I’ve recently moved into a solo self contained flat.
My landlord lives above me, I don’t share any space with them. They control the heating as the boiler is in their property, all bills are paid to them.
Recently they have scheduled at least 3 weekend maintenance visits in the same month.
They initially claimed they weren’t intentionally scheduling at the weekends. But under further discussion they are due to the fact they work during the week and its very difficult for them to get time of work to supervise these visits.
I stressed that this is extremely disruptive to my weekends, I pay them a significant amount of money- over a grand. When I viewed the flat I stressed the need to quiet, calm environment as I work in a very hectic workplace.
They never ever mentioned to me that if any work needs to be done in their property and the space I rent, it would always be at the weekends.
I really feel they have lied to me, and now I’m stuck giving two months notice if I want to leave.
They have shown no interest in occasionally scheduling work during the week, its an all out no.
Also I should be lucky as the place is a steal for the area for weekend work. I don’t even have an oven. They promised a 4 person oven before I moved in, but got me a worktop mini oven that at max serves 2.
This new maintenance work is to redo the electrics, but this wasn’t mentioned until I moved in. Additionally its been a couple of months them getting it done. The electricians came on the 1st of April, and its only now being done end of April- Not very safe.
The wires have been exposed on the hob for months- which I mentioned.
Is there anything I can go except leave?
I feel its vastly unfair to pay over a grand a month for this space, with occasional, albeit recently constant harassments at the weekends.
They took 3 months to get someone to look at the drains, when food was coming back up the shower tray. I was constantly emailing them, but they just gave me drain unblocker.
Awful way to treat a paying customer.
Looking for some advice, a friendly ear and some support.
It’s possible that their mandatory EICR check failed and that they have only 28 days to get the electrical work done. It does sound like they have behaved badly though and most decent landlords would have either told you about the work up front or delayed the let until it was done.
Bare wires are unacceptable and you should draw it to their attention for urgent action. Ultimately you can get Environmental Health in if they dont resolve it.
One thing you should be aware of is that if the landlord lives upstairs and its a converted property, you don’t have the protection of an assured tenancy, even if they’ve given you an AST contract. This means that its relatively easy for them to evict you.
You indicate that the property is very affordable so in your position I would get them to do the dangerous stuff and ride out the rest. The work should come to an end soon I would have thought.
Thank you for replying.
Indeed, they were aware of this work was coming or needed to be done. But choose to tell me after I moved in, which I find rather underhanded.
They also had their carpet ripped up and wood flooring put down- 8am on a Saturday which they failed to tell me about, and it went on till 6pm. Which is my ceiling, so I had that work all day and no where to hid from the noise and was raining outside.
They claim that the bares wires are to be done in the electrical work, which was moved to not have it on a 3rd consecutive weekend as I stated it was disruptive. But I did offer all days of the week, and they could start at 6am as I wouldn’t be in and could have all day to work if required. But that didn’t suit them. This is what I mean, they are actively avoiding doing essential maintenance during the week because it doesn’t suit their schedule, which I personally think is endangering my safety.
I wasn’t aware of how easily it is to evict me, even with an AST- which I do have. I thought I had that protection.
In all honestly, they would be hard pushed to find ground to evict me. I’m clan, tidy, quiet, no mad parties ( obvious with covid isn’t aloud) but even if it was it wouldn’t be happening.
They have stated, that they understand if I want to leave due to the work, but haven’t as yet asked me to go. Does this mean I can leave an easier?
The contract is with Open rent, and on the contract states two months.
It’s actually not that affordable to me, its most of my monthly salary. That is the main sticking point for this disruption, and the lack of respect, and privilege from them saying well its a ‘’ good deal’’ so put up with weekend work,.
They may not realise that the the tenancy can’t legally be an AST and the fact that they’ve given it to you means that they would be bound by some of the terms, such as the notice clause. However, they won’t have to stick to the 6 month notice that most landlords currently have to give and they don’t have to give any reasons to a court, although they would have to get a court order. You are what Shelter describes as an Occupier with Basic Protection.
Perhaps you should be on the lookout for somewhere else ultimately and when your fixed term ends, vote with your feet. Good luck