Seeking legal advice on renting property

Hi, guys…I have a problem with my landlord…story is below.

I would like to ask some advices on renting property, me and my flatmate currently living in an apartment, we moved in here on 2nd of July, and the freezer is a integrated one (not build-in, its just inside a cupboard in the kitchen), but we realised the wooden door was disconnect to the actual freezer door on the day we moved in, so my flatmate fixed it, eventually we managed to open the freezer and we saw the pipe is broken and causing gas leaking (done by previous tenants), so we report to the landlord and estate agent straight away as the estate agent said they don’t manage the property, however landlord asked estate agent to send one technician down to inspect, technician came down and said we will need a new one and can tell it was done by old tenants, but landlord is taking it really really slow basically if we don’t call him he won’t contact us. Well he did call me three days ago and said he wants to buy a freezer from Currys’ to put it in the living room to save the cost, I told him the living room doesn’t have anymore space for a freezer as I have my fairing and leathers etc sitting in living room, and he told me to throw them away… I know this is really piss taking, because that means me and my flatmate are going to pay for the electricity to run a broken freezer (it cannot be switched off) and one working freezer. I understand we have the right to say no as when we moved in the freezer is in the cupboard not an external one in living room. But I don’t think my landlord understand my point as he thinks he has his own logic.

It has been one month since the day we moved in, we have been living in this property without freezer since then and we paid him 6 months of rent at front with a contract… the landlord even sometime plays hide and seek game with us and estate agent (he owes estate agent cleaning fee as well since beginning of July), me and my flatmate are running out of patience so we are thinking to start look into some legal action. Just wonder if there is any advice you guys can give us or is there any other way to scare the landlord without actually start the legal procedure?

Any advice will be appreciate :slight_smile:

Surely there is an itinerary …

The itinerary is a part of the rent/lease contract/agreement. If the freezer is listed as in the kitchen in the kitchen it stays. The living room is the living room and if you chose to clutter it up with fairings and leathers that’s your choice. You don’t have to clutter up your living space with kitchen items such as freezers or the like, nor do you want the background noise from these appliances polluting your living space. Its your living space.

I don’t understand why you can’t switch the broken freezer off. If the electrical socket isn’t obvious and can’t be seen it’ll be behind/within the cupboard. Disconnect the cupboard doors from the fridge/freezer doors, empty both compartments and gently ease the unit from the cupboard, trace the cable back to the electrical outlet and switch it off or remove the plug simple. So you may end up without fridge or freezer but its not the end of the world.

You could ring the landlord and insist he replaces it like for like within the next 5 days or, you’ll replace it like for like and stop the costs from future rent payments. Don’t forget to charge the landlord for delivery, installation, disposal of unit etc. Check you legal standing before carrying out this action, maybe the estate agent could advise you.

I will answer this more fully later on, but withholding rent is frowned upon, one breach of contract does not deserve another as far as the courts are concerned.

A copy of the tenancy agreement, lease would be useful though.

Enter the font of knowledge for all manner of legal pleadings …

Kaos is your man

It’s difficult to withold rent that you’ve already paid anyway.

If the Landlord is going to get Currys to deliver a new freezer, it would be best to do what Art said - get the old freezer out of the cupboard and swap the over when the new one gets delivered - I think Currys will take an old freezer away with them (possibly for a cost, which your landlord should cover). No need to put it in the living room.

When the roof in my rented flat started leaking I stopped paying rent and wound up with a court summons. I managed to settle with a partial payment for the period in which it was leaking plus I moved out and it was dropped. I’m not sure how it would have turned out if I went to court. The land lord was aware of the problem as it developed and did nothing about it. It was only when I stopped paying rent that he sprung into action. Prior to that we were on good terms and I was first point of contact for the other house mates if anything went wrong. It all boiled down to money though and as soon as he was losing out the relationship collapsed.

The correct legal procdure was to contact him and then if there was no action I was supposed to get 3 quotes, take the cheapest one and then claim the money back from rent apparently. The job was going to cost several £K (which I didn’t have) and approval from the managing agents etc.

The citizens advice bureau can help with this and they are free plus there is Kaos on here who may be more helpful than them.

I don’t mean to be negative, however, my experience with London landlords and agencies are that they are all completed and utter ba5tards. They’d rather lose a kidney than spend any money. To hell with them.

Have a browse here, lots of info

if the LL does buy a new fridge then make sure its an intergrated fridge and not a free standing one. your old fridge will have a power point on top or behind the fridge. simply slide the old fridge out (might have a couple screws holding it in place) and slide new one in. Again, make sure its screwed down as the fridge might move backwards and the doors will stay open even though the timber door is shut tight.

Most importantly, the fridge/freezer must have the same % of Fridge/Freezer compartments. IE: If the fridge and the freezer are the same size then it is a 50/50. If the fridge is 60% of the size then it is a 60/40. This is important as the timber fascia doors must be able to fit them.

If you get a 50/50 FF and the fascia doors are (lets say) 70/30 (small freezer) then when you open the freezer door it will try to open the fridge side too.

hope this helps. or I’d fit it for a small fee :Whistling:

Thanks people’s advices.

I have just spoken to the estate agent on the phone about the contract, and they confirm that base on landlord’s action about this broken freezer issue, he already break the term of contract therefore legal action can be taken against him. Also the estate agent has began their own legal action against he refuse to pay cleaning fee.

Also another point that estate agent mentioned, they asked me if I received any certificate about our deposit being under a protection scheme since we moved in, I answered no, they explained to me that since landlord wants to manage the property by himself so the deposit has gone into his pocket and its his duty to find a deposit protection company by himself, and this has to be done within 14 days or 30 days since we moved in they are not sure. But he hasn’t done that until now the 37th day since we moved in, therefore he has broken not only the contract but also the law, so we can claim 3 times the amount of the deposit we paid him as compensation which is about £5.5k. Estate agent said its worth to mention about this to my friend who study law which is Kaos.

I think the landlord doesn’t realise what kind of trouble he is in at the moment.

I tried to look for the power switch for freezer but cannot find it, only manage to turn the freezer to minimum power and shut the door to prevent leaking gas coming out…

Apart from all the other issues with this, if the thing is leaking gas then it’s a health hazard and he should have sorted it straight away. I wouldn’t just try and turn it off, I’d unplug it and remove it from the flat ASAP!

its got to be plugged in somewhere. 90% of the time its behind the fridge. pull it out and have a look. if the fridge has no plug and the cable “dissapears” into a wall socked. It is just hardwired in. Turn off all the power to the flat just to make sure. unscrew the socket and undo the fridge. Its just like a plug.

It could just be a normal plug though.

take the fridge out and take a photo for me

With respect to deposit since the law changed (a few years ago) private landlords have to put your deposit in a holding company. That way they cannot just take your deposit claiming they need it for cleaning. At the end of the tennancy the proportion of your deposit that is returned has to be agreed. Sounds like your land lord clearly hasn’t done that and is one of the utter ba5tards I referred to above.

My ex-landlord put the deposit in his pocket - at the time I had asked him about the protection scheme and he made up some excuse about not having to because of the value, blah blah. I had gone to the citizen’s advice bureau (worth paying your local one a visit, they’re really helpful and free!) and they told me about the 3 times the deposit rule so decided to chance it and didn’t take it further (I had asked him twice already). Eventually got my money back about a month after I left, apparently you have to give them some room to pay you the deposit back and if they don’t, then you can take them to court for the 3x the amount.

One thing I would say is keep e-mailing him, to get things on record because if it does come to a small claims court, you’ll need all the evidence you can get.

I would summarise all points on one long e-mail with actions and ‘realistic’ times for everything to be ammended so that you are seen to be giving fair warning, send to him and copy the estate agents (that way he won’t be able to wriggle out of it)

State in there all the reasons why an alternative freezer is not a viable alternative and what you expect…

Kaos may offer different advice - I’d follow his :smiley:

If you have an exchange of text messages and you you have an iphone you can take screen shots and put that in a document. I think email is much better legally but if you’ve already got some text dialogue it’s good to capture that also even just for your own records.

I’ve been communicate with landlord by phone call so far… did text him a few times but he always called me back… I will try stick to e-mail from now on, really need to start keep it record for future use just in case. :blink:

Also make a note of when you called him and what was said. It all goes to show that you have tried to resolve it amicably.