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JGM
JGM, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 11551
Experience:  30 years as a practising solicitor.
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When doing a house swap through a Housing Association and the

Resolved Question:

When doing a house swap through a Housing Association and the previous tenant leaves the place filthy dirty holes in walls etc and does not remove all there possessions from the loft (blood stained mattress wardrobes and dressing table etc) who's responsibility is it to put this right, we have contacted the Housing Association they do not want to know, since this time (2 weeks ago) the kitchen has been condemed and they say will take up to 6 months to sort out, there are 3 children living in this so called home 1 is under 2 and at 4 days old had meningitis, 5 people are all sleeping in 1 room. Can you help please.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  JGM replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your question.
The Housing Association is the landlord and has a duty to keep the property in a tenantable condition. In the absence of any particular contractual provisions arising from a swap, and you should have had information from the Housing Association about their particular swap policy, before the swap took place, the Housing Association would be responsible.
So firstly read the paperwork you were given and please revert to me if you need to once you have read it as I am happy to discuss further.
I hope this helps.
Please leave a positive response so that I am credited for my time.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thank you. The contract said swap as seen but the things that are wrong were not visible as they had things hanging over the holes etc, the plumbing (which runs upwards) and the boiler needing replacement were obviously not things you can check yourself and cupboards etc were obviously held together by her fridge and washing machine. There was dog excrament on the skirting boards and in the garden and a massive hole kicked in the hallway which was not there when the house was looked at. The front door is not big enough (this was noticed by the Surveyors and a window does not fit properly in the upstairs bedroom), Surely these are things the Housing Association should have checked before agreeing to the move. I cannot understand someone from the Housing Association having to check these things if they just turn a blind eye.

Expert:  JGM replied 2 years ago.
I think you can distinguish the issues you have mentioned into two categories, the first one being items which are the responsibility of the HA irrespective of who the tenant is and the second this which are the responsibility of the tenant.
Broadly, damage and dirt cause by the previous tenant are now your responsibility under the "swap as seen" rule. However, plumbing, boiler, doors, windows and other building and construction issues are the responsibility of the HA.
JGM and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thank you very much this is much clearer. Please could you confirm who would be responsible for the possessions left by the previous tenant, as I would assume this is still their property and if we removed it could this cause trouble for us. Or should we just return this to them.

Expert:  JGM replied 2 years ago.
That is a tenant responsibility. Tell the previous tenants to come and get them or they will be disposed of.