Written on: 13/05/2012 by Fanscensu (2 reviews written)
at the end of January 2012, Entwistle Green showed me a property in Blackburn where I am still (unfortunately) living. The flat to rent looked apparently fine, so I signed a 6-month tenancy contract. After a week of stay in the flat, I found the house flooded as there was a water leak in the ceiling of the bathroom never properly fixed.
The water leak occurred the first time at the beginning of January and I moved in the property the 30th of the same month.
I called the Countrywide Property Management based in Manchester to report the issue and they left me in that house without repairing the leak. Any time I was calling some agent in charge for the Maintenance, they would say to wait for the caretaker to come and sort the problem.
I had to call the Blackburn City Council Housing Department to have something partially done as they and the neighbour owning the property below insisted for the problem to get sorted (the water was dripping from the ceiling of my bathroom and got through the floor, hence reaching the ceiling of the flat below mine).
After fixing the pipes draining water from the ceiling of the bathroom, I remained with the carpets soaked in water and with stains of mould for 2 months. The agents from Countrywide in Manchester (La Haçienda is the name of the building where they work) said they would remove the stinky and smelly carpets but they never did so.
I filed an official complaint against Entwistle Green for not informing me about the maintenance issues when required and for the lack of service showed by Countrywide toward the same matter.
The response to my complaint was due by the Countrywide by the 19th of April but they have never given an official answer, either disclosed the Internal Complaint Procedure of the Company as they are required to.
I tried to call the Management Dep several times to have a written response but the Manager in Charge is always unattainable. Through some emails sent by the agent who was personally in charge of taking care of my flat stated that they stopped dealing with the property from the same date he called the contractors to come and dry the carpets (not remove them as they had previously said), but they still ask for the money of the rent (how could the agent in charge Mr Turner manage to call the contractors if the Countrywide stopped dealing with my flat since the same date???).
I asked for some clear proof about this, as it all sound impossible (if they do not deal with the property any longer, how can they ask for the money of the rent?), but nobody in the Manchester office has been able to give me a concrete and reliable answer.
I stopped paying the rent awaiting for some clear answer but they still denying it. By contract if a tenant wants to conclude the tenancy prior to its official end, either the landlord (which I have never seen, and never given his phone number until a few days ago) or the letting agency may decide to charge you for the remaining month until the natural end of the tenancy.
On the other side, another term states that if a house is inhabitable, the tenant may stop the payment of the rent and then terminate the tenancy immediately by giving a written notice.
Which term prevails? Now they partially fixed the problem but the carpets are still smelly and in need of a replacement. I want to go away from this property asap without any consequence! I tried to speak with Fairtrade, Citizens Advice Bureau and Shelter (the latter, if I want to arrange some appointment I have to wait for a month at least) but with no concrete result. I wanted to speak with some private lawyer but they discouraged me from having a chargeable legal advice, because expensive for me for the type of problem, so they overtly dropped my request....
I need help/advice. We should all unite against these companies in order to stop them.