Section 21 Notice - repairs and rent increase

Until this point I have had quite a good relationship with my landlord. They are really sloppy but it has been what it has been.

I moved into the property around the end of lockdown. It was hard to get a property.

I was referenced and checked via the local agent signed my tennacy and last minute got a call to move over to a private tennancy.

I quickly learned it was due to the disrepair of the property. Faulty boiler, faulty oven, broken front door latch, broken back door handle, window latches and handles not securing the second floor windows in one room meaning that with a push they fly open. Actually a childs bedroom. Leaking sinks and leaking windows when it rains in another bedroom making the windowsill wet.

My children are in the local school and not many houses come up for rent. I also kinda just have a get on with it attitude.

Clearly, it was why they dropped the local agent as they would be compelled to rectify.

The previous tennant come to collect post and let me know they do not repair anything and all issues existed during her 5 year tennacy. The shower also had issues with air trapping and would always be cold. When you put the hot water on the heating would come on. Due to plumbing not the diverter valve. Only really un-manageable in the summer and they knew of all issues and had me playing silly buggers doing all sorts of tricks. Anyhow 4 kids a busy job etc there are bigger things to worry about.

As the title I have been served a section 21. They have asked to increase the rent £350 per month. I know everything has gone up but that is a steep increase considering the conduct of them. I think £1900 for the property is far too much when looking at others in the area. The worst thing is, the boiler was getting condemed by the gas engineer and somehow they convinced him to pass it. Then it broke and it didnt work and they could not get a safety checked past. I was without a Gsc for 6 months a working boiler for 3 months October, Novemeber, and December. No working immertion heater backup. To top it, I had no oven either as it broke, that was 8 weeks. It had been blowing and have been repaired 1 time eaxh year. I Still had the hob and I still paid on time every month as i should have and have always paid on time since month 1. I begged for a new oven before Christmas and boiler. They got the oven sorted after a major hassle with 4 failed fitting attempts, and it has been installed without an earth cable by a family friend. They also got the boiler changed in January changed the system, to a combi but there is a backfeed of cold so now the water is lukewarm all the time.

We arranged a meeting to discuss the rent increase and the wife in the partnership LL is husband and wife looked at my partner and started asking if she was my babysitter or house cleaner, said she has never met her. She is very passive aggressive. She wouldn’t have met her as she never comes to the property her husband does. Well an argument eurrupted and they left and served me noitce the following day. I reported them to the police for coming into my home and verbally abusing me and my partner. Just for the record not any action.

I am a little gutted that after 3 years of renting and putting up with how crap they are they serve me. 8 weeks is tight to pack everything up and find a new property.

My question is, as there was no GSC for 6 months and only one a week before the section 21. Does it count? I have had enough here just need some more time. The gas pipes got changed into the property and it is just an building certificate for the boiler nothing about the cooker.

I dont l know if it is worth reporting them to the council or hse as the boiler has been chnaged now and all the other stuff are more of an annoyence. I cant imagine they would do much. Would be a shame for them to treat another family like this.

Move on and forget and put it down to a bad experience?

Any advice would be good. But i imagine as when the new tennancy started there was a GSC a 6 month gap then a new boiler and then a notice served it stands regardless?

S21 does not end a tenancy, merely states the LL wants the property back. A tenancy is ended by a tenant giving notice or an eviction order. If you are happy to leave (why would you want to stay?) tell the LL you will leave when you have found somewhere to go & start looking & move out at your convenience, giving the LL 1 month notice if that is what your contract states. Although a correctly served S21 (and yours may not be) will always result in an eviction, it is a long process & as long as you leave fairly promptly it is unlikely the LL will actually get to court.

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I think the s21 notice is possibly invalid. There are many things that can invalidate a s21. If you notified the landlord in writing of the serious disrepair and they didnt address it before serving the notice, then that may be enough. Not serving you with the EPC and How to Rent booklet prior to notice would also make it invalid. If there was no GSC in place before you moved in then the landlord would never be able to serve a valid s21 notice. The recent case of Van-Herpen v Green & Green is also worth mentioning. In this, the judge ruled that a new gas installation some-time between GSCs will require its own certificate and the landlord cant just wait until the regular cert is next due. This was a county court case, so not legally binding, but its likely to be taken account of in any future court case.

What I think you should do now, is call in the local Environmental Health Officer. They will help you get the disrepair sorted and may help you defend the case.

If the rent increase request was just informal then you are at liberty to ignore it. If it was lawfully made with a s13 notice, then I would suggest that you challenge it with the First Tier Tribunal. You may or may not win, depending on local market rents, but it will at least help buy you time.

Ultimately I think you should move from this awful place, so I suggest you start looking now.

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