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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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I recently moved into a privately rented house on a Shorthold

Resolved Question:

I recently moved into a privately rented house on a Shorthold Tenancy Agreement. I found bare electrical wires sticking out of the kitchen wall near the sink, which was obviously dangerous, and asked the landlord to get an electrician to rectify the situation. The landlord's response was that nobody else had complained (!) and just ignored my request.
Consequently, I retained a qualified electrician (NICEIC) myself who repaired that and other faults in the electrical system of the house (including potential fire risks) and provided me with a report summarising the dangerous wiring and stating the following... "Further to our inspection of the above mentioned property, numerous defects were found and it is our professional opinion that this property should not have been rented out with the potential safety implications that these defects raise."
I contacted the Local Authority's Environmental Health Department and was rebuffed with the following preposterous concept... "You have stated that there were electrical problems in your property which you highlighted to your landlord and he refused to act on. If you had contacted us at this stage we would have then been able to inspect the property and take action against the landlord as detailed above. However, as you have undertaken the work yourself and the property is safe we are unable to take legal action respectively (sic) against the landlord."
So when my life is put at risk by this irresponsible landlord, I am supposed to wait for however long it takes for these idiots at the council to respond - previous experience with their Environmental Health Department has demonstrated that this could have been weeks - otherwise they will take no action. I am led to believe that legislation exists that could make the landlord liable to criminal as well as civil prosecution over putting my life at risk like this and that this should be enforced by the Local Authority.
I would like to know what exact statutory obligations exist that will enable me to force the council to act in this matter. Originally, I contacted the Citizens Advice Bureau who put me on to Trading Standards, they stated that it was the local authority's responsibility etc. I don't see why these bureaucrats should abdicate their responsibilities in a serious matter like this and wish to ensure personally that justice, as well as common sense, prevails.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this.
To be clear the faults have all been repaired?
Note there may be a slight delay in my reply as I have a number of client conferences today
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Yes, for my own preservation, they have all been repaired and the electrician produced a report as to his findings.

Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
What was the cost of repair please?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

£72.00,

Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
Ok. Sadly you can't force the Council to take action, it is a matter for them who they do and do not prosecute or enforce against.
However if they do not do anything you can complain to the Chief Officer. That office is investigate and will consider the matter further.
You can also complain to your local Councillor. After all they are elected by you and there to do your bidding.
If you are not happy with the response then you can complain to the Local Government Ombudsman. They offer a free, independent service and can investigate your complaint at: www.lgo.org.uk
As to the refund of the £72 I can outline the process:
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 claim is for £10,000 or less it will be a small claim so you will not need legal representation. Over this value you would need representation for trial.
Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?
Alex
Ash and 3 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
Hi

I am just following up on this. Is there anything else I can help with? If so, please let me know.

Alex.