep-12 14:29:57

That is a really good idea bigsnugglebunny

wkmmum Mon 24-Sep-12 14:33:23

I like that too bigsnugglebunny - thank-you.

I'm going to call the LA again and tell them I'll be contacting the council and environmental health first thing tomorrow unless I hear something today.

I appreciate that the insurers might be holding things up but I'm sick and tired of no-one even telling me what's going on.


MousyMouse Mon 24-Sep-12 14:38:28

yanbu to want it sorted quick.
but you don't want to spend the money (could be thousands) because it would be difficult to get it back.

environmental health is good

shelter will also be able to advise you.

hope it gets sorted very soon!

gallicgirl Mon 24-Sep-12 15:28:56

Definitely talk to environmental health or private sector housing. They can force the landlord to do repairs.

MrSunshine Mon 24-Sep-12 15:31:52

It could be any of the flats above yours, so how do you propose you will get someone to do thousands of pounds worth of work in other peoples apartments without the consent of the owners, management company or with any guarantee of getting paid?

You haven't thought this through.

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