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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?


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Malbecfan · 28/12/2019 20:32

OP, do you have contact details for your landlord? You really should have them, even if they are c/o the Estate Agent. Copy them into every email to the EA and follow it up in writing (snail mail, envelope, stamp) with a free proof of posting from the post office.

Take photos of the leak and the towels after they have mopped it up.

Your email is too long and wordy. You need to stay something like:
Date 1 - leak reported
Date 2 - further email
Date 3 - phone call to chase up
Remind them that the leak is potentially damaging the house and it is in everybody's interest to get it fixed. Then give them 48 hours to get a plumber to look at it or you will do it yourself and deduct the cost from the rent. Shelter has guidelines on its website for how to do this correctly.

anjatp · 29/12/2019 08:12

Hi, you need to contact 'Environmental health team in your council for further advice.Go on your council website and check - you might be able to email them. Hope it helps.

Treacletoots · 29/12/2019 08:20

I was originally going to say that tradespeople are notorious for being a nightmare - in a landlord and the last time we had an issue, I called 5 different electricians within 30 mins of my tenant reporting the issue to me, and it still took them a week for one of them to bloody call them to arrange a visit, despite it being urgent.

However... It sounds to me as if you have. Completely useless agent. The landlord will be paying them decent money to look after issues like this, and likely their cut too on top of the plumbers fee.

They also do not want water damage in their property, and more than you and the agent is totally responsible for this. You need to contact your landlord direct and let them know the agent is not looking after you or the property that they are paying them to do.

When you moved in you should have by law received a few things, epc, how to rent guide and the address of your landlords. If the agent didn't give you these they are breaking the law and you need to mention this in your email to them. If the agent gets a sniff you know your rights they will hopefully pull their finger out as not giving you all these things mean they won't be able to evict you with a section 21 if they wanted to (which is great for you, but will likely result in them being sued)

Do not withhold rent. Please. This will only annoy the landlord and likely get you evicted for rent arrears (different to a s21)

WorldEndingFire · 29/12/2019 09:13

Your landlord has a legal duty of care to keep up repairs - this sounds like it falls under statutory negligence. I would speak to Citizen's Advice.

Kees123 · 29/12/2019 10:01

I'm living in a rented property and I have been waiting for my ceiling to be fixed since October and there is a another resident that deals in drugs smokes weed Al the time and it's been coming into my flat since Sept have reported to my landlady but she's not bothered to do anything about it I'm disabled living in my own I've told her it's bn making me poorly but nothing so I've kept bk rent since September and also got damp marks in the bedroom and so feel like naming and shaming her had enough bn to council but no one reply to my email

Neetsxx123 · 29/12/2019 10:25

Hey, sorry to hear your hope has been left in a state of disrepair for such a lengthy period. I work in a letting agency as a Manager and personally i would email the company and visit them personally to make a conplaint, also request to know their conplaints procedure. A water leak in the bathroom is a safety hazard. The agency at the very least attended to this as an emergency, as this will cause further damage to the property and is a safety hazard for your family.
Failing to repair this upon your initial complaint, i would check the complaint procedure and inforn the environment health department.
Hope you get this resolved asap.

NCtoavoidbeggingaccusations · 29/12/2019 10:26

Afraid your description totally fits a semi blocked mains pipe and as VeniVidiVoxi has said someone (not pregnant you please - they're heavy and potential for bad things) needs to lift the manhole cover and watch while you flush the loo and empty some bath water. You should see it come straight through. (If in any doubt add cheap food coloring.)
If the water isn't coming straight through it needs rodding (from the manhole cover end)

Dont put drain unblocker down unless you know there are no plastic pipes involved!

If this gets worse or it warms up I'm afraid the next thing is the actual waste contents of the blocked sewer suddenly come back up through the toilet and bath and flood your home. (It's sudden when it happens, no bigger build up to warn you) What you have now is mainly the water used to flush your waste, not waste itself.

Many London properties have the old five inch mains pipes (with a rat trap in them to stop rats coming up from the sewer) and are insufficient for properties now divided into flats.

Be warned if the manhole is down the side of the house or equally close, check for broken bricks and render, air vents etc as IME they can bail out sewer contents onto the ground then jet the backed up waste straight into the void under your flat, so make sure any vents etc are covered, have the other half watch, and you may need many buckets of water, bleach and a stiff broom to clean up afterwards.

I'll love to be wrong but suffer serious sewage floods in my home on a regular basis thanks to my neighbours, (who deny being the wet wipes, tampax, and condom culprits allowing landlords to treat it as a 'neigbour dispute' not a plumbing matter.) and it's a miserable experience and proper cleaning if it gets to floorboards and skirting goes on for ever.

Immediately I'd advise removing anything you can from floor level including off bedroom floor if next to bathroom, don't wait for EH to deal with this, get the manhole cover lifted fast. If your financially solvent get a drain co out now and fight over who pays later, the misery it will save you is worth it if you can.

Neetsxx123 · 29/12/2019 10:28

Apologies for my type errors:
Hey, sorry to hear your home has been left in a state of disrepair for such a lengthy period. I work in a letting agency as a Manager and personally i would email the company and visit them personally to make a complaint, also request to know their complaints procedure. A water leak in the bathroom is a safety hazard. The agency at the very least should of attended to this as an emergency, as this will cause further damage to the property and is a safety hazard for your family.
Failing to repair this, upon your initial complaint, i would check the complaint procedure and thereafter inform the environment health department.
Hope this helps and you get this resolved asap.

Kazspidsnowman · 29/12/2019 10:28

My tenant had a similar problem when I was a private landlord, turned out the bath trap had come away, it filters bits & bobs to prevent blockages, keep the water flowing away and stop bad smells seeping up; it could be this seeing as most of the water is under the bath. You will need a plumber to fix this, it had wrecked and warped the wooden skirting boards in the bathroom as my tenant hadn't noticed anything happening except a smell and didn't tell me until then (water had been seeping under the lino so not as noticeable) Hope you get someone dealing with this soon!

Beanzy78 · 29/12/2019 10:29

Call Thames Water and ask them to carry out CCTV, as it does sound like you have a dog blockage. It's a free service and they should be able to come within 24/48 hours.

NCtoavoidbeggingaccusations · 29/12/2019 10:30

PS. there's always the small claims court to recover money as withholding rent rarely ends well.

accidentallandlord · 29/12/2019 10:38

As a landlord I would be horrified by this.

I would recommend putting in writing to the managing agent exactly what has happened. Give a date a week from now for it to be fixed.

If not fixed, hire your own plumber and get a receipt. Submit receipt to the managing agent and if not reimbursed within 3 days, withhold the Plumber's payment from your rent. Do this in writing too, with a copy of the receipt.

k1233 · 29/12/2019 11:29

Be brief and factual in your email. I'd also suggest reviewing your agreement to see what options you have for repairs.

"Real estate agent

I reported a water issue in the bathroom 6 weeks ago.

You have confirmed via email on date 1, date 2 and date 3, that a plumber had been arranged (emails attached). The plumber is yet to contact me.

I am concerned with the delay in investigating the issue. The longer the water problem persists, the more likely there will be damage to the bathroom, despite my efforts to remove water when it is pooling. The wet floor is also a slip danger, even more so due to my pregnancy.

Can you please advise ASAP when a plumber will be attending the property to investigate this issue."

Then call daily until you get a response.

sadchristmas1 · 30/12/2019 15:24

Hello all
I emailed them at 8 this morning, plumber was here at 1 Grin
He was bloody useless though and claims there isn’t a leak at all. He vacuumed out the plug hole of the bath as it was taking a while to drain and causing the sink to bubble but then said he can’t do the manhole outside and I would have to call the estate agent again. So all in all my problem is not fixed

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