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to demand a new bathtub, not just a 'regrout'

(15 Posts)
QueenofWhispers Thu 23-May-13 11:09:49

I live in a certain area (out of necessity--not choice) and I pay quite an expensive rent (again, out of necessity) at what point does my landlord have to provide me with a rust free bathtub? How rusted does it have to be to be considered un-usable?

The bathtub itself is broken and rusted, the toilet seat is broken and the design of the bathroom itself is flawed--so that if anyone does take a shower/bath the entire bathroom becomes flooded and water goes into the hallway.

The second bathroom has a hole in the floor through which wild animals crawl through (mice and squirrels--and once a baby bird)

*The property management company feel like a re-grout will sort out all the problems.

I wouldn't be posting this but the property company know I'm not from the UK and don't really have a choice to live anywhere else. I cannot explain why I can't move--just take my word for it please.

I have been complaining about the bathrooms since the day I moved in (14 months now).

Please help me either re-adjust my expectations or know what I am entitled to.

jacks365 Thu 23-May-13 11:15:35

There are specialist solicitors who deal with problems with landlords. I assume they work the same way as accident lawyers and reclaim costs from the other party or you can make a complaint to your council who can force the landlord to do repairs.

valiumredhead Thu 23-May-13 11:20:54

You can withhold rent iirc until things are fixed.

QueenofWhispers Thu 23-May-13 11:21:35

The problem is, the landlords who have hired a 'property management agency' who after sending in tonnes and tonnes of people to look have just keep saying they need to regrout the tub.

oscarwilde Thu 23-May-13 11:22:45

I am baffled as to how you are in this situation ? Are you in prison? grin

What are the terms of your lease? Can you withhold rent in lieu of repairs not being undertaken?

DoJo Thu 23-May-13 11:23:40

Perhaps Shelter could help? Or the renting forum on moneysavingexpert.com always has people who can give advice.

QueenofWhispers Thu 23-May-13 11:27:08

I'm being told that they won't take care of 'cosmetic' repairs...and the rust is just a cosmetic repair.

I'm not sure if I can withhold rent or not.

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Thu 23-May-13 11:32:23

What about getting the CAB to deal with them on your behalf?

QueenofWhispers Thu 23-May-13 11:41:08

I will take a trip to the local CAB office today.

treas Thu 23-May-13 11:42:12

You LL is a complete fool - doesn't he know that the rust will eventually become a hole and then he'll have the added expense of dealing with water leak damages.

I'm a LL myself and would have had the bathroom completely refitted - it doesn't have to be an expensive suite and he/she would be entitled to workmens rates at a places like Howdens as it is their business.

Mind you I'm of the camp that if you respect your property and tenants then they will respect you and the property. Five days before Christmas Day our tenant phoned saying the cooker wasn't working - we had it repaired by an electrician within 20 minutes.

QueenofWhispers Thu 23-May-13 11:54:38

treas

i wish you were my landlord. we had such a good landlord in our old home.

TBH I'm not sure if the problems I am having is the direct result of mismanagement from the property management company or from the ll's themselves.

I don't know who I am to hold accountable for the disrepair my home has fallen into.

The house is covered in damp, the flooring in the kitchen is soo uneven that our son often trips and falls over the tiling and the bathroom is seriously in dire straights, but when the management company (Foxtons) send someone to look they always tell me that everything is perfect. I honestly do NOT want to leave this property--but there is mould everywhere, the bathtubs are rusted, we've got wild animals coming out of holes in the bathrooms and one of the two of the bathrooms isn't 100% functional.

Foxtons keep telling me that a 'regrout' will sort out the problem, but they've regrouted 3 times in the past 14 months and have NEVER changed the broken toilet seat.

Can I youtube this? Get a reporter interested? (not that this is thaaat interesting) but I am getting ridiculously upset. I only live in this house because it's the only house that can function as a home for our DS who has SEN. I even pay the asking rental price--didn't even consider negotiating because I was very desperate for the space+location. At this point I just feel completely taken advantage of.

DaveDeeDozyBeakyMickAndTitch Thu 23-May-13 12:03:38

I'd change the toilet seat myself - that's an extremely minor repair, frankly - and yes, some rust can be cosmetic in a bathtub, especially if it's around the drainage hole, and outlet pipe. If the actual tub itself hasn't rusted through - where the rust is poking through the enamel, for example, then it's not considered bad enough for a replacement, as it's very common.

Bit confused about them "regrouting" though - do you mean "re-sealing"? they're different things, and re-sealing does sound like it's appropriate, without having seen pictures of the damage.

Your other problems such as wildlife, damp, and uneven flooring sound far more serious, in reality, have you spoken the the environmental health department in your local council to come look at them for you? It might be a good next move.

loveinthemist Thu 23-May-13 12:19:36

Your landlord sounds like a a money grabber. Poor you. Why should you live with a substandard bath when you're paying high rent and the landlord is probably benefiting hugely from low mortgage rates?

We privately rent (no choice) and have a lovely landlady. In fact our bath is being replaced in a couple of weeks as it is old and has a crack developing. No moaning from the landlady - she knows that a portion of the rent we pay has to go on house repairs.

I really would go to the CAB. The landlord has a DUTY to replace these things. I'm sure they wouldn't be willing to take their bath in a rusty one would they? If they're not prepared to shell out on things like this then they shouldn't be a landlord. Makes me very angry to hear stories like this.

oscarwilde Thu 23-May-13 12:28:18

Foxtons. Have been there. angry

Do you have the contact details for your landlord ? They are probably completely oblivious and pay a fortune to Foxtons to "manage" the property on their behalf.

I appreciate that your DD's needs are obviously paramount, however if no regular maintenance is being carried out it is highly likely that with damp etc, she will become ill. Also that they will try to screw you out of your deposit when it is time to move. You have a right to enjoy the property and not to share it with vermin.

Can you pull together a record of all your calls, letters and emails. Write a single letter of complaint listing the repairs required not just the minimim repairs or that's all they'll do, appending the records of complaints and giving them a month to complete repairs before you issue notice or withhold repairs and arrange them yourself. Send it to Foxtons and a copy to the landlord.

If it were me, I would get in a builder to get a quote for all the repairs and include it. Foxtons and other large EA's have their own repair teams. They will do the work themselves and charge it out to the landlord at market rate, pocketing the profit. Which is fair if they've done a good job.

Sign it off like this so it is clear where you have sent it.
Yours
J Bloggs

cc. Landlord
cc. Property ombudsman
cc. Local paper

Finally, post this in Legal and or Property as there are experts there who will help with proper wording.

QueenofWhispers Thu 23-May-13 13:53:51

I would have handled the toilet seat, but the toilet was some specialty toilet and has a funny shape and normal stores don't carry the seat to go with the toilet. I keep trying to get the model number from the property managment company

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