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Help! any landlords out there with advice?

(10 Posts)
frantic51 Fri 22-Jul-11 11:33:29

Sorry if I've put this in the wrong place. Just got keys for a new property and planning to move in on 1st August. Landlord's agents let us have keys early so that we could get in and clean but mainly because the garden is overgrown and in a real state and the deal is, we can have keys two weeks early as long as we deal with the garden ourselves.

Anyway, they have a plasterer and a painter in dealing with the aftermath of a burst pipe (from last winter hmm ) . While cleaning the kitchen, I pulled out a dresser from an alcove (old house, used to be a fireplace) Filthy, but, more worrying, paint flaking all down one side. Took photo and emailed to landlord's agent asking if I could have their workmen look at it while they were there. Got email back saying, "yes, go ahead".

Plasterer says, "it's damp, you need to have a specialist look at it" obligingly nips over the wall to the field at the back and comes back saying, "there's a tree growing out of the bottom of the wall, there is some re-pointing to be done, you really need to ask your landlord to have it looked at."

Emailed agent last night and got this reply this morning:

"Hi Frantic – This in not a damp house – the last tenant was the most neurotic hypochondriac and never once did he even hint at damp .... and he would have! However I will have a look at this tree and the damp ..... but just put the dresser back and stop worrying!!!

As to the roof the landlord is aware.

N"

Any advice as to what to do next?

Sorry it's so long. TIA

starryeyedsarah Fri 22-Jul-11 11:51:27

I've found it's always best to call my landlord/agent to discuss it politely and see what they say - and take notes all the time.

Then put it all in an email saying "just to recap what we discuss on the phone" and make sure there are action points and dates in everything.

You then give them a couple of chances before you get the council/lawyers involved.

Most landlords are nice enough people but just don't want to part with the cash. When they learn you don't take any rubbish from them and they can see you are putting everything in writing - they'll start just doing things as soon as you request them.

If there is damp - they MUST deal with this.

As for the roof - unless it's causing a problem -I doubt they'll have to do anything - but they would be wise to as it will lead to further problems and expenses for them!

frantic51 Fri 22-Jul-11 13:04:05

Thanks starry I'm beginning to have dreadful forebodings about this place. We had to move quickly as our current landlord wants this house for his sister. He has been the landlord from hell and I really didn't want another. (Landlord from hell inasmuch as he's sooooooooo pleasant and soooooooo charming and of course he'll send someone to look at the leaking shower/leak in the pantry whenever it rains/the 3 cm gap down the side of the front door where the wind whistles in/the faulty boiler, and he does send someone, who complains that the shower was a bodged job in the first place/the boiler wants condemning etc, etc , bodges it up again and leaves.)

Where are all the nice landlords? I'm a good tenant! I'm OCD about cleaning and I look after houses like they're my own home, which of course they are! sad

Gonzo33 Fri 22-Jul-11 13:06:27

As a LL I say definately put it in writing. Better yet get the contractor who saw it to put it in writing. That way you are "not to blame"

LemonDifficult Fri 22-Jul-11 15:00:00

Frantic, Just be warned, if there is damp and you know about it and you move in, it might be argued that you knew about it and therefore you wouldn't get any rent reduction as you might if it was discovered while you were living there. I'm not a property lawyer btw, so that might be worth checking.

frantic51 Fri 22-Jul-11 17:45:51

Thanks Lemon. The situation that I am in is that I have signed the lease agreement and I have paid the deposit but don't pay the first month's rent until 1st August, the date we will be moving in. I am under huge pressure to move that date because I really need my children here to help (they are grown-up) and I have RA and therefore limited mobility, but my ex has arranged a holiday for them all starting 6th August which is immoveable apparently and so am feeling a bit "hemmed in". Do you think I should post this in legal?

LemonDifficult Fri 22-Jul-11 19:16:39

The other thing is, and your landlord may be thinking this, is this was 'advice' about your damp from someone in the building trade with a vested interest in getting more work. So go carefully before you actually know for certain (with damp meter) there is damp there.

frantic51 Fri 22-Jul-11 21:59:32

Very true. On the other hand, this guy did say that he didn't specialise in damp proofing so it wouldn't be something he would want to tackle himself, better to get an expert company in. I even asked if he could recommend someone but he said it was against his company's policy to recommend so I don't think he did have a vested interest really.

frantic51 Fri 22-Jul-11 22:01:34

Gonzo I thought I had posted this earlier, at the same time as I responded to Lemon

Is email good enough or should I send him a RL letter?

LemonDifficult Fri 22-Jul-11 22:11:46

Frantic, it is in his interest - you need to plaster after damp proofing

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