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Aibu to report my landlord to the council?

39 replies

sadchristmas1 · 28/12/2019 17:05

Just wondering if anyone has any info on this, feel free to move to the correct thread if this is the wrong one!
I live in a rented property (London borough) with my partner and young child. For the last 6 weeks or so my bathroom has been flooding every day(sometimes twice). I think it’s coming from the toilet but obviously I don’t know anything about plumbing. It’s not a small amount of water either, it takes about 3 or 4 large towels so soak up.
I reported this over to the phone to our estate agents who are managing the property as soon as it started happening (6 weeks ago). They assured me they would contact a plumber. So I waited for them to give me a date when the plumber would come. I explained exactly how much water there was and that it was happening so often. They then did their Interim inspection and in the end of her follow up email she said that she had looked under the bath and could see wet so they had now contacted a plumber (this was about 3 or 4 weeks after I originally reported it and I was under the impression that they had already called a plumber as the other colleague had said I was now on his list). Fast forward to last week I get an email with their Christmas opening hours and a “p.s I have passed your number on to our plumber now so look out for a phone call”. I obviously haven’t received a phone call.
Is this even reportable to the council or will they not want to know as it’s a private landlord/estate agent?
I want to write them an email and say I want an exact date when the plumber is coming as it’s unsafe for myself and my child, I’m pregnant, the bathroom is off of my kitchen and it makes the floor extremely slippery (me and my toddler have both fallen over on it). But I want to know exactly what the legal requirements are and if I can actually report it and to who?
Thank you so much for anyone who is more clued up than I am!

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?

41 votes. Final results.

You are being unreasonable
You are NOT being unreasonable
sadchristmas1 · 28/12/2019 17:07

Also not sure if it makes a difference but the drains in the bathroom also smell absolutely fowl whenever I’m draining the bath, the smell comes up through the sink.
I am up to date on my rent and always pay it although I’m sure they still have to carry out repairs if you aren’t. A few people have advised to withhold rent until they fix it but I know this isn’t a sensible option!

OP posts:
nicknamehelp · 28/12/2019 17:13

I would put this in writing to the agent asking for a date plumber will visit within the next X number of days taking account of their Xmas opening 1st before getting anyone else involved.

HoHoHoik · 28/12/2019 17:16

You can contact Environmental Health at your local council, part of their remit is making sure that rented homes are fit for habitation. They can inspect the property and then contact the landlord with details of what work must be done and a date for when it has to be completed.

Unusualusernames · 28/12/2019 17:17

Yes you should definitely report it to the council and you will have some protection against retaliatory eviction.

ShellieEllie · 28/12/2019 17:18

Withold your rent until it's sorted - I'm certain it will get done pretty quickly then.

ChocolateCoins19 · 28/12/2019 17:18

Also check it's not a blockage from your sinks etc causing it to backflow somewhere.
But I would. Go to the agent. Sit in there and say you're not moving until. Sorted and want a reduction in rent for the extra towel Washing and potentially higher water bill

Claphands · 28/12/2019 17:20

The landlord may not even know about it-the issue is the letting agent who aren’t doing their jobs properly, do you have the LL contact details?

HoHoHoik · 28/12/2019 17:21

Do not withhold your rent. This will only cause you problems and almost certainly result in eviction.

Claphands · 28/12/2019 17:22

To add, you could write or email the Letting agent that unless a plumber comes by tomorrow you’ll get a plumber in yourself and deduct it from the rent-if the LL doesn’t know, they’ll probably be glad you’re doing that as it’ll be damaging the property quite badly!

sadchristmas1 · 28/12/2019 17:23

@ChocolateCoins19 that’s a very good point about the water bill, I haven’t actually checked mine so I will have a look. It’s an awful lot of water so if it’s really high I’ll inform them of that.

OP posts:
ImJustTiredOk · 28/12/2019 17:26

For gods sake please can posters stop advising people to withhold their rent on threads like this. It’s a ridiculous suggestion, and will likely result in the OP being evicted.

LakieLady · 28/12/2019 17:29

Is the bathroom on the first floor? If so, it's likely to be causing water damage to the property below, which may prove costly to repair. If you're in a g/f flat, it could be seeping into the void under the floor, which could be causing the rank smell.

If you point this out to the agent, it may galvanise them into getting the plumber round pdq.

Environmental health is an option, but ime they're so under-resourced, you'll wait weeks for them to come and take a look. It may well be different where you live though.

sadchristmas1 · 28/12/2019 17:32

It’s a house and the bathroom is on the ground floor so at least there isn’t a property underneath that’s getting damaged. When it happens the whole of the underneath the bath is a giant puddle but it appears to come to the toilet so I don’t know, maybe it’s both at the same time? But I agree that’s probably what’s causing the smell. It’s so embarrassing when I have guests (for example I hosted a Boxing Day dinner and it happened when one of my friends went for a wee).

OP posts:
slipperywhensparticus · 28/12/2019 17:33


Csn you throw some unblockers down the sink and the bath?

Lifeisabeach09 · 28/12/2019 17:34

OP, chase up with agent via email and phone. Always use email to contact then (follow up via phone) so you have it documented. Take pictures of the water and sodden towels every time it happens and send via email. Also report the smell.
Do not withhold the rent.

sadchristmas1 · 28/12/2019 17:35

@slipperywhensparticus I don’t think there’s a blockage, water drains down fine it’s just random flooding

OP posts:
sadchristmas1 · 28/12/2019 17:36

No I would not withhold rent as that puts me in danger and then they can serve notice. And also the fact that they are required to fix things whether you have paid the rent or not

OP posts:
Winter2020 · 28/12/2019 17:42

Hi OP,
I think it's likely that blocked drains are causing your toilet to back up and leak. That's why it only happens sometimes (when the drain is full and then it slowly seeps away). You can ask the council for help but I think firstly you need to hound your agent. I think the agent may have asked the plumber to call you but these tradespeople are busy and you are not their priority. Phone the agent morning, noon and night telling them it is urgent (that your toilet is leaking - how would they like it in their home?) asking for updates. Ask for the plumbers number. If you can't get hold of them or can't get them to agree to come quickly tell the agent you need an alternative plumber. Point out that the property is being damaged and the landlord will end up with extra costs to rectify water damage (which you are doing what you can to minimise). Then if you get nowhere ask the council to help.

VeniVidiVoxi · 28/12/2019 17:43

Does it happen when you flush the toilet? Assuming the water doesn't over top the cistern or the bowl? Can you explain what's happening and someone here might be able to give you some suggestions until the plumber gets there....

KareyHunt · 28/12/2019 17:45

I think it’s coming from the toilet but obviously I don’t know anything about plumbing.

And 95% of the posters here don't know anything about landlord-and-tenant law! And you'll be hard pushed to identify the 5% who do. You might as well just ask us for plumbing advice and then at least the incompetent information you receive will be directly about the problem that needs solving Grin

DDiva · 28/12/2019 17:45

I'm not sure reporting would actually help get it resolved quickly. I would email the agent with all the info again state the time you have been waiting and ask for a date the plumber will be attending by return.

VeniVidiVoxi · 28/12/2019 17:47

Is there a manhole cover near the house? If you can lift that you'll see straight away if there's a blockage. The chamber should be clear, if it's not then it's blocked and will need rodding at least to shift the blockage and more repairs if it's collapsed. Make sure guests aren't chucking any wipes or other non degradable rubbish down the loo.

sadchristmas1 · 28/12/2019 17:49

@VeniVidiVoxi yes it happens every day and sometimes twice a day at random times - I’ll go in the bathroom and the water will just be there. I have a feeling it may be happening after I flush the toilet (within ten mins ish?). I think it’s coming from the base of the toilet or maybe the pipes behind but also the water seems to be flooding under the bath (it will be a couple of inches deep under there and less on the floor). Also not sure if it’s related but when I drain the bath sometimes it does take ages and there’ll be a puddle left that won’t go down and when it’s draining water bubbles up from the sink which produces a disgusting sewer smell.

OP posts:
AngelsSins · 28/12/2019 17:57

Ok I have some advice from my ARLA qualified partner for you. It’s a little pointless to complain to the council, they only tend to be really interested/helpful in extremely serious situations, and you could put yourself in a difficult situation with the letting agents. It’s not right, but it’s what often happens.

Instead a better approach is to contact the estate agents out lining the problem in a factual, calm way. Express your concerns regarding the potential danger of this situation in regards to your pregnancy and toddler. You should be sure to point out that they have an agreement with the landlord to look after their property and leaving it 6 weeks will have caused increased damage which will possibly cost more money to repair. There’s a very high chance the landlord has no idea what’s happening, and unfortunately, the agents care more about them than you. But it’s an angle you can work.

Hound them, demand they get someone out early next week.

sadchristmas1 · 28/12/2019 20:06

@AngelsSins thank you for the advice!
I’m writing an email out to them now to send Monday morning so it’s at the top of their inbox when they go into their office. It really is ridiculous, there’s other things that I’ve asked them to do (tons of rubbish the previous tenant left, ended up doing 6 runs to the tip myself after about 6 weeks of emailing every day) and they never bother.
Here’s a rough outline of what I’m going to say
Estate agent,
Referring to previous emails and phone calls about the bathroom leak, could you please update me on when a plumber is coming. I would like an exact appointment time as it has now been 6 weeks since I first reported it and no one has contacted me or visited. I’m worried that the constant leakage of large amounts of water will eventually damage the landlords bathroom and will cost more to fix in the long run and also the problems it is causing me day to day such as making the floor slippery and as a result causing myself and my child to slip. It really is a LOT of water flooding out.
On (date) you confirmed via email that you had put me on your plumbers list to visit. On (date three weeks later) you also stated via email that you had “now contacted” a plumber and on (date two weeks after that) you also emailed to say that you had just passed my number to a plumber which makes me question whether you actually contacted one when you said you had or if there is a miscommunication between yourself and your colleagues including the plumber.
Please reply with an exact date and time when a plumber will be visiting the property.
If this doesn’t happen I will be contacting the council environmental health who will then carry out their own inspection.
If it is easier for you I could call a plumber myself and pay a reduced rent amount for next month.
Thank you
Any good?

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