Landlord/Manager problems

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spiderpigs
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#1
Report Thread starter 8 years ago
#1
Hi

My building must have the most terrible manager (my landlord's employee) ever but I'd like to get some confirmation to make sure my expectations aren't unreasonably high.

We haven't had cold water in our building for several days now and naturally I called the administrator to report the problem. After a day I call again and he says it's the "council's problem" (I assume he concluded that after the plumber told him the whole building was without water) and that it's not his responsibility- all said in a very rude manner. In fact, I'm sure he was actually yelling when I asked when the problem would be fixed.

As for my expectations-- sure, I wasn't expecting him to solve the problem himself, but shouldn't he have called Thames Water and reported the problem? He babbled something about the council but ours is not a council building and the local council told me it's not their problem. So I had to call Thames Water and report the problem. I was told nobody else had reported it.

Shouldn't he have at least given me an explanation as to what was happening in my building? Shouldn't he have actually investigated the problem? Instead of offering a logical explanation or at least an excuse, the guy started yelling it's not his responsibility. I was even expecting an apology for the inconvenience even though he wasn't directly responsible. After all, we still pay the rent in full like we always do.
Was his behaviour normal in this situation?
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Origami Bullets
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#2
Report 8 years ago
#2
(Original post by spiderpigs)
Hi

My building must have the most terrible manager (my landlord's employee) ever but I'd like to get some confirmation to make sure my expectations aren't unreasonably high.

We haven't had cold water in our building for several days now and naturally I called the administrator to report the problem. After a day I call again and he says it's the "council's problem" (I assume he concluded that after the plumber told him the whole building was without water) and that it's not his responsibility- all said in a very rude manner. In fact, I'm sure he was actually yelling when I asked when the problem would be fixed.

As for my expectations-- sure, I wasn't expecting him to solve the problem himself, but shouldn't he have called Thames Water and reported the problem? He babbled something about the council but ours is not a council building and the local council told me it's not their problem. So I had to call Thames Water and report the problem. I was told nobody else had reported it.

Shouldn't he have at least given me an explanation as to what was happening in my building? Shouldn't he have actually investigated the problem? Instead of offering a logical explanation or at least an excuse, the guy started yelling it's not his responsibility. I was even expecting an apology for the inconvenience even though he wasn't directly responsible. After all, we still pay the rent in full like we always do.
Was his behaviour normal in this situation?
His behaviour is disgusting and illegal.

Rented homes must be provided with running water - it's the law.

I'd suggest ringing up your local council's environmental health department, as they can light a rocket up your landlord's backside.

You may also wish to ring the Shelter helpline.

In the meantime, however, post on http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/...splay.php?f=16 - it's a very useful forum and they will be able to give you chapter and verse on what your rights are.
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username851717
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#3
Report 8 years ago
#3
Might be worth threatening to withdraw any future payments until this problem is fixed asap. He'd soon get his arse in gear.
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james22
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#4
Report 8 years ago
#4
(Original post by nixonsjellybeans)
Might be worth threatening to withdraw any future payments until this problem is fixed asap. He'd soon get his arse in gear.
Bad idea, this would just break the contract and put the OP straight into the wrong when they are currently in the right.
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blue n white army
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#5
Report 8 years ago
#5
(Original post by james22)
Bad idea, this would just break the contract and put the OP straight into the wrong when they are currently in the right.
is the contract not already broken by the fact that nothing has been done to restore water?
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username851717
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#6
Report 8 years ago
#6
(Original post by james22)
Bad idea, this would just break the contract and put the OP straight into the wrong when they are currently in the right.
Wrong. It gives them motivation to actually solve a problem that they otherwise might not care about. Also a contract states paying for a service, if the other side decides to withdraw the full service then in theory payment should stop.
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OMGWTFBBQ
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#7
Report 8 years ago
#7
(Original post by blue n white army)
is the contract not already broken by the fact that nothing has been done to restore water?
Most contracts have a clause which states that breaking one clause doesn't break the whole contract.

ie. not providing water doesn't invalidate any of the other obligations, though of course it is in and of itself a problem.
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Origami Bullets
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#8
Report 8 years ago
#8
(Original post by nixonsjellybeans)
Wrong. It gives them motivation to actually solve a problem that they otherwise might not care about. Also a contract states paying for a service, if the other side decides to withdraw the full service then in theory payment should stop.
Not how it works, I'm afraid.

If your landlord won't carry out repairs or is being unreasonably slow in getting them done, you could pay for repair work yourself and then deduct the costs from your rent. If you do this, you must follow the correct procedure (see below). If you don't follow the correct procedure, you could be evicted for rent arrears.

Tenants do not have the right to withhold rent, and most tenants can be evicted if rent arrears build up, regardless of why the rent arrears exist. So, if you don't pay all of your rent, the landlord might try to evict you. However, if you have aregulated tenancy, or an assured tenancy and owe less than eight weeks' rent, your landlord must go to court to get an order to evict you, and the courts will only evict you if the judge thinks it is reasonable to do so. Remember to keep copies of all your letters to your landlord, to show the court you only deducted the rent money to pay for repairs.


If you have an assured shorthold tenancy or are an occupier with basic protectionor an excluded occupier you can be evicted much more easily. If you have limited rights and the repairs are not essential, it may be better to live with things as they are – get advice on what to do in this situation. Use our directory to find a local advice centre.
More details here http://england.shelter.org.uk/get_ad...iy_repair_work
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blue n white army
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#9
Report 8 years ago
#9
(Original post by OMGWTFBBQ)
Most contracts have a clause which states that breaking one clause doesn't break the whole contract.

ie. not providing water doesn't invalidate any of the other obligations, though of course it is in and of itself a problem.
Is there not potential to argue a fundamental breach of contract in this instance? Therefore the offending party is not entitled to use these clauses.
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username851717
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#10
Report 8 years ago
#10
(Original post by Origami Bullets)
Not how it works, I'm afraid.


More details here http://england.shelter.org.uk/get_ad...iy_repair_work
Thats the theory anyway, but in practical use it can be quite useful. You don't want any trouble, the landlord doesn't want any trouble, best way to solve it is by fixing the damn problem they should be trying to fix in the first instance.

As for actual withdrawl of payments, I never suggested that. I suggested using a bit of leverage to convince an otherwise stubborn landlord and believe me it works.
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Origami Bullets
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#11
Report 8 years ago
#11
(Original post by nixonsjellybeans)
Thats the theory anyway, but in practical use it can be quite useful. You don't want any trouble, the landlord doesn't want any trouble, best way to solve it is by fixing the damn problem they should be trying to fix in the first instance.

As for actual withdrawl of payments, I never suggested that. I suggested using a bit of leverage to convince an otherwise stubborn landlord and believe me it works.
My point still stands that the law is not on your side if you withhold rent.

Though the point is somewhat moot - the OP is without running water, and they need it fixed now, not at the end of the month when rent is (presumably) due and the landlord will start to notice. So, they need more immediate solutions - like Environmental Health.
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james22
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#12
Report 8 years ago
#12
(Original post by blue n white army)
is the contract not already broken by the fact that nothing has been done to restore water?

(Original post by nixonsjellybeans)
Wrong. It gives them motivation to actually solve a problem that they otherwise might not care about. Also a contract states paying for a service, if the other side decides to withdraw the full service then in theory payment should stop.
Not how it works. If you withhold rent they will take you to court for it, and they will win. If you want compensation for this you have to go through the courts. This is not about what is right, and what should happen, it is about what the law says and if you withhold rent then the law says you are in the wrong.
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username851717
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#13
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#13
(Original post by Origami Bullets)
My point still stands that the law is not on your side if you withhold rent.

Though the point is somewhat moot - the OP is without running water, and they need it fixed now, not at the end of the month when rent is (presumably) due and the landlord will start to notice. So, they need more immediate solutions - like Environmental Health.
Indeed they do need a quick solution and to EH etc I would go. But I wouldn't be keen on the fact that you have given the landlord a free pass to roll you over whenever he likes. Letting him know you are not satisfied is a decent step to take considering you are essentially his customer, providing your not just throwing your toys out of your pram.

(Original post by james22)
Not how it works. If you withhold rent they will take you to court for it, and they will win. If you want compensation for this you have to go through the courts. This is not about what is right, and what should happen, it is about what the law says and if you withhold rent then the law says you are in the wrong.
Might be worth noting I mentioned threatening to withdraw payment rather than actually withdrawing payment, I perfectly understand the conquences of not paying your debts. Leverage however can be useful.
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Origami Bullets
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#14
Report 8 years ago
#14
(Original post by nixonsjellybeans)
Indeed they do need a quick solution and to EH etc I would go. But I wouldn't be keen on the fact that you have given the landlord a free pass to roll you over whenever he likes. Letting him know you are not satisfied is a decent step to take considering you are essentially his customer, providing your not just throwing your toys out of your pram.

Might be worth noting I mentioned threatening to withdraw payment rather than actually withdrawing payment, I perfectly understand the conquences of not paying your debts. Leverage however can be useful.
It's not giving the landlord a free pass, it's a case of not giving them ammunition to fire back with. There are plenty of other ways to go about this - Environmental Health, and the Students' Union should probably be involved to e.g. last summer mine stopped an illegal mass eviction of some private halls nearby.

The point does need to be made to the OP that they cannot legally stop paying their rent because of this, so I think the clarification is useful.
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Bill_Gates
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#15
Report 8 years ago
#15
Sounds like a hard working landlord, leave him be.
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spiderpigs
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#16
Report Thread starter 8 years ago
#16
Thanks everyone. The rent is due at the beginning of each month so I've already paid for this mess.
So I was right to believe that, even though the problem isn't immediately repairable by a plumber, the manager still has the responsibility to investigate the issue/report it to the relevant authority--right?
I'll contact Environmental Health/Safety and see what they think of this.
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Origami Bullets
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#17
Report 8 years ago
#17
(Original post by spiderpigs)
Thanks everyone. The rent is due at the beginning of each month so I've already paid for this mess.
So I was right to believe that, even though the problem isn't immediately repairable by a plumber, the manager still has the responsibility to investigate the issue/report it to the relevant authority--right?
I'll contact Environmental Health/Safety and see what they think of this.
Yes, it's their responsibility to get it sorted out, but as they're not doing anything, you will have to light a rocket up their arses

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