Very scary near miss with our LO :(

Hi all

We had a horrid incident last night in our house.

By way of background, we are renting and have had problems ever since we moved in with the boiler not working properly, leaks etc. The landlord is completely useless - he lives out of the UK and has his daughter managing the property. She is totally incompetent and generally ignores our phone calls/e-mails. But we are stuck with a fixed term lease which doesn't run out till the end of July so don't have a lot of options at the moment.

One of the recurring problems is that the shower (which is in a bathroom above the nursery) has developed a leak. They "fixed" this twice while I was pregnant - on one occasion taking the entire nursery ceiling down, right after we had finished decorating it image. The plaster dust made me really ill and I was sick for weeks because I couldn't take anything for it.

Last night after my husband had a shower, water started pouring through a light fitting in the nursery - straight into Toby's cot. We didn't discover this until after he got out of the shower and went downstairs. THANK GOD Toby wasn't in his cot at the time - we have been transitioning him from his Moses basket and luckily he was still in the basket (about to be moved into the cot!!).

When I think of him lying in his cot unable to move (he is swaddled at night) while water poured onto his little face, I feel so upset and angry. Hopefully he would have woken and cried out before anything terrible happened but he could have drowned!

Naturally the landlord has not returned our calls or replied to our e-mails. We can't use the shower now (charming) and there is water damage in the nursery so I'm reluctant to put Toby in there again.

We are seriously considering just walking away and forfeiting our deposit - we just don't feel that this is a safe place for our LO anymore. If they have to take the ceiling down again I don't want him being exposed to all the dust etc like last time. If it made me that sick imagine how bad it would be for a 2 month old baby? This is just the latest in a long line of problems we have had to deal with.

Sorry for the long rant but I am a bit upset as you can understand. I'm not really asking for advice (unless anyone has experience with residential lettings disputes!!) but just wanted to get that off my chest. Needless to say my LO has been getting lots of hugs today.

C xo


  • Oh my goodness - I would be upset too! That's disgraceful. I would seek advice with the citizens advice bureau as to your position, because I'm sure this can't be acceptable behaviour from your landlord.
    By the way, we own a property which we rent out and I would be MORTIFIED if this happened to our tenant.

    Hope things get sorted for you xx
  • i agree with coco,speak to cab and if you havent already cleaned it up take pictures for evidance

  • As a tenant you have rights and it certainly sounds like your landlord is breeching them. As coco says, I would definitely seek advice. That is just shocking though and I'm soooo angry for you
  • speak to ur local 'private housing sector', ur coumcil will be able to give u a number for them, they will come to ur home assess anything that means it is unsafe/unhabitable and make ur landlord fix it to a good standard, if its not done then they will force ur landlord to free u from ur contract or make him rehouse u. we're currently seeking advice/help about our flat (rented) as we've been here 8 months and not one of those days have we had a day where everything works! currently we have no ensuite (since day one) and the other bathroom the shower works but is too stiff to change the temp so its always a little too warm for ds and have to add cold from the sink, the doors don't close (which apparantly is a fire hazard), the radiator in the living room doesn't work and the living room window has dropped out of the hinges so havee a massive draught, and since day one we've been riddled with mice! there have also been other problems but these have been 'fixed' (i should say bodged really) but the mice thing is a huge issue for us, we're a basement flat and so by our front door is a communal area where the gas and electric meters are, and its disgusting in there, put some rodent poision down and it all went, but that bits owned by freeholder, not our landlady, so landlady wont fix that, plus we've got them in our flat, mainly one of our kitchen cupboards (so we're short a cupboard) and under the boiler cupboard, council pest control have been coming out for 7 months and putting down poison but its not made a blind bit of difference, so now council have said they wont come anymore as its a waste of everyones time, told landlady this and she says "i'll look into it" grrr. sorry to hijack ur post with my rant, but i feel ur pain. i would love to move, but the deposit on here was lent by the council, so goes straight back to them, and if we leabe then we've chosen to so they wont lend us another one, only way we can do nit is if either the landlayd gets it all sorted then i don't mind staying, or if she asks us to leave then we can get help for deposit, or if private housing sector tell us to leave then we get help. its is highly nnoying, but do make cotact with them and they will help u. xx
  • We had a problem with our last house, it was also a fixed term lease but the toilet kept blocking up and overflowing and I was pregnant and it was leaving me very ill. We told them we were moving and they said we would lose the deposit and we told them about the fact that they refused to fix the toilet properly in the property and it was a health and safety factor and we told them that we would take them to court because they breached the terms of their contract but not supplying us with a decent house, they quickly returned our deposit then.
  • Didn't want to r&r. It's an awful situation to be in, what a rubbish landlord. Obviously a rubbish repair job on your shower too. I agree with trying the Citizens Advice Bureau. So glad your lo is ok. Hugs. xx
  • Wow thanks so much everyone for your messages! I really appreciate it.

    We have previously written to the landlord pointing out all the ways in which he has breached the lease (there are lots more which I haven't mentioned!), and we ring his daughter ALL the time, but they just don't seem to care! I just can't understand it. I think the problem is that they don't want to have to pay for the repairs and are hoping that we will just give up and leave image

    We will definitely be ringing the council on Monday, thanks for the tip WoW Baby!!!

    C image
  • Call environmental health on Monday and get them out to inspect the property. Their report will bump you up a council housing list if you are on one or want to consider being on one. As everyone has mentioned, cab are great and the housing department at your local council should be able to help. Good luck!
  • oh also wanted to say (although it might vary from council to council) that normally there are 5 bands, and anyone in rented is classed as unsecure hosuing and so is band 3, although most councils do try to get away with banding u lower than u should be...if u think that perhaps the council haven't put u in the correct band then speak to 'shelter' who will look at ur housing circumstances and let u and the council know if ur priority group is wrong.... i'm band 3 because we rent, which altho means u still wont get a house soon, it will be sooner than if in band 5, band 1 is those who are street homeless and band 5 really is for people who live with parents and isn't at all over crowded, or those who own their own house and again, no over crowding issues. my sister was also band 3 because she rented privately and won a bid on a council house after 18months of being on the list. hth xx
  • Not 100% sure, but isn't it that if your house is uninhabitable then the landlord has to put you up somewhere, or at least you will not have to pay rent until the problem is fixed. I have had problems with my house since moving in too, nowhere near as bad as that tho. When I had a leak from the bathroom the guy who came to check it said that all his other jobs had to wait that day as leaks were problems that had to be dealt with urgently.

    Yeah, definitely speak to CAB tho. I bet you have some sort of right to quit the tenancy early. Especially as it could have put your baby at risk x
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