Potential Legal Outcomes - Rent

This is an interesting one and a little long winded apologies.

I currently rent a property and have done for years. Previously this was as 2 people but around 2 years ago was shortened to just myself. The landlord and letting agent have never inspected the property in the entirety of both the previous agreement and the newer one.

The property was in dreadful condition when I moved in and at the time, I moved into it in desperation. Ive felt trapped ever since. The issues included significant damp, a room that quickly deteriorated into unhabitable as a result of the damp (im talking wallpaper peeling off on its own revealing walls with significant holes in, carpet having to come up as it was seriously mouldy etc)…

At the time this was raised with the landlord verbally (I know this was an error) and the response was a simple “open the window”… id already heard this landlord essentially did not carry out repairs if they could avoid it and naively just left it (again, another error) and ive never used the bedroom effected since. Years past and the property has simply degraded further and further, wallpapered ceilings have peeled over time (i didnt wallpaper the ceiling it sounds ludicrous), the bathroom has begun to sink, there are bare floor boards on the ground due to another rooms ceiling collapse destroying the carpet when plasterers plastered the ceiling (landlord did not replace the flooring).

The challenge I have now is that I am going to start getting inspections and I am concerned that these rather serious issues will cause problems. What are peoples thoughts on my situation? What advice would you give me?

Edit: I will add on the rationale for not leaving sooner - there is a compound of a very poor credit score, the inability to get a reference if i leave and every other opportunity ive tried refusing me due to my dog.

I know hindsight is a wonderful thing but did you document (pics on phone and a message to landlord) everytime you discovered something I know younsay you know he wont do things but at least you could say well i told you about them
If not then am not sure what the outcome will be

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At the time I initially moved in some pictures were taken on a very old phone I had lost a year or so in. The challenge I think I would have had would have been that they had done some very basic things to hide the presentation of some of the fundamental problems (thick wallpaper covering holes in the wall for example) and I am less convinced they would have supported me as much as a video which I simply didn’t take.

In terms of notifying them - I did at first with things but all of it was verbal which in hindsight I know is an obvious error as once they refused or simply stated a very shoddy solution I could do myself I simply did not try again. I got to a point where I simply stopped altogether.

I should add as well - there are wear and tear issues throughout too - the decor of the property was always like something out of the 1980’s and as a result it hasnt been particularily easy to maintain.

Kitchen as an example - wallpapered (white paper) ceiling in a room with no ventilation (in the winter it is simply too cold to open the window), no heating and a 40 year old gas oven and hob without an extractor fan has naturally over time left oil stains across the room.

Does it make any difference that at the point the initial tenancy with myself and another ended and a new tenancy with just myself begun that no inspection had been complete or is that simply irrelevant?

Again with all due respect the things you have mentioned about the kitchen surely you wouldve noticed (no ventilation wallpapered ceilings etc) when you viewed the property

When I initially viewed if im honest I wasnt as focused on condition due to the fact I had to move before being made homeless. I totally agree with you though I should have. It is sounding like I do not have much room here aside from a lesson learned kinda scenario

The property sounds uninhabitable. You need to get the local Environment Health Officer around there asap. They have the power to force the landlord to make the required repairs.

I’m really sorry that you have these issues and I understand that without a good credit score and references, you were probably looking at a limited, poor properties before you moved in.

Your landlord is accountable for the condition of the property but when you moved in, were you given a picture inventory of the state of the rooms? As a landlord this shows the tenant the condition of the property when you move in. It is signed by the tenant and can include comments where there are marks on walls or existing damage. When the property is inspected, the picture inventory shows where damage already exists. I’m sorry too that you only had photos on your phone which is now mislaid.

All is not lost. You should have been given a How To Rent document. This lists your and your landlords responsibilities. If he has not fulfilled his, he is in breach of the agreement. If the property is really in a poor state, I would contact the local council and ask someone to come and inspect the property. You can also get help from Citizens Advice on 0800 144 8848.
I hope that your situation improves soon. Matthew

What is the situation if the LL doesn’t want to fix any repairs in a property and elects that any tenants leave and find somewhere else instead.

The landlord can’t elect unilaterally that the tenants should leave, so unless they’re willing to, they have no choice but to carry out the repairs.

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