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Repairs and responsibility

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Author Topic: Repairs and responsibility  (Read 148 times)
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« on: June 01, 2020, 04:14:00 PM »

I moved into an extended property a number of years ago that has had a number of issues the most recent being rat infestation and decking that is completely collapsing and feet falling through when walked on. The rat problem was noticed on returning from a holiday to a flooded kitchen where the washing machine pipe had been chewed through... I was told this was my responsibilty to fix which I did although I questioned it l paid an emergency plumber as I had cases of washing. They arranged pest control as the rats were chewing right beneath the floor and gained access to the kitchen through bad plaster work behind units. They could be heard chewing in walls and ceilings. Electrics at one point were effected but landlord argues this was irrelevant to rats chewing in those walls. First question from pest control was the location of the manhole, which 6 months later still hasn't been located which leads me to believe it has been built over and instead the landlord claimed it was due to bricks missing from beneath the extensions exterior walls... ive looked myself for this but havent found it nor has the pest man. When the heating system failed due to bodged piping he refused to lift those floors to repipe and instead fitted radiators to different walls and runs rubber pipes the length of walls instead. Since moving in we have always suffered a rotten sewer smell that area of the house which was thought to be a half finished downstairs bathroom but it seems to flare up a good 15ft away from that room where it would have been the original garden before the extension.
Fast forward a few months the outside decking outside the bad bathroom is completely sinking and and causing the wood to raise, twist and collapse when walked on. I have a small son who uses the garden all seasons and the landlords solution is to blame neighbours for rats, ignore the smell complaints and fail to show me or pest control the 4 missing bricks/manhole and instead take up the bad decking and the decking closest to the smell (which is totally unaffected) and concrete it all. My only issue is these areas are raised over 1ft from the ground and given the repairs to rest of the house will not be child safe. I'm a single mother and they only ever come round the house in numbers and deny any of these things are linked. If a professional calls I'm told to stay out of the way so I can't ask questions. And previous repairs have been left as soon as essential work has finished, walls  and floors left with holes, carpets are never relayed and are a constant hazard especially on the step outside my childs room where it's a fall down the entire staircase. Floors and seals are damaged from being lifed. Doors are badly fitted and scrape the floor until handles are loose or completely fall off and my child has been trapped in rooms several times. External doors fall when opened so they cant be closed unless kicked back into the frame. The shower doors have fell off as they never fully closed and have now give in. There's sockets hanging out of walls at ground level outside my childs room and now the decking is to be replaced with concrete for what I believe is to hide further any investigation to the business relating to under the house. Everything is blamed on my son being too rough or their diagnosis of my 'ocd' but the repairs that happen are down to them not functioning from the day they were built. I'm just wondering if I have a right to object to the concrete for safety of my son he trips alot as it is. I try my best to keep the home nice but as I'm a single mother there's only so much I can maintain and I wouldn't class myself as completely useless as I do manage more than they realise quite well.
So after a long post (sorry) are these things my fault/responsibility to fix and can I object to the concrete given my worries? It's asthough it isn't taken into consideration I have children despite moving in with them. They arent rough kids and I don't have OCD
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« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2020, 04:53:26 PM »

Why aren't you moving?

You can escalate the situation and involve the Council... it sounds like you aren't making much progress with your Landlord, and probably won't... so it might need someone more objective (and powerful) to make suggestions.

I think you can probably engage the Council on your own, and find out what the process entails... and possibly stop it at any time if you feel the eventual outcome (an eviction you don't want, or can't handle) is too much.
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« Reply #2 on: June 02, 2020, 01:53:12 AM »

I have a son with extra needs who is here for his school, I have kept an open mind for moving and have checked the past year for other properties but theres been very little and less given all his requirements. It does feel like the final outcome will be another property, which is a shame given we pay above average and always on time.
The decking does need repairs/replaced, I would be happy for that to be done. I just dont feel the concrete is suitable for a toddler but when things are broken they arent replaced with consideration for the little one. I just dont know if I have any rights to object to concrete. I'm quite sure it's to hide the other problems further but my main concern is my little one to have safe space to play outside, he has a brand  new climbing frame and slide that just fits and I would worry having 1ft of concrete paving surrounding it, this concern is of absolutely no interest to the landlord.
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« Reply #3 on: June 02, 2020, 10:09:50 AM »

There's no requirement for the Landlord to have these kinds of considerations. Think on it like that - they're letting out a property and at this moment in time - they're letting it to you... but in the future it could be to someone else, who doesn't object to the concrete (maybe loves concrete, a concrete connoisseur, a fan!). That said, any reasonable person would try to balance-out costs vs. the requirements or desires of their customer... that being the key word. If you feel that you'll get short-shrift and you would prefer to hang-tight rather than move at this current time then maybe it is time to be more pragmatic.

By this I mean you do what you shouldn't really have to - for the best outcome - you suggest something other than concrete (something you're happy with) and then make it easier for the Landlord to choose that option - for example ús. Yes, it might stick in the throat... but, at the end of the day, it's all about having an easy life. None of us has the time for fractious relationships and we should do what we can to ease them, and possibly even rebuild a relationship. I hear everything you've said about your Landlord and it sounds like you're onto a loser... but I'm conscious we've only heard your side of the story too. No, you shouldn't have to put towards repairs. Your alternatives are to protest / object and see if you're listened to - maybe, maybe not... or get the authorities involved somehow... or meekly accept... or try to work with your Landlord for the benefit of all concerned. It's possible to recover relationships once they've turned sour... but unlikely. It seems you have an adversarial relationship with your Landlord... probably hard to get beyond that.

I would move on, personally. Easier said than done, but I would.
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« Reply #4 on: June 02, 2020, 12:09:20 PM »

I would move,overall it sounds like a real dump.If you really want to stay the local council could inspect and insist on some work being done,but that is making a declaration of war.Even if he complies,the landlord will probably evict you at the first opportunity. 
I am not sure about the concrete issue,your child's safety is your responsibility and I doubt if a landlord is expected to provide a safe play area. Out of interest,did he give you all the documents and protect your deposit when you moved in?
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« Reply #5 on: June 16, 2020, 05:50:26 PM »

I'm sorry, but if you are living in a rat infested sewer, with holes and rotten walls/floor, what in the hell are you still doing there?

If it is bad as you are suggesting, and i have no reason to think it is not, then i would be out of there straight away. The landlord will quickly realise no-one will want to move in to this mess. Might even agree to get it resolved once you tell him you;re leaving.

Until that point, the landlords opinion might be that it isn't that bad or else why WOULD you stay there?
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