SMF - Just Installed!


Started by BIBBLEKIT, April 30, 2024, 12:30:57 PM

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I actually joined this forum as a landlord, but this query is on behalf of my son who has recently moved into a flat in Birmingham.  Once moved in he discovered the freezer is so iced up he cant open it, the kitchen tap is leaking, the cupboard is full of previous tenants broken stuff (some too large for the bin). He's had someone round to sort out a wiring issue & is expecting a visit re leaking shower, but the other issues the agents dont want to deal with.  As a landlord I would never allow a new tenant to move in with these things not sorted first. However I'm not sure if he has any rights to demand things are fixed asap, as they should have been before he moved in. Any advice please?


I agree with you that these things should have been sorted before a new tenant moved in.

The freezer issue is pretty simple to fix. The leaking tap is probably a washer and I'd probably nag the agent until they fix it (particularly if there's a plumber coming to look at the shower). Or bung the plumber a "drink" to fix the tap. And just get rid of the stuff in the cupboards.

The only one of those I'd say the landlord has to fix is the tap, the others are just poor service.

The problem is that it doesn't really matter what the tenant's rights are, if the agent just refuses to do what they should, what can you actually do as a tenant?


But its my sons first rental, he lives in city centre with no car to take away scrap. Yes I will go & defrost his freezer if I can open it - but I shouldnt have to!  :(  Btw he cant use his oven either as he's waiting for a replacement door seal & he's struggling to work (techy from home) as the superfast internet speeds promised in his area were fictional - there is no fibre anywhere in Birmingham city center


Quote from: BIBBLEKIT on April 30, 2024, 05:44:27 PMas the superfast internet speeds promised in his area were fictional

What exactly was promised and by whom?

And promised where? In the advert for the flat?


Quote from: BIBBLEKIT on April 30, 2024, 12:30:57 PMOnce moved in he discovered:
the freezer is so iced up he cant open it
the kitchen tap is leaking
the cupboard is full of previous tenants broken stuff
He's had someone round to sort out a wiring issue
& is expecting a visit re leaking shower

Was he supplied with and Inventory and Check-In Condition Report?

If so:

Did he sign it?


Did he notify the faults / discrepancies with the report in writing?


Did he agree it by default by not notifying the faults in the stated time?

Asking these questions so that he is prepared for when he eventually leaves the property and the agent/landlord tries to land him with a claim against his deposit.


ah yes, he took photos & videos of all issues on the day he moved in & reported them officially. I'm not sure about the inventory.
The ultrafast broadband speeds were on the agent's advert for the flat.(he wouldnt have rented the flat otherwise) Average for the postcode, but I have checked other addresses, including offices in that postcode & ultrafast is not available yet, so total lie.


Quote from: BIBBLEKIT on April 30, 2024, 09:31:16 PMThe ultrafast broadband speeds were on the agent's advert for the flat.

You said superfast broadband speed in an earlier post. There's a huge difference between superfast and ultrafast, so take care to get the facts and terminology straight before any complaints are made to the agent.


The way to resolve this is to make it cost the Landlord more money to not do anything than to resolve these issues.  It also determines if the issue is the Landlord or the Agent that is the problem.

In the first place I would inform the Landlord that the property does not match the description, then say that he has given the Landlord adequate time to mitigate his loss and if he fails to resolve all outstanding matters within 14 days your son will get a 3rd party to fix things and deduct any costs from the rent or reserve his right to seek recovery in the County Court.

I would also add that as there has been a serious loss of amenity he is going to be making a deduction from the Rent to rectify the lack of promised broadband until the issue is rectified. 

However, on this front make sure that the promise of broadband was explicitly in the ad and not on the listing website.  Rightmove and Zoopla populate their listings with such data and it might be based on a BT roll out plan that has failed.  He can use sites like SamKnows to determine what is actually available and maybe some plans.

These flats show ultrafast broadband but it is Rightmove not the Landlord

this one shows superfast

There is a disclaimer on the listing pages.

If there is no ultrafast broadband and it was definitely promised he might look at alternate providers

Then deduct the cost of router and the ongoing cost from the rent.

For the Freezer, get an engineer to have a look at it, determine if there is a faulty thermostat or sensor, you can then determine if it is cheaper to pay the call out and pay for a new fridge or pay the call out and get it fixed. He can make a deduction for the additional cost of only being able to have fresh food if he can show the out of pocket expenses.

The cooker is more serious as it may well be in a dangerous condition, so same again, get a 3rd party to carry out an inspection, if it is a Gas Cooker then it is illegal for anyone other than a Gas Safe certified engineer to connect and disconnect it.  This includes the Landlord or Agent's staff or contractors, they need to be Gas Safe registered, so ask to see their gas safe badge and if they can't produce it, make them wait at the door while you look them up on the gas safe website.

If the property has Gas then he should have been provided with an up to date Gas Safe certificate and it should have included Gas Appliances, particularly that the flame on the hob cuts off when the lid is closed.  If that safety check was not done then your son can ask for it and if it is not forthcoming then again arrange for a professional to carry out a Gas Safety inspection and pass on the cost to the Landlord. 

Regarding the cupboard, he needs to be careful, the contents remain the property of the previous Tenant and the Landlord needs to service a Tort notice and maybe put them in storage at the former Tenant's cost. 

Again the same things apply, first the loss of amenity and second the cost to rectify with a third party.

A strongly worded letter that warns the Landlord that your son is his customer not his employee, that he is not there to carry out works and if the Landlord will not rectify the issues then your son will pay 3rd parties to rectify.  For the amenity he can get the squared size of the flat on the GOV energy performance website, then then deduct the amount of space plus the cost to obtain that space.  He might consider renting storage and having a 3rd party moving company to pack and move the items to that storage for safe keeping. 

Putting this all in writing and printing copies to PDF so that they may be used in the event of a DPS or legal dispute is sensible.

The wiring issue sounds concerning and considering the kitchen tap, the shower, the oven and other issues, I would report these issues to the Council Environmental Health, this will delay any attempt at revenge eviction.

He should make an inventory now, this should include a video and photos, especially of any damage, burns, spills and anything the Landlord might like to blame him for.  Do it during the day with lots of bright light, try to get a feel for the decor and any holes left by previous tenant.  One can always upload such videos to sites like YouTube but have them as hidden.  They are date stamped as are the pictures but it is further evidence.  Also look up historic listings for the property online. Right Move and Zoopla listings will have photos that can show damage was there previously and might show an Agents website, if it does not and the ad is still there then you can save it there now.

When you get a sloppy Landlord or a dodgy Agent then it is very likely they failed to protect the deposit, you can check this online, but your son should also have been served with the Prescribed Information, both within 30 days of taking the deposit.  Now if you find it has not been protected, DO NOTHING, just wait it out, it is never a good idea to bring claim during a Tenancy, unless the failure is close to 6 years old.

It is always good to know who you are dealing with and where they live. The owner of the property should be listed in the Tenancy Agreement along with their address, albeit that the latter may be c/o the Agent address.  Failing which a £3 Land Registry search might show it.

It is important in all comms to remind the Landlord that "time is of the essence", to give firm dates for rectification and to stick to them.