Are you still spooked by a House of Horrors - even though Halloween has been and gone? Guild Advice can help you take action on disrepair, and have a safer, healthier and happier student home. Dealing with disrepair the right way will help protect your deposit from deductions at the end of your tenancy, so you’ll also save money!
WHAT IS DISREPAIR?
Disrepair is damage in a property. This can be to the exterior and structure of the building, or to the furniture and fittings inside. Guild Advice want you to know that you don’t have to put up with bad housing conditions. We can advise you on your rights and responsibilities as a tenant, and how you can take action on problems with your house.
DAMP AND MOULD
Damp and mould in your house that just keeps creeping back? Damp and mould can affect your health and damage your possessions. It’s important to deal with it straight away. Most damp is caused by condensation, which can be tackled using these practical tips:
- Moulds flourish in damp environments so prevent growth by keeping rooms well ventilated, with windows slightly open
- Thoroughly cleaning your kitchen, bathroom and utility room will help prevent mould growth
- Do not hang wet clothes inside or over radiators
- Clean mould from window frames and always remove condensation
- Keep houseplants to a minimum and change the topsoil regularly
- Carpet harbours house dust mites and mould spores so make sure you regularly vacuum.
Find out which types of damp and mould problems are your landlord's responsibility, what they should do to resolve them and what you can do if they won't by getting in touch with us at Guild Advice.
PESTS AND VERMIN
Rats, mice, cockroaches, ants, fleas, mites or bedbugs? Seek advice on how to get rid of pests and vermin. Guild Advice can help you work out who’s responsible for dealing with the problem, and how to take action.
SAFETY AND SECURITY
Keep yourselves and your possessions safe by following these tips:
- You should be provided with an up to date Gas Safety Certificate when you move in, and again every 12 months.
- Fire alarms should be installed and tested regularly. Never cover fire alarms or take the batteries out- it could save your life!
- Dodgy door or window locks? Broken gate? Don’t make it easy for burglars to break in. Tell your landlord straight away. The landlord is responsible for maintaining the exterior and structure of the property.
- It’s important to keep your property secure, to protect your possessions, personal safety and peace of mind!
REPORT IT, SORT IT!
If you have a disrepair problem in your house, don’t ignore it. Your landlord isn’t obliged to fix something until you tell them it’s there. Notify your landlord straight away when you notice something needs fixing (via email or letter is best so you have a record).
Your landlord is responsible for the structure and exterior of the property, and any fixtures that connect to your gas, electric or water supply. They may also have other maintenance responsibilities: check your tenancy agreement.
You are entitled not to have to pay for ‘fair wear and tear’ of the property and its fixtures and furniture. You landlord shouldn’t charge you if something is damaged from age and normal everyday use.
Your landlord should always give you 24 hours’ notice before visiting the property.
Take pictures of any disrepair. Keep receipts for any extra costs to you as a result of the disrepair. For example, if your clothes are damaged by mould, keep receipts for new items you bought to replace them, and photos of the damage to old items. Notify your landlord of problems in writing rather than over the phone so you have a record. Keep a note of dates that any inspections and repairs take place.