Monday, September 28, 2009

And my response was...

Dear Kelly

RE: 6 Johnstone Court

I appreciate that withholding the rent is against the tenancy agreement. However, as I pointed out in my previous letter, the damp in the flat contravenes the Housing Act 2004. The damp was noted in the inventory, but this was ignored, clearly someone either working for or on behalf of Bairstow Eves thought it simply did not matter, yet you now you write to me asking me to fulfil my obligations.

I am pleased that you have contacted Atlas to inspect the damp and I have arranged for them to visit the property on Tuesday the 15th September. This action, however, is only being taken because I have withheld the rent. When I was paying my rent, staff at Bairstow Eves were quite happy to not return my calls and ignore my emails. If Atlas do recommend action, what guarantee have I that their recommendations will be followed? If I could trust the Bairstow Eves East Croydon Lettings office to take action, I would happily pay the rent; however, experience has taught me that I cannot.

In regard to the Landlady’s comments, I am not asking for the flat to be painted or decorated. I am asking for it to be cleaned and to be cleaned properly, which is quite different. I was not aware that any deal had taken place to allow me to rent the property at a lower price on the condition no work was done on the interior. There is certainly no mention of it in the contract. Had I have known of such a condition, I would certainly not have expected it to extend to accepting the flat with dirt and damp on walls and would not have accepted the offer if I did.

This is not the first property I have rented. The properties I have rented before were clean and presented in a good condition when I moved in. I do not see why this property should be any different. The laissez-faire attitude and low standards of service offered by Bairstow Eves lettings have been extremely disappointing. I suggest that you view the pictures I sent back with the inventory and if possible share them with the landlady. I would then ask you both to consider the pictures and to ask yourselves honestly whether you would be happy to move into a property presented in such a condition.

I would certainly consider the landlady’s offer to release me from the contract, but I would only consider vacating the property if the agency fees I paid were refunded in full.

I would appreciate it if you would forward a copy of this letter onto the landlady.

Kind regards,

David Nixon.