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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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I rented a property privately and during the 6 months we lived

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I rented a property privately and during the 6 months we lived in his property we had rising damp, mould, leaking windows, leaking roof, woodburner that was not in working order due to a leaky flu and chimney and a cracked glass. this landlord did virtually nothing to make sure we could live and remain inn this property. The Cornwall Council Private Housing Environmental Health and Safety department have now issued him an order setting out their requirements. can anyone assist me to take this rogue landlord to court to face justice. We have lost thousands because of this man and we should be able to recover those costs and without having to again spend huge amounts of more money on solicitors.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Hi.
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
why have your lost thousands?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hello Jo, We had moving in costs of nearly £1900 which included letting fees and removal costs and now we have had to move out due to all the very poor conditions which cost a further £1300. This was made up of removal and further fees for our new rented property. We paid £995 on monthly rent and we were unable to enjoy the home we were renting due to all the many problems.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Yes, but that would have been due at some point anyway.
Did you conduct any repairs on the property?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

One doesn't expect to pay all these costs and find you are renting a property that has rising damp, which requires a full survey to establish how to rectify the problem. This in turn caused mould on walls doors windows etc. We had to protect our furniture where possible. that meant we had to move it away from walls and in some cases we had to remove the furniture out of the dining/kitchenette area completely. When we notified the landlord he stated we had introduced the mould and damp and it was our fault, but of cause this has now been seen as rediculous as it sounds after 3 inspections from the C.C.environmental department, who have in turn issued him with an order to have certain work carried out. He has now tried to circumnavigate his way around the order by saying he no longer wishes to rent the property out. This will have the effect of stalling the Council for a short time, but the order remains in place and all legal mortgage and registries have been notified. This will then be flagged up by any search by a solicitor that this property is under a council order. I went to the council and to their freedom of information to receive their full report as we are od course now not resident in the property under investigation. I am also fighting the lettings company through The Property Ombudsman.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Ok.
So have you done any repairs?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Any repairs that should have been carried out to this property was the responsibility of the landlord. he was fully aware of the rising damp and mould problems as these conditions have been present in the property for many years and that is down in the Councils report. There is evidence that many of the damp and mould problems had tried to be hidden or masked. It was my responsibility to inform the landlord of the problems and that is what we did, only for him to turn nasty in his manner towards us. I will now also state that this landlord has been under investigation from South West Water due to him having an illegal water connection to our rented property. He moved out of the damp property and moved in to his still unfinished house next door. he was not properly connected to the water mains and this pipe he said would go after a few weeks. It remained for 4 months up until I said enough is enough, because we were stopped from going on a water meter. he said this was not possible while his illegal water connection was still in place. We paid £121 per month for water and he paid nothing. When we vacated the property on the 9th November he still had not been connected to the mains water, but he still lived in his house that he was continuing to complete!

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Would it be possible to give me the information I asked for?
I just need to know whether you have done any repairs. If the answer is that you haven't then I need that information.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I believe I have answered that on my last note to you, but if you require a yes or no answer, then it is a no. I repeat this was not my responsibility it was the landlords!

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Yes, but it does mean that you have not suffered loss.
You do have a claim for a reduction in rent to reflect the disrepair. You will have to prove that it was rising damp that caused this mould. Mould can be caused in lots of ways one of which being the manner of occupation rather than level of disrepair. However, you seem to be in a position to prove that. Rising damp disrepair often attracts a discount of 10-25% depending on the level of the mould.
The other costs are you are trying to claim are not proper grounds. You would have incurred the cost of moving at some point anyway. All that has happened I'm afraid is that you had to do so early which is not a loss.
Sorry if that is bad news but I can only give you truthful information.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Jo
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I really find your answers extremely puzzling and you have also totally ignored any of what I have said about his other illegal behaviour. this landlord failed in his duties to correct the issues and problems, which was his legal duty and that doesn't appear to be an issue in your eyes. We paid nearly £1000 per month and I again repeat the fact, we were unable to enjoy the home we were paying dearly for and that is all down to a landlord that flouts the law. I had better advice from speaking with a person from Shelter. he spoke with me for over an hour and he was quite clear that after listening to all our problems over the last 6 months or so, we had a definite strong case against this man. You have fixated with me doing repairs, if I had done any, I would have been breaking the terms of my tenancy and how in any case can I carryout repairs when dealing with rising damp? i am not impressed by your questions or your responses!

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Ok. Good luck.
Opting out.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

This has been a complete waste of time!!!

Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this.
How much are you seeking to recover please?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hello Alex,

My wife and I have suffered a great deal this last 6 months or so, due to the conditions and illegal behaviour from this ex landlord. It has caused us real stress and financial loss. This has in turn caused us real health issues and marriage problems and we have been married for 36 years. We are both in our sixties and this landlord has caused us great distress in many ways.

I believe that we should be able to recover between £5000 and £10000 from this ghastly man.

Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
You need to write and set out your losses and request a refund within 14 days or say you will go to Court within 14 days. You should make sure you send this signed delivery and keep a copy.
If they do not refund you then you can issue proceedings in the County Court. You can either do this online at: www.moneyclaim.gov.uk or by completing form N1 http://hmctsformfinder.justice.gov.uk/courtfinder/forms/n001-eng.pdf and take it to your local County Court.
The Court will then issue a claim which a copy will be sent to the Defendant who will have a limited time to defend it, if not you can enter Judgment and enforce.
If the matter is defended it will be set down for a trial. If the claim is for £10,000 or less it will be a small claim and you will not need representation.
Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?
Alex
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thank you for this advice. If I write to the landlord and he fails to respond can you tell me what costs are incurred if I issue proceedings against him in The County Court and would that letter to him be better coming from a legal person on my behalf?

Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
Fees are listed here.
https://www.justice.gov.uk/courts/fees
It's the issue fee and hearing fee. You can get a solciitor letter but clearly there is a cost to that which can't be recovered as a small claim.
Does that help?
Alex
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Yes, this I hope is of some help. can I ask one further question. If you were to write a letter on behalf of a client, can you give me some idea of the cost?

Thank you for your help.

Tim

Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
Hello Tim
I have sent you an offer of additional services.
Alex
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hello Alex,

My wife and I are just considering what to do next and with the information you have, are you in a position to give us your view on whether in the same position you would feel we or you could successfully win this case. If there are grave reservations, then we really do not want to be throwing good money after bad. if we agreed to your services, are we just dealing with the cost of a letter or will we incur further costs from you. I apologise for the dithering on all this, but we have been financially injured by this landlord and whilst we want to take him to task, we do not want to suffer further financial loss. We both understand that nothing can be 100% certain in matters such as this, but if it were 70 or 75% certain, then we feel we must proceed.

Tim

Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
I cant be instructed to take it to Court but it is possible for me to send you a letter.
I think you have a decent chance of winning.
Does that help?
Alex
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Alex,

Is it possible to think about this and come back to you at a later date please.

Tim

Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
Yes of course.
But can I ask you to rate my answer in the meantime so that I am credited for my time by the site please?
Thanks!
Alex
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

How do we come back to you as we need to take time on this and it could be tomorrow.

Tim

Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
Yes you can come back to the question at any time - it does not close.
Alex
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Okay many thanks, ***** ***** now consider if you did write on our behalf, what would happen if he decided to fight in the courts. You would not be able to assist any further.

Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
I can answer further questions about the Court process but sadly not represent you.
However as its a small claim those costs couldnt be recovered anyway.
Alex
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience: Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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