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Landlord and house problems

  • 26-02-2021 12:38pm
    Registered Users Posts: 166,026 ✭✭✭✭

    I (M, 32) have to go anonn for this as I live with people who have accounts and I don't want them thinking I haven't taken their request on board to ask the landlord for assistance. I already have an account

    I live in a house share with 2 (M, 35) (F, 36) other people. The rent is approx €1,800 in total between the 3 of us. It's a 3 bed house with 1 double and 2 single, a shared bathroom, kitchen and sitting room. In a location that's fairly decent. All relivetly normal. I'm not the original on the lease but since the original tenant left and I was the third one that moved in after both tenants left I'm responsible for the rent and bill payments to the landlord. That part is fine I always receive the rent and bills on time with no issues from the others. I am WFH and the other 2 are healthcare workers have the house to myself for the best part of the days. That's all is fine.

    But the house itself.... I've an arm length list of issues with the house and the previous tenants informed the landlord during the time they were here and the landlord made no attempt to fix these issues so they had to do it themselves. This short term fix has arisen and I'm not handy with these works at all. To say I know DIY would go as far as saying I can glue a door handle to the press if needed (I haven't but that's as much skills that I have lol) One of the tenants last was having a shower and notice that the shower box with the temperature knob doesn't work properly in terms of the temperature settings and doing quick googling I could probably fix it myself but I've the I the same skills as Homer Simpsons when he was putting the BBQ together lol. I don't trust myself to fix it and I certainly don't trust myself to open any electrical boxes with wires.

    Brings me to the question do I inform the landlord or can I get someone out to fix this issue and tell the landlord to take this from the rent for the following month? My roommate found damp in the corner of their room and my other room mate notice that their bedroom isn't properly ventilated and is also noticing damp. My room is fine but I have also notice a damp smell that's been getting worst. Another issue is that the front garden pavement has started to raise due to rain water. It's like the pavement can be lifted with less effort needed. Obviously being unsafe I can't leave this issue alone. Along with the damp, shower issue and pavement... A neighbour has notice that birds have been getting into a hole on the roof and nesting themselves in the attic. I haven't accessed the attaic and to be honest I didn't even know there was one and I've been living her for nearly 6 years. To be fair I'm not even sure if thats much of an issue or the neighbour just informing me out of interest but I thought I would add that in in case it's another one added to the list

    I just want to ask that any of these issues, would they be requirements to go to my landlord and ask for assistance or are these issues I can sort out myself and ask the landlord to duduct rent? I'm not afraid to ask but the previous tenant said that the landlord doesn't give a fiddlers about the house and it's condition and would rather receive his money. I pass the 3 rents into his account and I don't get so much as a thanks or received message so I'm lucky I ever hear from him. In the 6 years I've been here his wife knocked on the door once to say that they were thinking of getting a surveyor around and that never happened. I'm not actually sure what that was about but I've not heard a peep since then. I just don't want to waste my time in asking him and forwarding invoices for things to go arseways....its no healthy to live in a house with damp and a shower that can't work properly and a pavement that is a lawsuit waiting to happen
    Advice and tips needed if possible


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,882 ✭✭✭Caranica

    Any chance of paragraphs, your post is difficult to read.

    Absolutely do NOT interfere with the shower. Mains electricity and water can be a lethal combination.

    There can be contributory factors to dampness. Not opening windows, drying clothes etc. A dehumidifier would help but so might even those cheapo dessicant gels you'll find in Dealz or any 2 euro shop, or more serious ones in Woodies etc.

    Alert your landlord to the shower, the nesting and the path as they are all insurance issues. I'd be inclined to try to see if the above can sort out the damp first.

    You can't withhold money from the rent and get it sorted yourself without permission from the landlord.

  • Registered Users Posts: 665 ✭✭✭houseyhouse

    I think it's illegal to deduct expenses from your rent without consulting with your landlord first, even though it sounds like he's awful. You're supposed to notify him of problems asap so that he can get them fixed. If he won't, you could contact RTB or Threshold for advice.

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,431 ✭✭✭YellowLead

    There is a thread on renting in accommodation and property I think? Might be more relevant than posting in personal issues - just a thought :)

  • Registered Users Posts: 24,647 ✭✭✭✭punisher5112

    Contact the LL about the issues, ask can they be rectified.
    Send pictures of the issues.

    If he doesn't want to or doesn't get back and the issues are very bad you can contact your local environmental health officer in local council, then put a case into the RTB even if he isn't registered.

    The part where the wife was over probably was a notion of putting it up for sale I'd say.

    You are paying for a service so in all honesty it should be up to a good standard.

  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 158 ✭✭Zebrag

    Hi Op

    I wouldn't be too familiar with landlord and tennants rights (even though I'm renting myself!) but from the communications from my landlord when I first moved onto my apartment, I was told to raise any issues and concerns immediately. If they are big or small as she feels that I'm paying for a place and expects my health and safety to be met. I won't lie, she's been an angel and she has had her fair share of awful tenants. I would presume the first call is too take a picture and send this forward to your landlord and explain what it is and when you notice it. That way you're reporting it quickly

    To deduct the rent I'm not sure you can physically do this yourself without consulting your landlord about the issues you're having. I know my landlord has said if anything happens out of my control she will deduct from the rent which has never happened thankfully on both ends. From hearing friends experiences in renting it really depends on the landlord and how they react. Some can be very accomodating, others not to much.

    Do it the right way and as previous posters have stated. Take a photo and send it to the landlord and from there see what can be agreed on. If that doesn't happen in a way that both people are happy then you can look into the RTB and see what advice they can give you. Your landlord doesn't sound nice from what the previous tenant told you and unfortunately it is the case that landlords genuinely care about receiving their payments and not the house upkeep standards. I don't mean all landlords but it can be a possibility.

    I hope it works out. There's nothing worst than renting and things goes wrong, it's part and parcel really.

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  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 6,600 Mod ✭✭✭✭Hannibal_Smith

    Do up a list of the repairs needed and email it to the landlord. Ask them how would they suggest going about dealing with them. Either they can do it, or you don't mind if you can deduct it from the rent. Ask them, if you are to deduct, do they need to approve the payments first. If this is the case, get estimates and submit them before forking anything out.

    I wouldn't be making any repairs to the property without the landlords say so or deducting anything from the rent without their agreement.

    If you hear nothing back, give it a week, you could make discreet enquiries with Threshold and ask them what your options are.

    You are probably aware of the Accommodation and Property Forum, but I appreciate you say you wish to remain anonymous, but its there if you change your mind and it might be of more benefit to you.

  • Administrators, Politics Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 25,947 Admin ✭✭✭✭✭Neyite

    Depending on your landlord- some of mine over the years have been happy for me to arrange a tradie, pay (with prior checking that they were happy with the quote) and deduct it from the rent.
    The last two landlords I've had are in the trade so usually they can either do the repair to professional standards or they have a friend that can give them mates rates so all I've done is stick to the stuff I know I can fix myself.

    Never mess around with plumbing or electrics unless you know for a fact what you are doing. And never without the go ahead of the landlord.

  • Registered Users Posts: 109 ✭✭Jasper_

    I was recently in a scenario very similar to yours. In a house share for 4 years. Land lord wouldnt do a tap. I wont go in to the precise details of my case but I will say give you my advice.

    Step 1. Document absolutely everything, photos and description of the problem and the issues that are arising from the problem. Take a walk
    around the house with a notebad with all of your housemates and pick up anything that is out of place. There are guidlines on the RTB
    website about what standard of upkeep is required for a rented property. But for your purpose I wouldnt even bother reading it. Just
    document everything. Then put it all in a nicely worded email to your landlord. Dont be treatning about it, just point his attention to
    the issues and ask can they be fixed in a resonable time frame.

    Step 2. Wait for their response.

    Step 3. If there is no response within say 3/4 weeks, or if they respond saying they wont fix any or a small amout of them. Respond with this:

    Hi "Landlord",

    As per my email dated "x" were I notified you of issues..........
    As you have not responded or responded stating you will not fix these issues, we have no other choice than to report the property to
    the environmental health department for investigation.

    Step 4: They will either jump to attention and start fixing things or they will have it out with the health inspector and from my experience
    there is only one winner there - and its not the landlord. Either way it will be dealth with. I dealth with DCC and the health inspector
    that I dealth with was fantastic. It put the fear of god in to the landlord.

    I wouldnt go down the road of trying to fix things yourself and trying to get money back. One of the perks of living in rented accomodation should be that you the tenant should not have to do any maintenance or repairs - fight for that perk and legal right.

  • Registered Users Posts: 166,026 ✭✭✭✭LegacyUser

    Seen all your replies and I'm getting to the bottom of it today. I wrote down a list of the issues with photos to follow up. I got permission from both roommates to take photos of their rooms and damp areas and I've passed them onto my landlord. I don't have an email address for him so I've used the sample email from a poster on this thread and forward them onto the landlord and roommates to keep everyone up to date. I sent it on Whatsapp which probably isn't ideal but I can rely on the blue ticks if he has read them. It's been an hour and nothing yet but it's early still so we'll see. I'll keep updated if anything happens but for now everyone has been informed. Cheers everyone

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,021 ✭✭✭Claw Hammer

    Everything should be put in writing and posted recorded delivery) to the landlord with copies kept. Also contact the Local Authority regarding the standards in the house and try and organise an inspection. If the landlord does not have the work crried out in a reasonable time, write and say that you wilol have it done yourself and charge him for it. Again, keep copies of everything. Get recorded delivery on all post. Send further copies by email and text.
    If things are not sorted out within 3 weeks, open a dispute with the RTB.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 166,026 ✭✭✭✭LegacyUser

    A followup to the message I've sent to the landlord. I sent him a message on WhatsApp on Saturday with all photos included and a list of the issues. His wife messaged me and asked to do a video call which I arranged to do this morning. On the videocall she seemed like there was someone in the room with her who I presume was the landlord himself which is obviously fine so I stated exactly what was going on. At first she seemed concerned and acted like she wanted to have these issues fixed immediately and as soon as I mentioned what would happen in terms of payments and how bills will be sorted she switched her tone from concerned to being irritated. She kept stopping and starting what she was going to say and then quickly said she will ring me back when she found numbers and quotes. I said yes that's fine I'm WFH I'll be in all day.

    2 hours after the phone call the landlord himself rings me and asked me to go over again what the issues where and I stated I've messaged him but I went over it again and repeated excactly what I said to his wife. He said that the message was never sent to him it was his wife's phone and that she only informed him Monday morning before she rang me. I was starting to get irritated myself to be honest because it was turning into a game of who got the correct information. I abruptly repeated myself and told him that these issues need to be dealt with quickly and if he can get it sorted out we can be on our merry way and continue with our day. The landlord eventually gives up trying to do whatever it was he was trying to do by skipping around the questions and answeres and passed on numbers for me to ring so I could retrieve quotes myself. I said that's fine I'll get onto them ASAP. This was at 12pm and at 3pm my landlord rings me again to say actually he's got the quotes himself to fix the pavement outside and his wife will arrange a day to sort the damp in the rooms and go into the attic herself to look at the birds nest. I asked what needs to be done about the dampness and if it's something I can do myself seeing as if his wife is going to come up and have a look and leave again it will save the bother. He just said she will text me and arranged a day she can come into the house permitting that myself and housemates are comfortable with this and that rooms can be entered with permission. Fine I said. The landlord didn't give me quotes he recieved I am presuming he is paying this himself but I've went through the liberty of getting quotes myself as a back up in case he starts messing around saying I owe more money.

    For now I stand that his wife is going to contact me to come up and the landlord is sorting the issues himself. Am I right to thínk that this all seems a bit of a weird way to go about these things or is it to do with covid restrictions? One of my roomates has a week off this week and said that they will be here if needed and the other roommate has given permission for the wife to enter their room if needed. I'm feeling a bit off with their interaction and I feel that I may have given them work to do that is taking away plans that they've had. I'm not sure but it doesn't sit right with me. I'm hoping the wife contacts me sometime this week and all will be sorted. Their response from getting the message on Saturday doesn't sit right with me but then again it was a weekend and I'm sure they think it was something that can be delt with first thing on Monday. I'll keep you informed but if anyone thinks this is out of the norm let me know and I can look into taking it further if needed

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,021 ✭✭✭Claw Hammer

    Put things in wrtiting, recorded delivery. keep copies. Forget this messing with whats app and phones.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,641 ✭✭✭Teyla Emmagan

    You are making a bit of a mountain out of a molehill here. It's the landlord's responsibility to carry out repairs to the house. He will pay for it. It is fine if he does it himself or sends his wife around, she could be a DIY whiz from all you know. Just let them at it.

    And if you are not happy, just move. There is absolutely huge supply in the rental market atm. And your landlord know that. So just take it easy and let him sort it out.

    And definitely do not do any repairs yourself you are not qualified to do or try and deduct rent money without his agreement!

  • Registered Users Posts: 410 ✭✭AlphabetCards

    OP you are making this so difficult.

    Just send the landlord the list of problems, no need to start asking for deadlines for the moment (well, too late but you'll know for future). It's not up to you to offer to get quotes, or to try fix the damp yourself you are only annoying everyone involved. Stick to the facts, let him know whats wrong, and then wait to see if he fixes them. Send these by email, and bcc your fellow tenants to keep a record of times etc. You have a few wrong ideas here.