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Undisclosed environmental issue

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Author Topic: Undisclosed environmental issue  (Read 200 times)
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« on: February 04, 2020, 12:09:57 PM »

Hi everyone
I'm posting here as a tenant regarding my landlord whom also happens to be my brother.
Myself and my wife have been renting from him for the past twelve years after moving in with our youngest son from very small terraced house in a very rough area.
Immediately we were aware of a dank,fausty smell but put it down to the property being unoccupied for five months and it being the end of winter so set about spring cleaning but the problem never went,even the onset of summer and replacement of rotted floorboards never resolved it,throughout the whole of this tennency as years progressed,it has been an endless cycle of combatting damp and condensation ,wallpaper would never stay on the walls,moisture would leech through and bring it off along with the render,carpets would rot and double glazed panels would fill with condensation with literal puddles on window sills of a morning.
So,to the core of this post,I have purely by chance just discovered a report sent to my brother from the British coal board from the time this property conveyed for purchase stating that the damp proof course was severely damaged/ compromised due to subsidence and would need to be addressed to prevent further issues but it never was,nor was I ever made aware of it.
It would have been a game changer for us and our growing family but historically whenever challenged ,my brother would always make an excuse or just simply dismiss it from hand.
I would really appreciate any advice or suggestions you guys can offer on this matter as I am so angry unsure what I should do next.
A point to note is our relationship this past three years has deteriorated to the point we are no longer on speaking terms as this damp issue has significantly worsened.
Thanks so much for reading this.
C
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« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2020, 12:55:19 PM »

I would move.

Think about it - remediation of this problem is going to be a challenge, for you. Even getting to the point where remediation is accepted as a course of action.

So I would move.

I am assuming, of course, that you have not failed to disclose anything pertinent, like... you're renting at vastly under a typical market rate etc. - if that's the case, then vote with your feet. You owe your Landlord nothing and you can take your time to find the right place for your family.

Be careful about assuming that the current owner read any reports at the conveyancing stage - many people do not - also do not assume the Conveyancer would have drawn the buyer to this as an important matter - many do not. So... it could possibly have never been read. Certainly it's feasible, and even if someone read it - reports have a way of making things sound more important than they are, and it was at least a decade ago.

So I would move. I would move on, 'cos it's time to groove on...
« Last Edit: February 04, 2020, 12:59:27 PM by Hippogriff »
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« Reply #2 on: February 04, 2020, 02:24:28 PM »

Absolutely move.Your brother maybe thought he was doing you all a favour,and he may have another side to the story. I am wondering if you have stayed for so long because it is very cheap? Whatever,you need to find a new home before the family rift gets worse.
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« Reply #3 on: February 04, 2020, 06:34:44 PM »

Hi guys
Thank you for the responses,I really appreciate you taking the time to respond.
We are indeed moving out,I just spent the last year selling off everything I could to raise a deposit to buy our own home,rent for this one is certainly not cheap,around 100 pcm more than similar properties in the area as it turns out,but it was within shouting distance of my elderly parents,one of which had ongoing health issues so it was okay by us at the time,as our family grew and my parents became more and more infirm we saw less and less of my brother until three years ago my parents passed and he left me to deal with my late father's estate bills and all,he hasn't offered a penny despite being co executor along with myself,I have just been granted probate after holding out for him to communicate amicably but as you can tell it's no longer an option,
I can't help but feel I have been played somehow and for some purpose,there was never anything official/legal about the rental,I paid him a deposit/bond and the tenancy agreement was just a single page which we both signed.
And the DPC is confined as shot and has been for some years from what I gather from the surveyor who just left just to update and given my brother's propensity for detail and formality I'm pretty certain he knew before completing the purchase
Thanks so much again for reading this.
C
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« Reply #4 on: February 04, 2020, 06:36:33 PM »

Sorry if this is overloaded with drama,I don't mean to but can't help think that I'm missing something somewhere
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« Reply #5 on: February 04, 2020, 06:46:33 PM »

I am now confused as to your dilemma if you're just moving out - to get your own place, to boot - anyway... is it a form of revenge you're looking for? Or is there an angle I'm not cottoning-on to?

Trust me, trying to let a lemon property (if as you describe) is punishment enough.
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« Reply #6 on: February 04, 2020, 07:00:25 PM »

Hi Hippogriff
No,this is not a revenge thing,I guess I'm trying to figure out if he's rented illegally,mainly because I know for fact the mortgage is an interest only one and he has little choice but to re-let once we move
Thanks again
C
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« Reply #7 on: February 05, 2020, 10:17:16 AM »

So you're wanting to pre-warn him that, when you leave, there's a bunch of stuff he should be doing in preparation for the next set of Tenants, so he doesn't get caught-out?

None of the things this particular Landlord hasn't done will be related to a DPC, though... there could be plenty of other things the Landlord may not have done when letting to a family member on an informal basis... but I am sure you're not wanting a list of things to use against him, right? I would just move out and tell your brother that to get professional about this, he'll need to do some basic research about being a Landlord, otherwise it could come back to bite him on the bum, in the future.
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« Reply #8 on: February 05, 2020, 08:56:23 PM »

Not so much that he doesn't get caught out Hippogriff,moreso that another young family doesn't just end up taking my place,I don't know the first thing legal obligations of a landlord but I know I've caught him in so many lies now that I'm wondering what else I'm unaware of,he would've at the time had me believe he had entered into this proffesionaly,indicated solicitors were involve and he was taking direction from them,but he wouldn't even provide a receipt for the deposit,the tenancy agreement it's self was drafted myself and he was uneasy about signing even that but I insisted because I already had my doubts after the kak handed way he was going about things,I don't blame him,he had a plan for his future so fair play,I blame myself for being so blind but I'd just left the army and had my own families future in mind and entered into the whole thing based on blind faith.
So are you suggesting there is indeed a whole list of things he's accountable for?
Thanks again for your input and honesty here,
C
« Last Edit: February 06, 2020, 12:19:08 AM by Charliemuppet »
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« Reply #9 on: February 06, 2020, 12:06:59 PM »

The quote from the bible "I am not my brother's keeper" comes to mind.There may be loads of things you could get him on,possibly unprotected deposit.You may feel he would serve him right if you tried to take him to the cleaners.You know that in the long run that will come back to haunt you-really don't do it.I would write to him and say you want him to be aware that another tenant could really screw him over,then it is up to him.Good luck to you and your family,this is a toxic environment in more ways than one,so draw a line under it.
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« Reply #10 on: February 06, 2020, 12:34:58 PM »

The quote from the bible "I am not my brother's keeper" comes to mind.

Given that the bloke who said "Am I my brother's keeper?" had just killed his brother, he may not be the best role model for this particular situation...  :)

You might try a quiet word with your local council's environmental health department, just so's it's on their radar.
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« Reply #11 on: February 06, 2020, 03:09:31 PM »

Which one was the landlord,Cain or Abel? This is yet another example of why one should never let to family.
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« Reply #12 on: February 06, 2020, 11:43:13 PM »

Yup,your right guys,he pretty much changed for the worst within weeks of us moving in,almost like he wanted us to be constantly expressing gratitude,thing is he watched us struggle and spend time and money chasing a damp issue he knew we couldn't solve,we literally added thousands to the value of his property and he offered nothing back Heavykarma,thanks for your well wishes my friend but the relationship is already toxic and in all honesty I can't say he's someone I need in our lives
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« Reply #13 on: February 07, 2020, 03:15:11 PM »

I'm still not completely sure of the rationale behind the questions here... it feels like the OP is out to get someone, and while that may or may not be justified, I cannot build up the reserves to get into the reasons the OP might use to get satisfaction... but what I will say is that a property having a "shot" damp proof course wouldn't make the let illegal... even if the Landlord definitely knew about it I doubt anyone could be castigated formally for not bringing that to the fore at the time the tenancy started... 12 years is a long time... it kinda feels like things have recently come to a head... the OP will be best served by focusing on their own plans for the future - after all, you have sold loads of stuff to get a deposit together - your absolute best plan of action now is to make sure you're own purchase doesn't have any flaws or oversights... concentrate on yourself because that's most important. If it is theoretically feasible that your current Landlord might not be aware of the fundamental issue at this property then it is theoretically feasible you might miss stuff in your purchase too.

Look forwards, not backwards.
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« Reply #14 on: February 07, 2020, 08:25:46 PM »

Hi all,like I've stated previously,this is not a revenge thing,I came here in search of some kind of resolution,either amicable or otherwise,I don't really mind which at this point,I just needed to have some facts and not just my own hunches because when it does in fact come to a head hippogriff,and it will, I need to be able hold my ground because even though I'm pushing fourty this year he still views me as ten year old,
I want done with this property but I owe him,just as I would any of you guys,the decency to do it the right way,even if he hasn't and I could really do with being prepared first because this is a one shot deal and when it's done it stays done because as you rightly say, my family and I need to move on
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« Reply #15 on: February 10, 2020, 10:39:48 AM »

I realise you've stated previously this is not a revenge thing. But what it actually is definitely remains unclear to me. The way I have perceived this is as follows - a property you've been renting for over a decade has some issues and you realise resolving them is either a) not going to happen at all or b) going to cause you major strife and upheaval if they do... so you've decided to bite the bullet and move out - to get your own place. Bravo!

What is all this talk of it "coming to a head"? What facts do you need? What hunches are you operating on, and about what? To end a tenancy you just need to serve the correct notice - or do it via agreement with the Landlord (whether the Landlord is your brother or not is neither here nor there) and then move out.

That's it. That is the right way of doing it... serving notice... you can do that via whatever way is detailed in the AST you've signed (if there isn't an AST here, and I accept there might not be) then serve notice via letter, or email, or SMS - something you can consider being done "in writing"... and ensure you give the correct notice period. If the tenancy has been running for over a decade I'm going to assume that it's a SPT (Statutory Periodic Tenancy) and that rent is paid monthly... that means - by law - you need to provide your Landlord with "at least one month of notice" and the day you end the tenancy would be the day before you're due to pay rent again.

So... an example:

If you paid rent to your Landlord on the 20th of every month, you're in a good position now to serve notice so you can end the tenancy and move out on 19th March 2020.

Today is 10th Feb 2020.
You need to provide notice of "at least one month".
So your notice, if served today, could be for 19th March 2020.
If you serve notice on, say, 22nd Feb 2020 - your tenancy would need to end on 19th Apr 2020.

This would be the right way... by definition, here, the right way is also the decent way. Hope that helps... you're right, it's a one-shot deal... once you serve notice you'd better be sure you can move out on, or before, that date.

Is that what you were looking for here?
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