How do i deal with problems in my rented property?

UK Home Improvement

How Do I Deal With Problems In My Rented Property?

If you are renting, which is 35.7% of Britons, you may have found yourself dealing with problems in the property you live in and are wondering how you can deal with it. 

Whilst renting can be extremely useful if you are not looking to buy a home right now, you need to understand how to escalate problems to landlords that may arise, including broken appliances, issues with central heating, hot water, bad smells, pest infestations and more.

Whether you’re facing these problems now or want to be prepared for the future, understanding how to effectively handle them is crucial – and we speak to some industry experts to get more insight.

Start By Identifying What The Problem Is

The problems you experience with rented accommodation can be obvious such as appliances that do not work, but for leaks and bad smells, these can be a little trickier to identify. If you cannot tell what the issue is initially, you can ask your landlord, ask a friend to check it out or speak to an experienced builder or consultant.

Common issues include:

  • Mould appearing in damp areas like bathrooms or kitchens which can cause health problems if not dealt with promptly
  • Bad smells that could indicate underlying issues such as plumbing leaks or poor ventilation
  • Lack of hot water stemming from a malfunctioning heater or plumbing issues

A lot of issues start in the loft, including water, heating and even squirrels living in the roof so consulting professionals in the loft space such as The Premier Lofts Company is the recommended place to start.

Once you have figured out the issue and how it is affecting your living situation, you can begin the process to get it fixed. Some may be quickly resolved and others may require bigger and more expensive work, but having this clearly communicated with your landlord and knowing the timeframe is step one. Is it a simple fix or do you need to vacate the premises? These are vital and getting a second opinion does not hurt.

Have An Open Dialogue With Your Landlord

Being able to speak to your landlord and get things resolved is very important in building a healthy relationship between parties. In fact, a lot of landlords are usually just a call away and can pop in at short notice.

As soon as you notice a problem, inform your landlord or property manager in writing (even by text or email), providing details and where possible photographic evidence using your phone.

There is a process to this, to ensure that it is fully paid and fixed by the landlord. You need to be polite but clear in your communication that there is an issue and you would like prompt action

Many landlords appreciate proactive tenants who report problems early on, as it allows them to address issues before they get worse and more expensive..

Make Sure You Know Your Rights As A Tenant

Tenants have a number of rights to ensure the good living condition of the premises in which they rent – and there is always a tenancy agreement to highlight the plan of action when these things arise. 

Looking at the contract with your landlord, whether they are part of a big or small company and see what the landlord is obligated to provide and they are supposed to go about it. 

Generally speaking, landlords are typically responsible for maintaining essential utilities like hot water and heating and making sure that the property attends to acceptable health and safety standards. If your landlord fails to address issues within a reasonable timeframe, you may have legal recourse and you can take further action using legal representatives such as Claims Bible.

In cases when repairs are not made and it is impacting your daily life, sleep, physical and mental health, you can build up a case against your landlord to pay damages and compensation.

Make Sure That You Document Everything

With issues arising in a rented flat or house, you need to start documenting things that happen including the dates, times and magnitude of things such as noises, leaks, smells or similar. It might get to a point where legal action is taken somewhere down the line and these documents could prove useful in court. 

Take recordings, photos, records of correspondence – not in the sake that you want to frame your landlord, but just in case issues arise with insurance or anyone wants to make you liable for these issues. At least you are prepared.

Get The Help Of Professionals 

In some cases, resolving issues in your rented property may require professional intervention. For example, severe mould infestations or plumbing issues may necessitate the expertise of qualified contractors. 

If you are having heating or water problems and need emergency boiler repairs, you need to know where you stand in terms of the landlord organising this or you doing this yourself. 

If your landlord is not responding, is away or unable to address the problems properly, consider hiring the professionals yourself, keeping in mind any key clauses in your lease agreement regarding reimbursement for repairs.

When Should You Escalate?

If your landlord repeatedly fails to address issues or violates your tenant rights, you may need to escalate the matter. 

When you feel that the landlord is failing and nothing is being resolved, you may need to escalate this situation further. You can start by researching local tenant advocacy groups or legal aid services that can provide guidance and support. 

In some cases, filing a formal complaint with housing authorities or seeking legal advice may be necessary to enforce your rights and get your landlord to shake a leg.

Based on how serious the problems are and if the place is unlivable, you may need to consider your options for alternative housing arrangements. In fact, you may have grounds to terminate your lease early or not pay rent until the issues are resolved. 

However, it’s essential to understand the legal implications and potential consequences of such actions before doing anything drastic, so speaking to support groups, lawyers and housing professionals is important, but only if your landlord is not helpful.


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