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I have just moved into a new flat and as soon as I entered I took a video and noticed that the flat has never been cleaned after the last tenant left. I also took a note of all the issues there were not visible when I viewed the flat. I am mainly looking for answers for the 4, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15 points.

  1. One window could not open but this has now been resolved.
  2. The house was dirty with dust, spider nets and mould.
  3. Some light bulbs were not working.
  4. The fridge makes a lot of noise and smells inside.
  5. It was not painted, looked a bit black/yellow and it had an odour possibly due to previous tenants smoking.
  6. The boiler was not working and a person came the next day to fix
  7. The bathroom curtain is rusty and filthy. They had another one when I viewed the flat.
  8. Some doors would not open and a guy came to fix them.
  9. Most door and window handles are about to snap. I have informed them to avoid being blamed for damage.
  10. The sink drains were blocked and a guy came to fix them.
  11. The washing machine seal has mould all over it. I tried cleaning it but it does not go. I consider that to be a hazard and I mentioned that I have a history of asthma. The agent told me that I have to try and clean it.
  12. The contract does not mention it but they sent me a different PDF stating "Your hot water and heating have been set up on a British Gas Bulk Agreement.". What does that mean?
  13. They have not informed about the water meter reference.
  14. I have found a few ants in the house and I have informed them to bring a pest control company to clean.
  15. The blinds are broken and they cannot make the rooms dark enough for an epileptic person to sleep.

So, I listed all the issues, even the resolved ones. Regarding 2, I assume there is no responsibility as the contract did not mention anything about cleaning. How about number 7, 11 and 15? Isn't it their responsibility to keep the flat at health and safety standards? And about number 13, should I just call Thames and ask for it? I wonder if I can actually break the lease after this list of issues.

PS: They have provided me with the following documents. I am noting that in case they missed any that could be used against them: Energy Performance Certificate (EPC), Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR), Gas Safety Certificate (GSC), Tenancy Agreement.

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    What about the Inventory? You have a limited period to dispute the inventory supplied by the landlord as part of the rental agreement. If you don't dispute it, it will be taken as a true statement on the condition of the property. In the worst case the landlord might hold you liable for anything that is not 'reasonable wear & tear' when you move out. My nieces and nephews rented accomodation as students: none of them ever got their deposit back. May 11, 2023 at 19:21
  • Utility meters: read the meters yourslef and photograph them. May 11, 2023 at 19:34
  • @WeatherVane I have disputed it. I sent an email to the inventory company asking them to make changes as they had it marked as "professionally cleaned with exceptions". I found today that there were two pest control boxes too. They left them inside the house! May 11, 2023 at 21:10
  • "British Gas Bulk Agreement.". What does that mean?" - no answers on the web, apparently. Ask the agent or call British Gas.
    – Lag
    May 12, 2023 at 11:48
  • Point 13, yes, if you can't read the meter yourself, inform the supplier immediately that you have just moved in and ask them to give you the reading.
    – Lag
    May 12, 2023 at 11:54

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A missing document is the How to rent: the checklist for renting in England guide, which should have been supplied to you by the letting agent or landlord on paper or by email.

If you are a tenant (if you do not have a licence to occupy), several of your points relate to this section:

Fitness for human habitation. Your property must be safe, healthy and free from things that could cause serious harm. If not, you can take your landlord to court. For more information, see the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018 guide for tenants. You should also check whether your tenancy agreement excuses you from paying rent if the building becomes unfit to live in due to, for example, a fire or flood.

Important: generally, before you can break the lease, you have to exhaust the proper process. Which means informing the landlord and giving them reasonable time to sort it out.

Your landlord must fix problems in your home, but you need to tell them so that they can. You should make a request for the problem to be fixed, in writing if possible (this includes by email or text, provided you keep them as evidence), to your landlord. You should allow your landlord a reasonable amount of time to fix the problem. (step 3 Guide for tenants: Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018)

Damp and/or mould can be serious. If you think it amounts to a seriously dangerous condition in your flat you could inform your local council. Shelter has a template for writing to your landlord about repairs.

Your point 15 relates to this section:

Accessibility. If you are disabled or have a long-term condition, you can request reasonable adjustments from your landlord or agent. This could include changes to the terms of your agreement, or home adaptations and adjustments to common parts of a building to make your home accessible to you. Your landlord or agent should respond in a reasonable timeframe and if they refuse a request, they should explain why they do not consider it reasonable. Your landlord can ask you to pay for the changes you asked for.

Points 7 and 15 seem like things you could fix yourself. I would agree that you shouldn't have to.

Keep a record / log / diary of your communications - make a note of who said what, when.

Point 4, fridge smell: lots of online advice re home remedies using common household ingredients such as lemons, white vinegar or baking soda etc.

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    Keep a record / log / diary of your communications - make a note of who said what, when. Even better, send that record by email ("as per our phone discussion today (...)").
    – KFK
    May 12, 2023 at 12:16
  • @KFK Agreed, but I meant for personal reference and particularly if it comes to legal proceedings when you need to assemble evidence. It's easier to refer to contemporaneous notes of who said what when than to trawl through emails at a later date (particularly if it's weeks or months later).
    – Lag
    May 12, 2023 at 12:22
  • There should also be a Tenancy Deposit Certificate. May 12, 2023 at 15:09
  • Regarding the works, they bring the same person for everything and he never rings me. They say we have the keys and we can enter when you are away, although I do not want that. May 13, 2023 at 11:07

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