SMF - Just Installed!

Awful landlord - need help with claims please!

Started by gamer379, August 13, 2023, 10:47:54 PM

Previous topic - Next topic


Hi all  (long post coming up!)

We are currently in the process of vacating our property as gave notice to leave.
We have tried to rent peacefully but our landlord has made our life a living hell, to say the least. So we quietly gave notice and are now hoping to get some advice to get some justice.
When we rented the property, we were told by the agent the landlord rents on his father's behalf and wants to use the rent to pay for the expenses for his father's care and doesn't want to do much to the house. We understood this as a way to say they didn't want to update the house as its a really old property and has decor from the 80's or older, no white goods, bathrooms carpeted, etc. Lovely still due to its charm and character and massive garden (which turned out to be nightmare for us as they had let everything grow so big and then expected us to cut it down and then maintain it).

After moving in, we asked for the huge thorny hedges to be cut back in the garden (just after we had moved in actually as it wasn't our fault they were left to overgrow and were now falling over into the garden and were a safety hazard), a hedge at the front was so overgrown it was going over the road speed limit sign and the neighbors complained - again, this is a few days after we had moved in so landlord reluctantly got this done.

We then started getting regular emails to cut the bushes at the front and back of the house, keep it weed free, not let the bushes grow beyond a certain height,etc. The landlord has been visiting our property on the outside nearly on a daily basis and peeps in through the front windows - the neighbour has also seen this funny business. One of the bushes they had to get cut grows extremely fast (this is the one that was covering the road speed limit sign infront of a school and so is a massive safety hazard , and neighbors raised this understandably too) - so we cut this bush from its previous 15 foot height to a more manageable 3 foot height - as trimming everytime needed specialist equipment . It's on the main road so again, was hazardous to cut too- A few days of ignorance and it would cover the road sign again - so we thought we would chop it down to a manageable height of 3 foot and cut it down - so even if we left it for a few weeks, it wouldn't be a safety hazard - next thing we know, landlord complains that it was their family's beloved bush and how dare we cut it down - now we were very confused as they had been emailing us before this asking us to keep the bush trimmed or manageable and when we did, they said it was too much? If they had a specific height in mind, why not say so? And if they wanted it to be 15 feet tall at all times whilst on a main road nearly covering a road safety sign infront of a school, shouldn't that be their call to keep it maintained then?! Anyway, we apologised when we initially thought they'd be thanking us for trimming the monstrosity for them avoiding hundred of pounds worth of tree surgeons' bills - but alas!

There were no exhaust fans throughout the house (!!!) - something we didn't clock when we viewed the house in the pandemic and it was one of our only options for a rental. The radiators are so ancient some of them have no paint left on them and bleed out black fluid (we were asked to bleed these ourselves instead of having them serviced). The oven was so old it couldn't be replaced - the oven company sent a letter saying it had been recalled a while ago due to safety concerns but it wasn't replaced - we were told to avoid using the grill only as that was a safety problem.

Damp patches came up in multiple rooms, on the walls and on the ceilings - it turned out there was a roof leak as well as rising damp - they got the cheapest treatment ie to have holes in the walls outside and have a chemical injected to stop the rising damp. This hasn't worked and a lot of our furniture suffered from mould. We  have been regularly spraying with mould killer, had to put up a dehumidifier through the house nearly constantly and had to use both electric and gas heating (as their radiators barely worked).

The wall paint has been peeling off from many rooms, a carpet has come off and looks nearly completely eaten up by the damp in an understairs cupboard - all this was left for redecoration at some stage but initially was reported over a year ago. When we moved in 3 years ago, we reported mould and rotten kitchen counter top - to this day this has been left and now the wooden countertop has rotten wood which has gone soft. I was told by the agent the landlord wont replace it as it holds sentimental value to him due to being in the family for so long (!!!!!) - but the agent was very happy to hear I had sanded it, treated it with antirot, applied sealant over it,etc.

When I chased the outcome of the inspections 6 months ago for the ceiling leak and rising damp issue, I was told they had expected us to 'keep the windows open and keep the heating on' - in January !! when it was -10!!!!!!! I did lose my temper over this over which the agent apologised and finally got extractor fans through the landlord . We were then told the landlord is upset as they have had to spend so much money on the property and wants the rent to increase!!! (I think this was because we opted to go for a monthly renewal contract as opposed to our usual yearly contract.
The cherry on the top is that the bath upstairs leaked through the ceiling when it was  drained, and leaked into the kitchen downstairs!! The agents showed some alarm initially but then fobbed us off when we asked what was to be done - I presume this is because one of the contractors had said the flooring needed to be ripped up and it would need sorting properly. For our own sanity and safety, we didn't use the bath and essentially, didn't really use this one room/bathroom for well over a year.

So we have suffered with damp, mould, leaking ceilings, rising cost of living but also, extortionate amounts of money spent maintaining this nightmare property which was painted in such charm by the agents. We had 5 minutes to make a decision as had to move immediately for work but gosh have we suffered. The mental torture of all of this as well as the landlord constantly checking in on us has given us severe anxiety. We have young children and we have had health issues ourselves due to which couldn't move immediately but after a few years, finally can.
I'm sure they will try to keep the deposit back which of course I will fight. But this is bigger than that the deposit. I am told by various people living nearby that this landlord was blacklisted by another agency (something I don't think the current agent knows).
I have a looked a little bit into claiming my rent back as well costs incurred for the upkeep of the house when they refused basic repairs - can anyone guide me please? I am so overwhelmed and frankly, utterly exhausted. I live in fear of being watched by the landlord at all times.

Many thanks for your input and sorry for the long rant!


You weren't - in any reality - strong-armed into taking the property. The things you didn't clock, or clarify, are down to you - that's the whole point of you doing a Viewing. What you now need to distinguish between is justice and revenge.

It feels more like you're out for some revenge. And - to be frank - that's OK as long as you don't try to paint it as something else to us old-lags here. I mean, there's another thread where there's a question about the Deposit being protected... if it isn't then that's a big win right there. I would think that would satisfy anyone's desire for justice. Some of the other trials you have gone through are just what happens when you rent a property and they do come under Tenant obligations or the expectation of you acting in a "Tenant-like manner"... for example - the bleeding of radiators. Obviously there are other things you mention and I can easily understand how they grate and frustrate you if you've been living this.

But the point is - you're now leaving. I promise you that you'll not look back on this in 5 years time and still worry about it - there will be no more peering through windows and that itself will be a massive benefit to your quality of life - both in terms of mental health and physical (by the sound of it). You really do have to live your life. Don't extend the challenges consciously. Don't get mired in the muck (or mulch). Elevate yourself - nothing annoys someone more than them thinking you just don't care. Leave the Landlord in their mess, with their crappy house, and aim for as clean a break as you can. Justice is good - revenge less so. Focus on your big ticket item(s) and less on bushes. Let's move on, 'cos it's time to groove on...


This says it all.We can all look back on something and say "God,they saw me coming".Lesson learnt.Pursue the unprotected deposit by all means,but if you are are on  a crusade for any other kind of reparation you really are just wasting your time and lining the lawyer's pocket. 


What do we want?

Separation not reparation!

When do we want it?