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To think a Landlord should provide a decent standard of living?

(51 Posts)
NoMatterWhoIAmJustType Fri 24-Oct-08 13:07:35

It's slightly more complicated as she is my MIL and we have no formal tenancy agreement.

But I'm getting sick of it.
We have three broken windows (old sash windows that have gotten ragged in the wind, not our fault)
the stair carpet is quite literally falling apart, we are constantly cutting bits of that have come loose and could be a tripping hazard
all of the drains are blocked and I've tried plunging and chemical drain unblockers to no effect.
She installed a new kitchen last year which still isn't finished so our hob has no ignition and there's no seal around the sink which makes me worry the worktop will end up wrecked. No tiles either, just the wrecked plaster from where the old ones came off.

We could afford to do some of these jobs ourself, if it was our place and therefore an investment. We have repainted everything, even stripped and replaced floorboards but we just can't do anymore. I'm sick of living in a shit tip.

NoMatterWhoIAmJustType Fri 24-Oct-08 13:08:22

This isn't all of it btw, I just didn't want to moan too much in the op.

mankymummy Fri 24-Oct-08 13:09:55

what does she say when you ask her to fix these things?

pingping Fri 24-Oct-08 13:10:08

YANBU have you spoke to your MIL about this things?

hanaflower Fri 24-Oct-08 13:10:44

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

staryeyed Fri 24-Oct-08 13:12:26

Well if you are paying rent and she is accepting it that counts as a tenancy. If you feel that the standards of living are that bad it might be worth getting in touch with environmental health. However it depends on the relationship with your Mil if you want to take that route.

HappyMummyOfOne Fri 24-Oct-08 13:14:24

Why not move to another house?

If MIL is letting you stay for a token rent then maybe you can do some of the jobs yourselves as a thank you.

pingping Fri 24-Oct-08 13:15:02

How much rent are you paying?

NoMatterWhoIAmJustType Fri 24-Oct-08 13:15:29

Of course we have spoken to her, over the last three years about all sorts of things.

The only reason the kitchen was replaced was when the cupboard next to the oven almost set on fire, it was a 70's kitchen, so unafe.

We have a great relationship with her normally, but it's just this that she seems to drag her feet.

I think she wants us to do the work, but no way, it's her place. Plus we could never afford it.

NoMatterWhoIAmJustType Fri 24-Oct-08 13:17:37

It's complicated really. Her mortgage is £450 per month, we pay her £800 which includes the cost of insurance. Similar two bedroomed flats around here go for £1000 ish so are we the ones expecting too much for too little?

staryeyed Fri 24-Oct-08 13:19:12

I would maybe appeal to her better nature an make some sort of halfway compromise.

hanaflower Fri 24-Oct-08 13:19:49

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

mumof2222222222222222boys Fri 24-Oct-08 13:20:27

Personally I think I'd move out - I couldn't cope with your situation, and any major battles could ruin what you say is a great relationship.

What realistically do you see as the options? Perhaps a full and frank discussion about how the situation is untenable and how, while you'd love to stay, you feel that you will have to move out...(does she perhaps want this?)

If you stay, you have a list of things that need dealing with, a timescale. Perhaps offer to deal with tradesmen, but agree that she'll pay?

FeelingLucky Fri 24-Oct-08 13:23:01

If you are paying her less than the going rate, then maybe yes you should consider doing some of the work yourselves but maybe ask her for cost of materials?

QuintessentialShadows Fri 24-Oct-08 13:23:46

I think I would move out. Insurance should not cost more than a couple of hundreds per year, so she is making good profits on you and your forgiving nature.

Just start looking for somewhere else, go to viewings, and if she asks why, just be honest. You are hoping to find a place with better standards. She cant make such huge profits on the rent AND expect you to do it up for her.

QuintessentialShadows Fri 24-Oct-08 13:24:47

What you have to ask yourselves is the following: What rent could she realistically obtain from this flat, in its current condition on the open market?

NoMatterWhoIAmJustType Fri 24-Oct-08 13:26:07

We really can't move, especially in our area in this climate. I've got friends being kicked out by buy to let landlords because the house is being repossesed! She also doesn't want us to move. She has a flat in Manchester she rents out and has had no end of stress with unpaid rent etc.

I have called a plumber this morning which I'll pay for on my credit card as it's becoming impossible to even shower. It's so tricky when it's with family I agree.

notpregyet Fri 24-Oct-08 13:27:35

If she doesn't want the hassle of organising it all can you not suggest that you get it done and pay for it and hold back some rent.

Maybe even split some of the cost (since you are getting a bargain and she's not charging market-rate rent)?

NoMatterWhoIAmJustType Fri 24-Oct-08 13:29:13

Also, we have been here for 7 years, it is our home, and we have done so much to it to make it ours. It's the skin and bones of the place that she is failing to maintain.

Last winter we had a huge leak in the roof over our bedroom, she sent two guys who didn't even erect scaffolding, climbed out of a window to access it, charged her £400 and did fuck all as it still kept leaking. She's just such a spendthrift even when it's important.

Does she really want her property getting irreperably damaged because she chose to save a few quid?

QuintessentialShadows Fri 24-Oct-08 13:30:24

I dont know where you are, but in London the figures are as follows:
40% increase in flats on the rental market
15% increase in applicants to rent

So, there are lots of properties to rent, and not many people who wants to rent flats.

It is a tenants market, or so I am told.

You know, you could possible haggle down the rent on other properties too. My tenant did that. I accepted as I could not afford to have the place empty.

Do you think that if somebody were to come and VIEW your flat, they would want to move in, the way it is now?

NoMatterWhoIAmJustType Fri 24-Oct-08 13:32:53

We have split cost on lots of things, there are lots of things we've done that she didn't help with. We have stripped back original bannisters, skirting boards and floorboards, built solid wooden shelving, repainted almost every year, repainted front door and outside windows and retiled the bathroom floor (which almost led to us splitting up, never again!)

NoMatterWhoIAmJustType Fri 24-Oct-08 13:34:07

QS They might as it looks good on the surface, but things are all going wrong with the basic functions, iyswim.

QuintessentialShadows Fri 24-Oct-08 13:35:37

Yes, and one day she might sell. And make HUGE profit on the flat, due to your hard work, and due to the love of your home.

Can you buy the flat from her?

QuintessentialShadows Fri 24-Oct-08 13:37:18

Any serious buyers would have a survey done, and such shortcomings would be discovered by the surveyor. They are there on behalf of the BANK or mortgage company, and it is their duty to find any fault, however small. Buyers are only offered a mortgage if the survey report holds up.

Dropdeadfred Fri 24-Oct-08 13:40:55

Even if you don't want to move out...get some details of a nice flat in similar area and tell her you are wanting to move because you get so much more for the extra £200 a month it would cost you..hopefully this may frighten her into paying for some more stuff to be fixed.
Tell her NO WAY would she EVER get other tenants the way things are

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