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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71050
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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The property I am in is rented fully furnished to me buy a

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the property I am in is rented fully furnished to me buy a housing agency, the owner bought an electrician to the property and instigated, perpetuated and sanctified the sexual harassment by the electrician. the property is let fully furnished, but the furniture belongs on a rubbish tip. chairs broken, smoke alarms not working, the pathway broken, hot oil fell on my foot because the oven trays are not made for this oven water pressure means it takes over half an hour to run a bath, radiator held up by a broken set of drawers, all drawers broken, settee looks terrible, curtains missing, I can not invite my friends or family to visit. I signed an agreement with the agency saying I will replace any damaged furniture. I complained an the agency said since it is obvious that the owner likes me may be I should be nice to the owner an he will get me some.
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
What are you hoping to claim for?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I don't know what I can claim for, I was hoping I made it clear I want your advice on what I can do. I have a secondary agreement with the agency that says I am responsible for any damage to the furniture and have to replace them new. I signed this without seeing the conditions of the furniture as it was late evening and we were desolated over the move, but it was the size we needed as a family.

Well, that is a separate point for which there would be a remedy.
Was the property in this condition when you took it?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Yes, but they had cleverly disguised it. The draw fronts were shoved in with little bits of paper folded up to in the corners to hold it in place. You could not see the beds (one covered in blood) were cheap and old and uncomfortable, the chap who delivered us said fridge freezer, washing machine cooker all in order. We didn't check he pointed vaguely in the direction of the kitchen equipment. We went to bed and did not notice that the fridge/freezer was in fact outside broken, we didn't see this in the dark. We got another 24 days after moving in, we barely noticed that there were about 30 black bags of rubbish in the garden. When the agent came by to look at my complaint he went over to the settees and took a picture telling me we had damaged it more. It was a veiled threat, but I took pictures of everything within the first week. The owner kept coming round on the pretext of fixing things, I didn't know that he wasn't suppose to be here. I was not friendly to him, he once asked for a cup of tea and I said no, we did not have a relationship in which I would serve tea. When you move into a fully furnished property you do not expect this at £2,000 a month. Its been lies and disinformation.

The only really relevant issue here is the condition of the property.
They cannot demand that you replace old with new. What they can do is deduct from your deposit a proportionate sum for any wilful damage.
Your point about the condition of the property is disrepair. They will undoubtedly be saying that it was in that condition when you moved in and you accepted it. The fact that you don't deny that is a difficulty.
That does only get them so far though. They are under a duty to provide furniture of a reasonable quality. That doesn't mean perfect and, in fairness, it never is when you are renting. It should be a standard of reasonable cleanliness and safety though.
I don't think the argument that you have damaged it in such a short space of time is likely to get anywhere.
In principle you could always replace the furniture and sue for the cost.
The other alternative is to sue for disrepair.
I wouldn't recommend doing either though before you have written to the landlord or his agents giving them notice of your intention if they do not act within 14 days of the letter.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thank you that was helpful, lastly, If they do not respond to my letter can I claim my rent back? Can I sue for the sexual harassment? More than anything I don't want them to do this to anyone else, the furniture, the repairs or the sexual harassment. I want this to be a warning to them and I don't want to have to come back to you again over this same manner. I suffer from depression, it has had a terrible effect on my health, so I just want to move on.

No. Your claim is in disrepair. You have been living there so rent is due.
I really wouldn't pursue the sexual harassment. It isn't harassment anyway because it was just one incident and also it removes credibility for your other points which are not bad. I'm afraid that some women do make allegation of sexual impropriety and domestic abuse in order to gain advantage and I notice that courts are become increasingly dismissive of them and then Judges have a tendency to disbelieve everything else the claimant says.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thank you for that. I don't think I will have that problem, I have a 3/4 minute response rate that the Police Commissioner himself put there. I do a lot of community work and am known for my no nonsense honesty. But I will not muddy the waters, but I obviously cant prevent this from happening to anyone one else and that awful feeling of being prey wont go away. I am 55 years old and I hate to be made to feel like that. I have been in positions like that and handled it, its part of community development, it happens, this was different, I was paying rent to be treated like this. I am not meat and it hurt that I could not control the situation no matter how I tried. I reported it at the time to emergency housing, the police and the council and I wrote out a statement just to be able to sleep, because I couldn't get the humiliation out of my system. But you have advised me wisely and I believe the statute of imitations on any claim has some years to run, I can wait. Please respond to this assumption.

You will. Take it from me. Some women have abused these allegations for so long that they seem to taint everybody's cases.
I agree though. No need to muddy the waters. You have a perfectly reasonable disrepair claim which is the real issue here. The fact that other people may have been fairly odious doesn't add much or detract really.
I'm not sure who you are hoping to sue for harassment. You do not have a case on these facts.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I am not happy with the 'suck it up', but I trust you have been thorough in your advice, although the culprit (the owner of the property, not the agency) has a key.

I will take your advice.

Well, if he starts using the key without your agreement then that is entirely different. Then you would have an argument although it is just plain trespass.
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