Our Rights - Renter/Tenant problems

Pug

Pug

Soldato
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Hi

my partner signed yesterday for a 6 month contract on her new home. Its a cheap, pretty basic flat in the city and was signed through an estate afent who claim they are "Raising the standard of estate agency".

Anyway, flat was advertised as a having a gas fire n the living room, electric heating in the bedroom and electric water heater and cooker. So the fire is the nly gas powered device in the house. Before she signed she said is the fire safe (carbon monoxide emissions etc). This was a sticking point for her as its the only form of heating on the front of the house (no central heating)/ They said it would be checked by a corgi bloke before she sigs over to it. She pays her fee, waits a month then goes in to sign.

The bloke still says the gas is ok, and that everything is fine - tho any probs, speak to them and they'll sort it. She's bombarded with paperwork to sign, one of which is a poorly photocopied gas form.

She pays £900 (£100 of which are admin fees, + months rent and bond). We get to the place after signing, and the fire has been condemned, and disconeected from the gas.

She rings up, asks for it to be rectified - they act surprised and say they'll get back to her - she awaits a return call. She calls again a day later, and speaks to the manager. He says that on the gas form (cruddy photocopy) it says that the fire doesnt work and that they "may" fix it. Key word there being may.

Shes ok with it not working at the mo, despite being advertised with fire, but would expect it fixed - he seems to believe they may after speaking with the landlord.

My take on this (no legal eagle) is that on more than one occasion they assured us it would have a gas fire - i accept we missed the entry on the gas paperwork, but even as we were signing the guy said the gas fire has been checked and is fine -intentionally or not we have been misled.

I would also have thought if its advertised, and a contract agreed, with a gas fire (despite it not working at time of contract) that it MUST be fixed, or replaced.

Do people agree, or am i wrong?

If people agree what is a suitable lengthof time to allow for this?

Is her contract with the agency (i believe it to be - we have no details of the landlord and pay the agency), and not the landlord - therfore any excessive delay in getting in contact with the landlord is the agencies problem and not ours, and the problem should be rectified by them in a timely manner.

Any help, responses or input would be appreciated.

As an aside the manager on the phone was very rude, suggesting to my partner that SHE was in the wrong, and basically, it was tough luck (tho that isnt the reason for this long winded post, which is probably too long for anyone to comprehend or read! lol).

TIA
 
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I would immediately contact the Environmental Health Agency and Local Council and log the issue with them.

Your contract is with the Letting Agency.

You need to put this in writing IMMEDIATELY and send it registered post and keep a copy.

Speak also to the CAB for advice on how to proceed.

Do everything in writing, record every phone call if not literally then write it down as you go and send them a copy of the transcript registered post.

If you ensure that you are covering yourself from the outset they are unlikely to want to mess with you.
 

Pug

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Soldato
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Sorry to post again in such quick succession, but hurrah!!

Went down there at lunch time, and in a mild but firm manner berated the manager for his inadequacies at creating, avoiding and sorting the problem.

Apparently the landlord who was pretty incontactable has now been contacted and a replacement electric fire will be installed in the next week or so!

Hurrah for the little man!
 
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Pug said:
Sorry to post again in such quick succession, but hurrah!!

Went down there at lunch time, and in a mild but firm manner berated the manager for his inadequacies at creating, avoiding and sorting the problem.

Apparently the landlord who was pretty incontactable has now been contacted and a replacement electric fire will be installed in the next week or so!

Hurrah for the little man!

Whilst I am glad you have some sort of alternative heating arrangement isn't an electric fire WAY more costly to run than a gas fire?
 

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Soldato
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VIRII said:
Whilst I am glad you have some sort of alternative heating arrangement isn't an electric fire WAY more costly to run than a gas fire?

well i discussed this with them and apparently the brick work would need repoitning etc...

Yeah probably more money, but tbh this way all of her bills come from one supplier - electricity (no gas now)

Not going to get unreasonable about it - as long as she can heat the front of her house i'm happy - with summer coming on a 6 month tenancy doubt she'll get much use out of it anyway really.
 
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VIRII said:
Whilst I am glad you have some sort of alternative heating arrangement isn't an electric fire WAY more costly to run than a gas fire?


I think some economy jobs are ok. I think we have economy 7 storage heater jobs and they've been ok.
 
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Whether or not you have alternative heating, it IS your landlord's responsibilty to provide you with means of heating the house. Whether he gives you a heater, repairs the fire...I'm 99% sure he HAS to provide you with heating.

I think this is optional, but the landlord should also ensure adequate backup heating is provided. So if you gas central heating and either the boiler or gas service was interupted, then you should be able to use an electric fire as a temporary alternative.

How is your rent paid? If you get part/all your rent paid for you by the council, tell them about what's going on. They can choose to withhold any payments to the landlord, until repairs are made - and there's pretty much sweet FA he can say about it.
 
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