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tweaker | 09:49 Thu 03rd Jun 2010 | Law
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I need a few pointers about building unsound structure. I rent privately a flat which is nice apart from the windows, still single pane and metal framed. One of them has managed to start falling from the wall away outwards, I'm on the second floor (the top) now I've addressed my landlord on this on several occasions plus the other windows that won't open etc...

I could move but being on DLA and severe incapacity benefit I have the rent paid, and just of recent I had to contact the warmfront - which means the landlord didn't pay a penny -for them to install central heating.

I need double glazing as it gets so cold in here that the olive oil solidifies in winter and I am rather confined to my bedroom to keep warm. I have several plates in my body, so one can imagine what the cold feels like.

Citizens advice will not help being private rent, so I'm lost on what to do

Any advice would much help the ball rolling on what to do?

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If the property is un-inhabitable you must leave it. or

Write to l'lord suggesting you fix & withhold exes from rent.
you can get DG installed yourself, I'm sure the landlord will not object. The trouble is the landlord does have to provide a minimum standard and that would not include Double glazing etc, so he can't be forced.
if the window is likely to fall out then get the council to look at it.
They can write to the landlord and force him to repair it.
Where abouts do you live? Im sure environemental health and the council can help. I was once harrassed and threatened by a private landlord and the council got involved and threatened him with court if he continued.
If the window is falling outwards into the street then it is a danger to the public. Contact your council and they will serve an order on the landlord to fix it.
Question Author
Lonedad.

I live in Leiston Suffolk. A friend of mine his father is on the council.

the CAB will not help at all. And the window, I could push it out with a bit of force, so it is unsound.

All flats in building owned by different landlords.

My step sisters have bought the flat below so they might have a say that mine is the only flat which is not in uniform with the rest of them. All 4 flats apart from mine have gas central heating mod cons etc, and even though I get my rent paid kindly by the housing people he still charges the most for my flat.

I tried to get the housing people to send a assessment officer to look at the place and cut the rent but, because the rent is sorted by my landlord they wouldn't help either.
have you got details of the main leaseholder? perhaps a letter to them may help too as they can also force the owner of the flat to repair.

It wont get you double glazing but will make the buidling safe
Question Author
the stair well is owned by the council, the flats I guess are just privately owned, so I'll try the council.
aha, so the council will be the freeholders.
speak to the housing department, they will put you in touch with the correct people.
Question Author
Thanks guys.

The housing dept it is!
1. Your landlord has a statutory duty to maintain the structure - which includes the windows. If some don't open & one is so loose it could be pushed out as a result of someone falling against it, then he is in breach of his obligations. The Council may help you to make him take action.

2. This does not solve the double glazing problem, though. You could ask the Council whether they can help with the cost of this - or put you in touch with a charity or other organisation that can.

3. As it is a private tenancy the rent officer cannot get involved - they just have no power to get rents altered/reduced for the type of tenancy you have.

4. I'm most surprised CAB won't help you. They cetainly do deal with a lot of private tenant problems and - at the least - should have advised you where to go to get more detailed help.

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