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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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Hi My dad rents a house from a private landlord. A few years

Resolved Question:

Hi
My dad rents a house from a private landlord.
A few years ago he became very ill and the local council installed fixtures into the house to help him.these being an inside downstairs shower and toilet cubicle and an outside ramp and chair lift.
These were paid for by social grants via the council.
The landlord gave written permission..which we have a copy on file stating that work can be done on the understanding that if required all fixtures are to be removed and all costs Bourne by the local council.
My dad now has to move into a nursing home he has £3500 in savings which will be for his funeral as he is very ill.
However..
The council have told us..his family..that they have a record of a telephone conversation they had with my dad prior to putting the equipment in stating that my dad said his family would Bourne the cost if required the equipment be removed..there is no written evidence or signed agreement by us his family ...we had no knowledge dad had this conversation.
We did not know!!
Is this legal?
We have never agreed or signed to remove the equipment.
Surely the council can't rely on my elderly dads " say so"
And
They have now record of the letter from the landlord?
Surely the landlord should have ensured they got a reply to there "understanding"
Who is responsible?
Thanks
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
Alex Watts :

Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this.

Alex Watts :

Have you asked for a copy of the recording please?

Customer: Hi
Customer: its not a recorded conversation just a written record the conversation took place
Customer: Hello Alex are you there?
Alex Watts :

Ok - so there is no evidence save for this written record

Alex Watts :

When was the written record made, ie how long after?

Customer: Hi alex
Alex Watts :

Hi

Customer: im working in the morning so I'm going to sleep now..I will be back on my laptop about 18:00 hrs 2moz 22.08.2014
Customer: my family and I are very worried about this...we feel it should be upto the landlord to chase the council to put this right .
Customer: word of mouth is not a guarantor similar to having a loan...you need a guarantor who says they will pay if something goes wrong.
Customer: we did not agree to remove the equipment upon my dad leaving the property..there is no written signed evidence from us
Alex Watts :

I agree.

Alex Watts :

If there is no evidence then you are not liable.

Alex Watts :

There is no recording there is just some written record

Alex Watts :

Unless there is a recording of the agreement or a signed agreement, then you do not need to pay for it

Customer: Hi Alex sorry I'm still here if u want to chat @21.53 hrs
Alex Watts :

However sadly it is not for the Landlord to sort out

Alex Watts :

As the tenant, the tenant is responsible for ensuring any agreement to remove is made.

Customer: Don't know exactly when record of chat was made
Alex Watts :

The tenant allowed the work to be done'

Alex Watts :

Therefore the tenant is responsible for any agreement for making sure it is removed, not the Landlord

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

Customer: So who's responsible my to have the equipment removed my dad?
Alex Watts :

Yes because he is the tenant that allowed it in

Alex Watts :

Had it not been for him being the tenant, it would not have been installed there

Customer: But my dad has no savings only £3500
Alex Watts :

I realise that. But the Council should remove it but at no cost

Alex Watts :

But your Dad is responsible for organising it

Customer: But the council are saying my dad told them we would
Alex Watts :

But there is no evidence of that, save for this piece of paper

Customer: So legally the council are liable it's just upto my dad or us on his behave to tell them he's moving out but they have said the equipment belongs to dad
Alex Watts :

If the Council dispute this then you should write to the Chief Officers Office and complain

Alex Watts :

They will investigate this

Alex Watts :

If the outcome is not favourable then you can complain to the Ombudsman

Alex Watts :

They are independent and can examine your complaint for free. Their website is: www.lgo.org.uk

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

Customer: So if we say to the council dads moving out the landlord wants the property correcting they legally must remove it?
Alex Watts :

Yes. They installed it so they must take it away

Customer: But you just said my dad allowed them to install it so it's his responsibility...I'm confused
Alex Watts :

Sorry. I said he is responsible for getting the council to remove it

Alex Watts :

He needs to sort the removal, that is not for the Landlord

Alex Watts :

But the Council should be doing to actual removal

Customer: But my dad is very ill ...confused...on medication...he can't organise that
Alex Watts :

Yes I understand. But he is responsible for it. It may be a family member deals with this.

Alex Watts :

But I have indicated above the process for complaining to the Council and Ombudsman

Alex Watts :

These steps should be followed

Customer: Again I'm sorry but the council insist the equipment now belongs to my dad...he had a grant approved
Alex Watts :

I understand. Have you seen my advice above about the complaints process and the Ombudsman?

Alex Watts :

If your Dad never agreed that he would remove it then the Council should

Alex Watts :

A written note is not enough

Alex Watts :

There is no signed agreement or telephone recording

Customer: Ok I'm sorry but I can't leave this for now it's late I need to speak to my family...is that ok before we close this
Alex Watts :

Sure.

Alex Watts :

Please remember even when you rate the question remains open and you can come back to it at any time

Customer: Thanks Alex....I will reply and ask anymore questions tomorrow I'm sorry it's late...thanks for now...please don't close this off until I get back to you...ok
Alex Watts :

Sure thats ok.

Customer: Is this conversation saved and will not be lost
Alex Watts :

I may not be online when you reply but you will get a message when I respond.

Alex Watts :

Yes its saved, even when you rate

Customer: Do I need to open an account to see this conversation for reference
Alex Watts :

I don't think so

Customer: Ok speak soon.night
Alex Watts :

night

Customer: Alex this is a reply I had today from a council employee: Thank you for your emails. I understand that this is a frustrating situation, and your father is certainly not the first to have this experience. In the past the council did remove some equipment, but this changed several years ago, as budgets tightened. Other clients in rented accommodation have had to rely on relatives to remove equipment, if they are no longer here, or not in a position to do so themselves. In your father’s case, we have letters going in both directions, between the landlord and Derbyshire County Council, both giving responsibility to the other. Copies attached. As I said in my last email, once someone has received a grant, the adaptations and equipment become their property and their responsibility. I do not have the authority to agree to anything different. Unfortunately my line manager is not in work at the moment, but I will refer this matter to her, when she is back. Regards ***** *****Occupational Therapist
Customer: This is a attached letter mentioned but we have never seen this letter until today and as you can see there are no signatures from my dad or us or even that we agreed to this mentioned: Adult CareDerbyshire County CouncilSt Helena CentreSheffield RoadChesterfieldDerbyshireS41 7LU Wilkins Hammond Property ManagementDevon House28 GlumangateChesterfieldDerbyshireS40 1TX Dear Sir Re:***** Chesterfield – Mr S Higginbottom Further to our previous correspondence please find details herewith for the proposed installation of a shower/toilet cubicle in the living room at this address, together with a step-lift to the front door. Mr Higginbottom & his family would be responsible for the later removal of these items. Yours faithfully Kevin Wroe Direct Dial (01629) 5 Date 17th January 2013
Alex Watts :

Indeed. You should follow the procedure to complain to the Council.

Alex Watts :

Write to the Chief Executives Office and they will investigate the complaint

Alex Watts :

They will look at the complaint for you and the office is independent of those making the decision

Alex Watts :

If you are not happy with the response then you can complain to the Ombudsman. They offer a free, independent service and can investigate your complaint. Their website is: www.lgo.org.uk

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

Customer: Complaining to council is not what we are asking you Alex....are we legally bound to comply with removing equipment without us signing any documents agreeing to this in the first place.
Customer: The issue is we did not agree or sign an agreement to remove equipment...so can they force us to?
Customer: We certainly do not have the money to pay for this equipment to be removed....it is not my responsibility just because I'm dad's son!
Alex Watts :

Exactly you did not sign an agreement.

Alex Watts :

You can't be forced to remove it

Alex Watts :

Even by their own admission they have removed previous tenants works

Alex Watts :

They can do it now

Alex Watts :

So no legally you do not have to remove it

Alex Watts :

Does that help?

Alex Watts :

If this answers your question could I invite you rate my answer before you leave today.

If the system won’t let you please click reply.

Please bookmark my profile if you wish for future help: http://www.justanswer.co.uk/law/expert-alexwatts/

Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience: Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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