Distressing Landlord Email

Have been renting a property for just over a year, just before we moved in I had to build a new bathroom and fix up the place, we paid in advance for the rent and did the repair works (I am a builder) just so we could secure the property as we live in the only house we could get during COVID last year. There are still a few things inside which the landlord needs to take care of, like damp walls, damp smell in our bedroom coming from flooding outside which they have never resolved and mould on our belongings and furniture coming from the ground floor dampness. They just told us to open our windows more and ventilate! It’s Scotland and it’s now getting very cold outside! Also we pay to power and heat a garage which we do not get full use of and the landlord spends time and energy feeding and heating his cats in and doing wood work with big lathes which they have never given us a discount for the electricity he used.
We have tried to be model tenants, by never having anyone over, never making a noise, cutting their grass for them, paying on time and notifying them of any issues that arises that needs their attention that we cannot sort on our own.
Yet yesterday we had a short vague email stating they are going to sell the house. That’s it.
After asking them to elaborate further and asking if they wanted us to purchase it and what their price would be if we could afford it, they stated the price would be 30% above their original purchase price. That is 11% over the standard house increase which is to us extortionate but nothing we can do about it.
Firstly not sure we can afford that, secondly, we have no clue what has changed with the landlord to want us out so badly that they are happy to extort us to let us stay.
We thankfully have 6 months before we are evicted as my wife is disabled and I am mixing caring with a FT job.
Is this normal Landlord behaviour?

Sadly the last time they attempted to sell their own property, they backed out at the last minute costing the purchaser a fair amount of money.
Not sure we can trust them not to do the same to us.
Should we do our best to find something else or pay the money and hope we can afford to fix the issues with the house.
Is there anything else we need to do or ask from the landlord?

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Why would you want to buy a house with so many problems that is over-priced and a vendor you don’t trust?? Why don’t you just buy somewhere else if you have some money.

The landlord has exploited you and is being a sh1t. But you know that. I would turn up the heat a bit on this landlord. I have no knowledge of Scottish housing law, but I’m sure there must be a local environmental health department. Call them in to view the problems in the house, which its the landlords duty to resolve not yours.

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Thank you. Unfortunately where we live and where my job is situated is mostly filled with big houses on huge plots. You basically have to have 500k+ in the bank and/or wait for someone to die before you get a house here. Our other option is to move into town which is 25 minutes away and horrible and also quite expensive.
We figured if they serve us notice we will then call them all the items in the house which we have previously requested them to sort as we will have nothing to lose.
It is likely that our daughters health issues are related to the damp conditions.
It would certainly be worth our while getting the house tested to rules this out.

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If there is a chance that this property is affecting your daughters health then clearly the priority is to get out of it asap.

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Not everyone has the luxury to do that.

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Slum landlord taking advantage of vulnerable people and needs reporting. I’d stop paying for the heated garage if you can. Find out about your rights in Scotland, I’m assuming Shelter serve Scotland too? If so they can be really helpful. Write out your complaints in list form and get each one ticked off your list by finding out how it affects your rights as tenants. Keep the emails about eviction and buying the house as well, I’m sure there is a procedure he has to follow in order for his eviction to be legally binding.

Take pictures of the mould and any other issues as evidence, it may help your case when contacting the relevant services to report him as you’ll be able to attach the pictures to your emails, that makes it much harder for people to ignore.

So sorry you are having to go through this. Having adequate housing is a basic human right and nobody should have to go through what you are dealing with due to an unscrupulous and greedy person.

Keep us posted on your progress.

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Having tried lots of contacts in the area which have come up short and with no availability until possibly the new year we were, until this morning wondering what to do. We even put in an offer on the only house available in the area about our price range, that sold for £40k more than the asking price from a cash buyer. We just cannot compete with that.
Will try your suggestions. Thank you for your help.

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Our health is not a luxury. If the Council were called-in and deemed the property unfit for human habitation, they would have to re-house the family somewhere safer. That probably means emergency accommodation, not a council house, but it would at least get the family away from the hazard until something else could be found.

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Agree!

Emergency accommodation can be a lottery, but it’s a means to an end. If you have a person with disabilities they would need to find accommodation that was appropriate for their needs, and if that didn’t happen once they are in situ they can askto be moved again while they wait for long term housing.

Have records of all the medical issues and ensure these are made available to the appropriate people/services.

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Have spoken to the Citizens advice Bureau and Shelter Scotland.

They both said that if the Landlord had issued us with a notice, he would have committed a criminal offence as there was no grounds for him to serve it as we had offered to buy the property from him for the extortionate price he asked for.
If we went to first tier tribunal, the Landlord would have had a serious issue trying to prove we were being unreasonable or putting them at a loss. He told us what he wanted for the building and implied he would sell it to us for that price, he set a final price and offered it to us, and we offered to buy it.
Since then, we have just received an email stating he has changed his mind. Sadly it is peppered with implied accusations that the preexisting conditions. issues with the property, which have allegedly “not appeared in decades”, have allegedly been caused by us.

I have written back disputing it, stating we had no idea what the property was doing decades ago as we never lived in it then, They have flooding in their garden which is most likely the cause of the damp in our bedroom. They have not investigated our complaints to this or 90% of the other issues at the house.

Either way, this seems like the calm before the storm and can only hope we get out before he does something we will regret and cause us more stress and anguish.

Good job on calling.

He can sling all the mud he wants but he’d have to back it up with evidence, I think he’s just trying to scare you.

What are you thoughts now going forward.

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TBH. I have no idea. Wife had to go out this afternoon to chill out. I had a few errands in town so it was nice to take a break from the thought of it all and take stock.
If they would be happy to sell it for a reasonable price, I would buy it, currently the wife just wants to leave as it would need a lot of work to fix it up properly. Practically (if you forget about the issues) it is a roof over our heads and a certain stability we want. Plus it would hopefully avoid more issues like this.
If we had the money we would buy the biggest house in the middle of a forest and make sure the next nearest neighbour was 5 miles away. I have bought a lottery ticket.

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I hardly know where to start with this one, so will keep my advice a bit short. I’m a landlord in Scotland. Do you have a proper PRT, deposit properly dealt with, paperwork correctly handled……if not, then the landlord is in the wrong. Also in the wrong concerning the dampness and repairs. Even if rental properties are scarce, the landlord is obliged to maintain standards. You can apply to the FirstTierTribunal for adjudication, during which time you can’t be evicted, and it seems there are several grounds you could mention.
BUT: with such a mess, and a disabled wife, surely you’d be better in the town anyway, and travel to work for her sake?
I’m curious about the new bathroom: were you paid for that?

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AFAWK everything is correctly filed and deposited and signed we have copies of what looks like correctly filed paperwork. Before we personally moved in there was no bathroom and the kitchen and living room and other rooms needed works, some are still not finished. The bathroom was installed by me and I was paid a low rate for the works as it was a favour to them so we could move in quicker. I had warned them that the plumbing surrounding the bathroom had issues and would benefit from the correct piping as it also affected the kitchen, they declined to pay for materials or want me to sort it out. Whilst the bathroom looks nice (though part finished) the plumbing is awful and takes 9 minutes to half fill a small bath. We have put up with it. and put up with the fact the kitchen barely gets water too. Correct piping or a pump would (sort of) solve the issue but they are not concerned with that.
The tricky situation is they now want us to buy this place at over market value as they seem to feel that it will be worth that due to the astronomical increase in house purchases in Scotland from people wanting to get out of England and town areas. Sadly they are probably right. We found a local house to put in an offer, we could not afford it but was beaten by someone putting in a bid 30% over market value, someone with cash. So if we do not proceed with a purchase, they will serve us notice to leave and there will be another person with loads of cash and no idea of the issues, and will buy it.
If we go to a tribunal this will destroy any possibility of us buying it, so we are having to tread carefully.
We are currently trying to put the money together even though we are 90% certain they will back out of the sale as they have other people in the past.
If we leave this area, as there are no other houses in our area, I will lose two main jobs I have in the area.
Trying to find something in town, which we have attempted to do for the last week, whilst my other work suffered, was not encouraging. Any landlord asking even for the most modest home was asking for £900+ for a 2 bedroom home and will not allow a pet and only offer one vehicle parking.
So essence we are stuck here and stuck to meet the landlords demands.

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Hi,

The landlord has a legal responsibility to ensure the property meets a minimum standard of health and safety. If the damp is causing damage to furniture and, worse, potentially health problems for your child, he is breaking the law.

In wales all landlords have to be registered, if they are not then they can’t give notice of eviction until they are. I know this because I recently got informed my rental property is being sold so applied for council housing. When they looked she wasn’t on the register.

It sounds to me that the landlord is not adhering to local or national standards of living or meeting his responsibilities as a landlord. He may well be breaking the law and be subject to prosecution.

Here are some links you may find useful.

https://www.gov.scot/policies/private-renting/housing-standards/

There were other links but I could only share 2!

Hope this helps.

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Lets keep this simple
So the LL paid you to do the work, but your not happy with that even though you agreed to it.
The house ( you say ) has lots of problems but is still worth a lot due to the market, which is not of the LL making.
I can see your dilema but that is not the fault of the LL, you cannot have your cake and eat it.

Sorry I think you may have misunderstood. Someone asked me about the other problems and I answered with one of the other issues with the property. The bedroom, mould and dampness in the bedroom is the main problem with the property. The Bathroom is just another issue which will need to be resolved if we bought it. As is the kitchen. The door threshold, boiler, central heating and electrics and slate roof.
The key issue we have is no where to live and landlord threatening to sell with us with no where reasonably priced to go, and having very little option but to most likely purchase their property at a high price.
This is a summary of our issue.
So from your perspective, we have no issues and we should take the dampness in the bedroom as our fault and the other issues with the landlords property in our stride and shut up and buy it?
I do not think or feel, we can be held responsible for works the landlord refused to sort, we cannot be held responsible for the dampness in our bedroom due to a natural breakdown of materials. We did not cause Covid and the property rush now happening in Scotland, we also have not caused my wife’s disabilities and daughters illness, which may be caused by the dampness in the building. Which the landlords solution to the dampness is to sell the property and kick us out or force us to buy it due to us not having anywhere else to go at present.
And yet you seem to feel that we must take the blame and responsibility for our landlords actions?
I certainly disagree with your simplistic overview of our issues.

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We received another email one this morning attempting to blame us for the issues at the property and also state they are now wanting to remove a piece of land from the potential sale but are still asking us to pay the over priced valuation.
In their email they are inferring we have cost them lots of money, whilst we have been tenants here, which could not be further from the truth.
Basically they are refusing to sell to us and are trying to any excuse to make it seem like they did not want us out in the first place.
Why go through the charade of wanting us to buy it when they really just wanted us to move out? Odd behaviour.

If they ever do sell I do hope they fix the issues with the property and disclose them to any prospective purchaser as that would be bad for them if they don’t and get found out.

Maybe they just did not want to seem like the bad guy in this odd scenario. Who knows.

So we are now waiting for their pending notice to leave.
In the meantime I will compile a list of the issues we have raised for them the entire time we have been here (as per their request) and also call shelter and the council to ask for help.

What are our rights to stop them from just popping over whenever they like and gaining entry when my wife is on her own?
Also can we ask them to only send round professional companies to inspect the issues as we do not trust them to correctly evaluate the problems?

Just change the locks. Keep the old ones and change them back when you leave.

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Sounds like your landlord is a bit of a @@@@@@@. Best bet is to pin him down to a reference that he cannot disagree with and get out of what sounds like a sesspit. Why would you want to buy it?. Seeing as you are model tenants landlords will be crying out loud for you so you shouldnt have trouble finding somewhere else. Show them a statement that proves that you pay the rent regularly if the idiot refuses to give you a reference. Hope this helps.

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