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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 31768
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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We have been renting a property as a family home in

Customer Question

We have been renting a property as a family home in Northampton for nearly 7 years now and our experience has been a little up and down concerning the letting agent managing the property for the landlord.We have on occasion fallen behind with rent payments over the last year and half however have ensured all rental payments were fully caught up with and are now in a position of having paid the next 3 months payments in advance.Our question is in relation to a management agents/landlord responsibilities in regards ***** ***** repairs to the property and what a landlords duties are for the securing of the property in a reasonable manner.Approaching 5 years ago there was a flood in the property from water pipes located in the loft, this was caused by some faulty work having been carried out whilst the landlord lived in the property so was in no way associated with our tenancy and the house was repaired via the landlords insurance.Unfortunately the insurance repair work and materials were, for want of a better word, shocking and many items such as internal doors (part of the current problem) are the cheapest replacements possible, wiring for the central heating was faulty and left us in mid-summer with central heating that was on 24hrs a day when we thought it was only the water heating on, the list is quite extensive.In Jan of this year there was an attempted break-in at the property whilst we were home, the person in question kicked through the front door (PVC panel door) and we contacted the police that same night and were left having to ask a family friend to make temporary repairs to the door simply in order to secure the property.On contacting the agent the next day we were told in no uncertain terms that we were wholly responsible for the cost of repairs and replacement of the door if it was unsuitable!On Monday this week we contacted the agent via email to request a number of immediate repairs be made:1. Currently there is no loft insulation, this was never replaced post flooding.
2. Kitchen tap useless/unusable and tap head is broken. Left having to get water from downstairs WC and boil in order to simply wash-up!
3. All internal doors require replacing as the door furniture has come away (doors so cheap they've disintegrated) and cannot be refixed. Doors now having to be left open.
4. Front door requires replacing as we do NOT believe this is our responsibility.There are many more things requiring attention however we feel the above are the most important at this time.We reasonably requested receipt and acknowledgement of our repair request and that the agent supply us with a schedule of work for the repairs.They failed to do either so we once more sent an email referencing the first again asking they acknowledge receipt and for a schedule of work, this time ensuring we not only used the supplied "repairs" email address but the agency manager and repairs manager and 48 hrs later have had no acknowledgement.Perhaps most importantly is that we do believe the landlord is aware of the actual disrepair of the property, we believe ourselves to be conscientious tenants and treat this as our family home, and do not think that the landlord is actually updated by the agency as to what is identified during annual inspections (I say annual however last count this year is 3 and every item requiring repair has been identified during the inspections with nothing so far being done!).The advice we require is what are the responsibilities of the agent/landlord to the above items we have requested immediate attention for and as tenants do we have the right to contact the landlord himself to make him aware of the full extent of things needing to be addressed?Many thanks!
Submitted: 20 days ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jamie-Law replied 20 days ago.

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

What is it you want to achieve please?

Customer: replied 20 days ago.
We wish to ensure that the repairs we have requested are carried out soonest as we believe they are all serious matters that require immediate attention.
We expect for the front door to be the most immediate along with the kitchen tap (completely unusable!).The ideal outcome would for us to be to open some form of personal discourse with the landlord directly as after a little research on the agents fees and what seems to be a poor management service that can only be devaluing the property's value, we wish to see if there's any way legally for us to propose some private tenancy agreement contract between us and him.If this were the case and something that is possible we would happily agree to pay for repairs and would go as far as making improvements that would increase the market value.
Expert:  Jamie-Law replied 20 days ago.

Do you know the cost of getting someone out to repair?