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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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Good morning,my partner (James) and I (Adela) have rented

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Good morning,
my partner (James) and I (Adela) have rented a house on the Isle of Wight where James has a small business, but because we work mostly on the mainland we have decided to rent just a room (as lodgers) on the mainland , during the week, when we work. Before I used to live at work in a room, and my partner at his mums, but we wanted to be together all the time.
We have found a room that was in a good location in Woking, described in the add as "luxury room, with all modern appliances, parking included, all bills included, council tax included, heating included". It was advertised at 144 pounds per week, and the living in landlord promised an AST. The guy was advertising 2 rooms, a smaller one for 134 pounds a week and a bigger one for 144 pounds a week, so we thought the bigger would be ok.
First when we agreed with the landlord to meet up and sign the contract we had the surprise that he showed up with no contract and no keys, but he expected us to pay the deposit and first month rent in advance and leave our things in (it had rang immediately alarm bells for me, but my partner is very kind person and he gave the landlord another chance thinking he is a young naïve guy that is inexperienced). Then he had the guts to say that he "only" expects us to pay a fair share of the council tax, which is 30 extra pounds a month on top of the price with "all bills included". He did not want to talk to me that day, I was against it, he was turning only to my partner, and again my partner made the mistake to agree thinking that it is compromise because the location of the room was advantageous.
We have signed the contract (actually a licence agreement, not AST as falsely said in the add) and moved in. There is no parking in reality, only outside on the street, so we have to pay extra and get a parking permit too. HIs whole add was misleading.
After few days of us moving in and intense rain in January we have woken up one morning with damp rising till the middle of the wall in our room. It was so damp and humid in the room and so cold that we could not stand it anymore. That evening we told him that if we stay there we have to take the other room that was smaller but dry. For us it was an emergency situation, especially for me with past asthma and respiratory problems. He agreed and pretended to be very surprised by the damp disaster in the room we left.
In time we have noticed other things that are not right. The landlord turns off constantly all the heating (as he saves to extreme), so even though we have agreed on "all bills included" we are waking up every morning freezing in a house with 14-15 degrees. I would not expect to have constant 25degrees 24/7, but at least 2 hours of heating a day. I had to spend more money to buy a strong electric heater for our room. I have days when I am at home, but he does not care, he goes out in the morning and turns off all the heating in the house regardless. Every time I put the heating on to take a shower or to try to dry my clothes after doing a laundry, he is still turning it all off.
My partner texted him to say that the price for the rent should be dropped as we stay in the smaller room now. Also that the heating needs to be used at least at times.
The answer was a rude email telling us how we signed a contract and the prices in his add are not valid, only our agreement matters, how we have constantly changed our mind about the rooms and we took advantage of his kindness(!!!??? obviously no mention of the disastrous damp, I have even photographs to prove it).
The guy has no respect for women from what I see, he only speaks to my partner, he even had the nerve to tell me one day to "hoover the carpets" when he clearly saw I was on the way out to the city.
Also he is attacking me in the email saying that I "imagine this is a hotel" and "have the heating on 24/7" which is a huge lie! I have photographs to prove how cold it was in the house, the thermometer in our room shows both temperature and humidity, both not in normal limits.
Since we moved in I have spent days to clean first the bigger room, then the smaller room we live in now, the bathroom and kitchen. He implies he is the only one cleaning ("he took a day off to clean the house"), even though I have pictures to prove how it looked before and after we have moved in. His bathroom looked absolutely disgusting when we moved in.
Now the question is where do we stand as lodgers? Do we have any rights at all? Where can we complain? I am tempted to pack and leave this house but also there should be a legal way to do things, we have paid a lot of money to move in, how can we put this guy right and have a quiet life? Is there no way to notify him that he is failing his landlord obligations so that he changes his attitude? I don't want to start a legal war but also we are not idiots he can play with, he insults our intelligence really.
Please give us some legal advice.
Many thanks.
Adela and James
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi,
I am not sure if you have received my message, can you please confirm I will get an answer?
Thank you.
Adela
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
It is now more than 24 hours since i paid for my answer, still no answer. What is going on???
Expert:  Nicola-mod replied 1 year ago.
Hello,
I've been working hard to find a Professional to assist you with your question, but sometimes finding the right Professional can take a little longer than expected.
I wonder whether you're ok with continuing to wait for an answer. If you are, please let me know and I will continue my search. If not, feel free to let me know and I will cancel this question for you.
Thank you!
Nicola
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Nicola
Yes, we would like an answer as soon as possible, we really need advice on this.
Many thanks
Adela & James
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help youWhat is it you want to achieve please?Alex
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi there,
Well, we want to have heating on to an acceptable living standard. We are not sure what the law in UK says about this.
He keeps the kitchen and bathroom temperature at around 10-14 degrees C. We managed to heat up our room only after we bout ourselves an extra electric heater. This is an extra expence we should not have had to do, because we already pay for heating.
First thing in the morning when we want to take a shower the temperature is so low that it's inpossible to do so in the bathroom.
He keeps telling us that we can heat up our room with an electric fan, but fails to understand that according to the contract we have the use of communal areas too, and should be able to do things in those rooms as well.
Where do we stand legally with this situation? We want to get back to him with a legal advice on what temperature is acceptable in a rented accommodation. We are paying for "all bills included", that is including heating , yet every time he comes home and every evening he is turning the heating off, which makes our life miserable.
Please advise.
Kind regards,
James & Adela
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Have you reported this to the Council?
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
To confirm the landlord is,living in?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Alex,
Yes, he is living in , we have rented only a room, so we are lodging with the owner of the flat. He is a living in landlord.
No, we did not yet inform the Council, also no other authorities, because we want first to try to settle this amiably and we wanted to know what rights we have and what we could do.
James emailed him about the problems and we did not like the answers, so we want to meet up with him on Monday and discuss again.
We want to find out from you if possible where do we stand from a legal poing of view.
I am sure he is breaking the law, but what action would be best in order for us to have a quiet life and the use of a room that we pay plenty of money for?
Please advise.
Many thanks,
James and Adela
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Is there anything in writing about time to have a shower or heating etc?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Alex
No, the contract only sais we pay 660 pounds a month to rent a room with access to bathroom and kitchen. Nothing is detailed as in tho hours for having a shower or heating, but how do you regulate these then? It's unheared of to stop the heating conpletely during the winter, it cannot be legal what he is doing to us.
what should we do then?
Many thanks
Adela & James
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Ok. You should speak to the council as they will have standards. The landlord can't make you have short showers or the heating on low. Whilst there is no specific law on heating homes the landlord can not make you stay in somewhere cold.So speak to your council as there may well be a regulated scheme which the landlord has to comply with.They can also send out environmental health to examine the property to make sure the conditions are fit.Can I clairfy anything for you about this today please?Alex
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Alex
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Alex,
Can you please explain how the environmental health works? Are they coming to check if the living conditions are right?
That may be the answer then.
Many thanks and kind regards,
Adela & James
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
They can check living conditions yes and prosecute the Landlord if necessary.Does that help?Alex
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Alex,
I was told by colleagues that because we have a lodging agreement (instead of a tenancy agreement- AST) we have basically no rights, we need to either agree with the landlord or find another place to live. Initially in his add the landlord was talking about an AST, but he shamelessly gave us to sign a lodgers agreement.
Is it true? Are lodgers less protected by law (have less rights)?
Adela
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Yes an AST is better for you that being a lodger. But that still means the property must be warm and you get hot water and heating etc.So whilst you have fewer rights, it still must be habitable.Does that help Adela?Alex
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Yes, it helps a lot Alex.
One more question: is it true that according to the law a house with 3 or more lodgers becomes an HMO?
In our case we are 2 lodgers and the landlord lives in, and he just took another lodger the other day. So we are 4 people using the house, 3 lodgers and the live in landlord. Would this change our legal situation?
I am just desperately trying to find out a way to get him to stop arguing with us and simply allow us to enjoy a quiet life here. I don't want him to start saying that we have no rights because we are "only" lodgers.
Thank you so much for your help.
Kind regards,
Adela & James
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Different local authorities have different rules. So you need to check with them. Some councils make it so all houses must be licensed. Does that clairfy?Alex
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience: Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Yes it does.
We have met with him and he was all apologetic and we have agreed on times to use heating, etc.
Thank you very much for helping us with advice, it has been most helpful.
Kind regards,
Adela & James