‘I felt pressured into signing an inaccurate inventory’

Julie, 35, is a full-time legal secretary. She lives in Milton Keynes her six-year-old daughter, two-year-old son and husband, a delivery driver who has just been made redundant. Her letting agent asked her to sign an inventory before she was allowed to have access to the property. When she was given access she soon discovered was in a terrible condition.

Julie and her family

Julie and her family

Since the day we moved into our rented house we have been faced with problem after problem, made worse by a lack of communication from the letting agents.

I feel as though I was tricked into signing a two-year contract when the true awful condition of the property had been concealed.

When my mum and I went to went to view the property for the first time, a family was living there. The place was stacked high with  boxes and there was furniture everywhere so we simply couldn’t see everything but it did look dirty.

When the agent walked around with us, she said how the tenant has let the property fall into a bad condition but that it would be professionally cleaned and painted throughout. She told me not to worry.

Julie knew that the property was dirty but the agent promised her it would be cleaned before she moved in.

Julie knew that the property was dirty but the agent promised her it would be cleaned before she moved in

On the day of the move, we met the letting agent at their office and had to sign the inventory stating that everything was ok before we could even see the property.

When I queried this, I was told that this was standard procedure and that I had to sign the inventory or I couldn’t have the keys.

I trusted the agent when she told me it had been cleaned and had no reason to think that this would be a lie or that there would be a problem with disrepair.

When we arrived at the property, the place was disgusting. There was still food in the oven, liquid up the walls, rooms were dirty, carpets were marked. It took me three hours to clean the place before we could move in.

The oven still had traces of food left by the previous tenants.

The oven still had traces of food left by the previous tenants.

The conservatory roof let in water when it rained. I was constantly mopping the floor.

The window seals were hanging off and flapping outside. There was a horrible smell and the fridge freezer was broken. Not ideal when you have two small kids.

We spent the weekend finding problems and relaying them to the agents in several emails. There were so many issues with the property. Our hearts sank with every horrible discovery.

Seven months on, we are still waiting for the original problems to be fixed.

My daughter wont sleep in her room because she is frightened of the noise the broken window makes at night.

We are all showering in a bathroom with a window that is hanging off its hinges and too dangerous to try and close as it could drop at any time.

We have always stuck to the contract. We’ve reported procedures in the correct way but what has annoyed me is that the agents feel they play by their rules.

The law says that landlords have to carry out certain repairs. If they don’t carry them out and the tenant has to pay for repairs, the tenant has to be reimbursed.

When the heating system failed last year, it took three months to fix. While we were waiting for repairs we sat wrapped in duvets watching TV. We still received a huge gas bill to which we are struggling to pay.

We had to buy a freezer as fridge freezer broken on move in, been without a washing machine for three weeks and had to pay someone else to do it for us.

When we report problems, it takes weeks if not months to get contractors around to the property to view it and provide a quote. Nothing ever progresses.

The landlord agreed that we can break the tenancy and give one months’ notice and upon doing this, she will sell the house.

The seals around the windows are hanging off

The seals around the windows are hanging off

The problem is that we do not have any funds to just move out. I work full time but my husband lost his job as a multi-drop delivery driver a few weeks ago. Our only option is to wait for the work to be done and live in a house that is falling apart.

I have asked the Property Ombudsman to look into our claim that we were mis-sold the tenancy and the delay getting round to repairs is unacceptable.

I do not see how it is correct company policy to make us sign an inventory before we move in, knowing that the condition is terrible.

 

One thought on “‘I felt pressured into signing an inaccurate inventory’

  1. Nick Ricketts

    That house is FINE. A few minor niggles. Not exactly a death trap. These people need to toughen up. Window seal was loose and scared the kid? I had a brick through my window, took the council 3 weeks to repair.

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