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Installing a phone line in a rented property (and other problems)

Discussion in 'Personal' started by littlemissraw, Feb 3, 2012.

  1. littlemissraw

    littlemissraw Occasional commenter

    Are you happy with BT? We got Virgin installed (either free or 30pound) with phone/TV/internet. We paid it, not the landlord.
    http://www.topcashback.co.uk/virgin_media/ gives you 62pound cashback too...
    Just seen the website:
    Build a bundle - Free installation when you buy any broadband, TV and phone bundle online...
    Might be worth considering? Although think contract is 12 months x
  2. When I moved into my property I, like you, presumed we had a landline due to the BT box outside the front door. When moving in we realised there was no line as when refurbishing he had decided it was ugly and had cut it out! When I spoke to him he said if I wanted one I would have to pay but the difference was that he was happy for me to put one in but it had to go in through the front of the building and not have any wires through the house. I live in a first floor maisonette... I called sky and explained the problem and they fitted a new line! (it was a BT man who had to do the installation but it was paid for through sky so cost only the installation price of like £50) The BT man was fuming but it wasn't my fault and he did a great job, fixing the line on the first floor from the BT box on the ground floor by my front door, round half the building onto a ladder to fit it through my living room! My landlord was a bit sketchy at first but I did explain that it would help him let the property in the future as no one in this day and age can live without BROADBAND! :)
  3. I speak as a landlord too. My answer is, 'Becuase it is an expense that beneifts me in no way what so ever!!'
    The house I rent didn't have a landline but all the tenants we have had in the past have had one connected themselves. What benefit is it me to have one? I know this sounds mean but why should I pay to have one installed? It's not in our contract but I'm happy for tenants to install one, the same applies for a Sky dish. The internet access is also not my problem, does your contract state that you have a right to internet access?
    The boiler and heating are my problem, we have a Home Care agreement with British Gas who supply both the gas and electricity to the property; we're good landlords by the way. [​IMG]
    As for the smoke alarm, there should be one fitted but do check your inventory. For your own safety I would reccommend you buy one now, a two pack from Homebase is about £10; you could be bolshy and refuse and continue to pester the landlord that it's their responsibility or you could get one and feel safe!
  4. piglet171

    piglet171 New commenter

    I really feel for you, having just gone through something similar with my kids. I can speak as a Scottish landlord and as someone who has just had to buy kids out of a short assured tenancy (12 months, of which 5 were up). I can't offer much advice, but found out a couple of things you might find useful.
    It was really stressful and it was actually my husband who stood up to the landlady and handled it all - thank gooodness. We negotiated 2 months rent as compensation and put it down to bad experience. However, should the flat be rented again before the 2 months is up, we can claim one month back.
    In the course of the experience, I found out the following:
    You officially have to give 40 days notice in writing of your wish to terminate a 12 month tenancy.
    In addition to the grounds for early termination mentioned by others above, the landlord is legally required to provide a gas safety certificate which you should have sight of BEFORE you sign the lease. Were you also given form AT5 in advance of signing, without which the lease is not legal. if an agency is handling things, I assume you were, but it's worth mentioning.
    Do the electrical appliances belong to the landlord? If so, they should have up-to-date safety test certificates on them. We discovered, on looking round the flat we were dealing with, that there was no earthing at all - despite the landlady's partner being an "electrician".
    Check the lease carefully. Some of the terms may be "unfair". I found a website somewhere that dealt with lease wording and gave examples of what is permissible and what is not. The landlady in our case wrote in the lease that my kids had to keep the heating on high, constant, in times of cold weather (because there was no insulation in the whole place). This would be deemed an unfair term, though it doesn't sound as if your landlord is that bothered about his property.
    I too spoke to CAB and found them helpful. We referred another problem to the council environmental health officer.
    I also found out that everything seems to be in favour of the landlord. Tenants have very few rights, which is scandalous really. Could you refuse to pay the rent? Losing money usually works as a lever.
    In you case I would write to the landlord via the agency listing your grievances. Go through the lease with a fine tooth comb to find anything the landlord can be pulled up on. If refusing to pay the rent doesn't work, could you offer a month's rent as compensation? Expensive but worth it just to get out.
    When I rang CAB they asked me what I would do, as a landlord, if a tenant wanted to break their contract. I told them I would not want anyone living in my property who did not want to be there. We compensated our present tenant to the tune of £200 when he had long-running problems with the boiler. My daughter's former landlord gave all the tenants £50 when their roof started leaking.
    Unfortunately, some landlords are just out for the money and seem to have no sense of common decency. I wonder what the landlord would think/feel if he found himself or a family member in your situation.
    Good luck. Please keep us posted.
  5. EmiW

    EmiW New commenter

    Thanks for the advice everyone - spoke to Sky who are putting it in at a fraction of the cost quoted by BT, and we are with them for TV too so all is well.

    I would imagine that not many people would rent a flat knowing that they weren't allowed to install a landline - so losing tenants would surely be bad for the landlord?
    Also, given that he's been such a bad landlord, I don't want to stay in the property longer than I have to, so paying to have something installed which all future tenants can benefit from seems unfair to me.
    I also don't see why I am being bolshy for pointing out things that are his responsibility? I'll pay a tenner for some alarms, but his blatant disregard for safety is appalling. I was in the flat when the block went on fire, and his response was "Well you got out ok, what are you moaning about". If that doesn't warrant me being "bolshy" I don't know what does!

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