I’m hoping someone will be able to advise.
Long story short, we moved into a property early March and to say it has been hell is an understatement. One week after we moved in, we had an electrical issue wherein the main switch would go off at all times, mostly at nighttime (2 am-ish). When we called the landlord to have it checked, we were threatened with a fine should we be at fault (one week after moving in). Bear in mind, we had just moved in and waiting for deliveries so we had no appliance apart from the hot water kettle (we were reassured white goods will be provided which turned out to be a lie). We had just moved in and it’s a three years minimum tenancy, we agreed to have the issue resolved. We ended up calling an old landlord for a reliable engineer that we paid to come out and look at the property. The fault wasn’t us as it’s an old property with lots of existing issues. The engineer fixed it and we’ve never had any other electrical issue since.
Then just a month in, we had our gas safety check booked by the landlord. We failed it due to a gas leak from the boiler. As we were well in the pandemic, we asked if this was something we could live with until after the lockdown. The engineer called his boss and they both agreed it was unsafe and the boiler/gas should be shutdown apart from the cooker and the issue should be resolved with a replacement boiler. Relieved at first as it should be an easy fix, right? Wrong! The landlord refused to installed a new boiler, said it’s too expensive (mind you, we pay £1400 for a two bed). We went back and forth with the property management company and they asked us to leave as the landlord may sell the property instead of replacing it with a £2000 boiler (cost confirmed). Leave to go where in a pandemic with a child? We both work full time. We asked if we could be reimbursed for the moving cost provided they re-home us to a suitable property. That was declined but offered to recommend us to a number of agents. We refused as a)we pay our rent on time, b) it’s a boiler issue as confirmed by their own gas engineer, and the landlord is being inconsiderate.
We ended at the Council, went back and forth for several weeks, tons of emails as we had to justify why we couldn’t move without them paying for the moving cost as we had spent lots of money to make this property a home knowing we have a long lease (3 years minimum). Council finally told the landlord a charge will be placed on the property to fix not just the boiler for heating and gas, but also the door as we couldn’t shut it properly. My partner works at night so I am mostly alone with a toddler. That caused a lot of anxiety as I had to put chairs/heavy items to secure the door at nighttime.
He finally had the boiler fixed six weeks after it was shut down, and three months after we reported the door lock faulty. During that time, we continued to pay the rent on time as the agents reassured us we will be compensated once everything is resolved. That never happened, and we were told we weren’t eligible for any compensation. The landlord is a property developer (company) and not your average private landlord. We then told them we will be taking it to the small claims court for a decision. They then came with one week off the rent, and then £500 for months of hell. We have refused both as we think we deserve more and for them to learn from their actions.
My friends/renters are telling us to accept it as all landlords are bad which I refused to accept as this is my first experience of a difficult landlord. We have filed the claim, but as it’s a joint tenancy, we are waiting for the court to reopen as we’ve heard there is a lot of backlogs with paper claims. Am I right in thinking the £500 offered is a slap in the face for 6 weeks of no heating and hot water, and three months of sleepless nights due to a temperamental front door? Are we being unreasonable? A neighbour has already disclosed to us the landlord will be knocking down the properties in a year to build flats. The first gas engineer confirmed the same even though we signed a 3-year contract. We feel duped as this should have been our final move before we eventually buy. Any advice will be greatly appreciated.