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Messages - NRA_ceb_2016_577
If your landlord lives in Spain he will still need to be paying taxes to the UK so there will be a correspondence channel. Have you tried contacting the landlord directly already?
Your case is a little too complicated to deal with on the forum. Please get in touch with us and we can go through some of your options if you would like to pursue this.
The issue you have highlighted does indeed sound like it warrants investigation by your local authority's environmental health department. Damp is a serious public health issue and should be documented officially. This will further assist you should your dispute escalate. The council will make three copies of their report, one which will be given to you, the one will be retained by the council for their official records and the other will be sent to the letting agent or landlords with a summary of their findings.
We have found that agencies and landlords take these letters seriously. They may phone you though to ask why you contacted the council and not use them but considering your complaint about their unresponsiveness any pressure put on them is probably deserved.
We can help with this process if you feel insecure about proceeding alone. If you would like further information please contact us by phone or email us at email@example.com
There is quite a lot of legislation relating to the mutual obligations of Landlords and Tenant, most of which clearly stipulates the types of repairing obligations which fall to the landlord and tenant respectively. Although it is not possible (or rather practical) to list ever repairing contingency which the landlord is responsible for in the legislation, the problem you described seems to fit well with exterior drainage which in all likelihood is your landlord's responsibility. The National Renters Alliance regularly assists clients with repair matters and it is quite common for us to find clauses inserted into the shorthold assured tenancy agreement which attempt to shift repair obligations to the tenant. Typically these clauses are null and void and do not stand up to scrutiny if the dispute goes legal.
If you would like us to look at your case in more detail please get in touch with us directly either by telephone or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
I would definitely contact the Environmental Health Department at the council. Damp is a serious housing issue and it is the duty of your landlord or the letting agent to fix it. Sometimes however the tenant can be the cause, if you are using the shower without opening the window or using the extractor fan properly. However, this usually only causes slight condensation and not the severe damp you are reporting. Please get in touch with us. It sounds as though there are serious problems with the property and extra 3rd party evidence you have from an inspection from your council's environmental health inspector would strengthen your position if you decide to take further action against the landlord or letting agent.
In terms of your brother's room, if he is not damaging the property the bedroom is his private space and it is pretty poor form for a letting manager to enter his private space. If he hasn't damaged the property and any mess can be cleaned easily then there is no problem.
The main issue is maintenance and the damp which should be resolved urgently.
National Renters Alliance
t.: 020 79930069