OpenRent Community

Burglaries in the building

Hi everyone,

I rent a flat in a building where there are 12 flats. It’s a converted building, I think it used to be some factory.
There were two burglaries on the ground floor just within the last two months. My flat is on the first floor, basically there are no more upper levels.
I am concerned because the front door of my flat is wonky. I noticed that upon moving in but because the door is still locking well, and there is a locked front door on the building, also the area is quite safe and upcoming, I didn’t think that it would be a problem. Now, we’re very concerned with my partner. I raised the issue through the agency to the owner over a week ago but no answer. We have a breaking clause in the agreement after 6 months, and now that is expired but We still have to give 2 months notice.
We’re planning to look for something else in a safer building. My question is if there was a way to reduce the notice period? Considering that the owner’s been always reluctant to sort out problems, it took her two months to give us a new oven for example. She is not answering emails, she’s been had to be chased up in the past, and to be called by the phone.
Eventually all the issues were sorted but it took ages every time.
We’re planning to go away for at least a month to our home country in the summer and we would be very anxious to leave our belongings here in the flat under the circumstances.

Security is an issue.
Raise it with the tenant liaison officer or private sector housing team at the council and they can contact the landlord
There may even be a number to call to report bad landlords ( our city is on a major drive. It’s all over the buses)
If you read your contract it may say that you can deal with the issue ( if the landlord does not respond in a reasonable amount of time) and deduct the cost from the rent

Thank you for your answer. I live in Surrey Quays, London. I don’t know where to find these agents. Shall I just google it?

Look on the council web page or call the council and they can put you though to environmetal health or the private sector housing team

Thank you for your help!

Is the building and/or your flat insecure or are you just anxious? By all means contact the Council if its the former, but if you have good locks on the doors, there is not much more a landlord can be required to do. A good landlord would respond to your concerns and perhaps investigate cctv with the other leaseholders. It doesnt sound like you have a good landlord, but I’m not sure there is much the Council can do about that. If you can’t get through to landlord or agent with your query then I agree with your earlier suggestion that its time to look for somewhere else and serve notice.

The building doesn’t have cctv at all. The windows and doors are the original ones, they were installed about 30 years ago. Problem is some of the windows are not the best either, a few of them had to get fixed upon moving in, they all are made of wood. The front doors on every flat are the exact same, original. The problem with our door is that it looks like it was forced open before therefore it’s wonky. There is a gap at the bottom on the side by the door frame. The burglars can easily put a crowbar there and force the door open in a minute. There are two locks on it only, it’s not one of those modern secure front doors.

Regarding this topic, I told the agency that I will make an official complaint. In response to this the agency will send their handyman next week to check the front door themselves, the landlady is still not answering. I am quite suspicious that they will try to seemingly do something about the front door but it won’t be much help. Do I have to accept if the handyman offers to fix the door? In my opinion it’s beyond that, it needs to be replaced. I have a feeling that the agency just trying to shut me up so I won’t complain and cause trouble for them. Any ideas what I could do? Thank you!

If you think the door is still insecure after he’s fixed it, ask the local authority to inspect. Security is part of the HHSRS legal requirement for all landlords and if the Council agree, they will serve an improvement notice on the landlord.

Do the police still have a crime prevention officer who give advice?

Thank you for your advice, you’re very knowledgeable. I will do that.

I don’t know. I work in the security industry so I heard about crime prevention but I’ve never had to deal with anything like it.