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My rights as a tenant?

beth1beth1 Posts: 2 Newbie
Hi there! 

Ive been trying to get through to citizens advice but understandably, they are super busy right now and every time I’m waiting on hold, I get cut off. I’m really hoping that I could get some advice here. (I have no idea what else to do) sorry it’s long!

So, I’m 20 years old and I’ve had my own business now since I was 16. I learnt to groom dogs and now I own (well rent) my own salon. Despite the current climate, I am very, very busy right now. My diary is fuller than ever and I am concerned about my own health when dealing with customers. I am hand sanitising all of the time and disinfecting door handles after every customer.  I can not afford to close my business right now. I’m hoping that the UK gets put in “lock down” soon so that a portion of my wages will be covered and I will not have to survive on SSP. I do receive rates relief and so am entitled to the £10.000 grant but not knowing how long I will be forced to close is concerning because obviously, I still have bills to pay.

I have anxiety over that but more so over my home situation. I rent a flat which is just over the road from my salon. I had the keys on October 15th 2019 and the landlords own the restaurant / take away underneath my flat. It’s not the nicest flat ever... well it wasn’t... but my landlords said that I could decorate it however I wished and when I moved in I spent thousands decorating, re flooring etc the whole flat before moving in.

I asked for bank bank details to be able to pay for my rent but she said that she wanted it cash?😕 I felt uncomfortable doing this as i had no proof that I had paid and it takes 2 days to be able to draw the money out of the ATM🙄 but despite this I said OK and I pay cash.

So my rent was paid, I asked her who my electricity supplier was and she had no idea😐. I then had issues with steam because we have no ventilation in the flat, it was making my walls wet and bubbling my painting and wall paper which I had just paid to have done😩 on top of this, the oven which she supplied had broken so I had to buy another. She agreed to get the builder to fix this, and he did but I had to wait until the new year and then pay once again for the decorating to be fixed 

Fast forward a few months, the cooks in her shop start leaving rubbish on my front door step😧 and they are leaving food / squashed lemons, rice, curry powder barrels open just outside their back door and their front door. I am obviously concerned about that being an open invitation to a buffet for rats. I ask her politely to ask the guys to stop leaving rubbish outside my front door. She does, I get home from work and it has never looked so clean but now it’s happening again, grrrr!

Now, my final issue is that I have no warm water in my flat. I cannot clean myself, wash up, mop the floor or do anything that requires warm water. I text her the day it stopped working to let her know, she didn’t reply until 4 days later and her shop/take away was closed. I was at work, like usual until 5pm, it was my moms birthday and so I had to quickly finish work, get clean in cold water and dressed and rush to moms to celebrate with her. I look at my phone, she has said - 

Now obviously I am very happy that she tried to fix it for me but it was such short notice and I feel that was unfair ?! She even text my dad to ask where I was but he doesn’t know how to use his phone so didn’t see the text. I already told her that I wasn’t in. 

I am sleeping on my parents sofa, they are over the moon to have me back home and I love being with them but I want my own home back. I obviously still have to pay rent. My parents are high risk when catching COVID-19 and because I still have to work, I don’t want to be around them incase I catch it. She was ignoring my texts so I went into their take away and asked what was going on.

she said the plumber is now refusing to come out for 2 weeks. Ugh. I said that’s no good for me, I need hot water. She said if I know someone private I can ask for them to come but she’s not willing to pay a lot. I said I don’t know anyone private and so she said there’s nothing she can do.

surely my land lord can’t leave me without hot water? Would I be wrong for not paying rent if I’m having to live with my parents rather than at my home because I do not have the essentials I need to live. What do I do? I have no idea what my rights are 


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    Kathleen07Kathleen07 Posts: 1,938 Extreme Poster
    Hey! Welcome to the mix :)

    I'm really sorry, I don't know much about this sort of stuff so I'm afraid I can't think of much advice to give. I just wanted to say I read all that, and to bump your thread so that hopefully someone else sees your post and can help you out. It sounds like a really rubbish situation to be in. I know the UK ended up going on lockdown - I suppose you're not going to work right now? Are you still with your parents?
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    EyepatchEyepatch Posts: 666 Incredible Poster
    Do you have a letting agent or a signed contract from your landlord? 

    https://www.gov.uk/private-renting This gives details of your rights.

    To start with, your landlord should be giving you 24 hours minimum notice before entering or sending others around to enter the property. You also have the right to live in a property thats safe and in a good state of repair, to be honest, your landlord sounds downright unprofessional. Finding out who the water supplier is and calling them could help with the hot water, it shouldn't be your job to look for a plumber, thats her responsibility and she should know that. Also she should pay for it no matter the cost- as its her legal responsibility to keep the property in a fit for living in condition. She should have paid to fix the oven too.

    Look at your local councils website and see if they can help too, the good thing is your landlord has texted you all the evidence you need if you want to make a formal complaint. 

    I hope everything goes okay, but honestly I worry that your landlord is taking advantage of the way this is your first rented property. The first landlord I had tried to do the same thing, I had slugs and snails crawling though my room and a huge hole in the floor. :( 

    Stay safe, save all of her messages and read though your rights, it can be stressful but you can get though this. 

    "Sometimes we find ourselves stuck between choosing what is right, and what is easy." 
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    beth1beth1 Posts: 2 Newbie

    You are right. My landlord is unprofessional. She's a pain when i need something fixing and it makes me feel bad for asking her! 

    I had to close my shop when Boris announced lock down, i've applied for universal credit and thankfully have been accepted. I'm still waiting on my 10k grant in order to pay for the shops rent but i am losing a massive amount of money here.  :'( 

    Even though my landlord is a nightmare, my rent is really nice and cheap - £380 per month and my electricity meter is actually in their shop down stairs so i'm not having to pay for electric until thats fixed. I. love this because i have no heating in my flat so i can keep my electric fire running so keep myself warm without worrying about the hefty bill. My salon is also directly opposite my flat, i just have to cross the road so that is also a big win.

    I found my own plumber, her came and fixed the issue and it was £85. I usually wouldn't moan at that but considering i have no income.. this isn't great for me. My landlord hasn't replied to my texts yet and rent is due tomorrow. I think i'm just going to knock the £85 off of my rent. Considering she wants it cash, she will have to wait for lock down to be over.

    Never mind, all sorted now! I'm just happy to be able to enjoy baths again haha 

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    EyepatchEyepatch Posts: 666 Incredible Poster

    Im really glad you are getting it sorted, it’s worth keeping the bill from the plumber so you can text it to the landlord if you do get asked about the £85 :) 

    After the lockdown I think lots of dogs are going to need grooming so hopefully you’ll make some of the money back then :) I know both my dogs need a good haircut  =)
    "Sometimes we find ourselves stuck between choosing what is right, and what is easy." 
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