Renting a sub-standard property - How do we stand?

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07 Aug 2012 08:26 by cabbage340 Star rating. 6 posts Send private message

 Hi my partner and I are renting an apartment in the Alicante region.  Our life in Spain is going really well, but we have a few problems with our apartment.  

Firstly, everytime we flush the toilet the pipes in the wall make a really loud groaning noise for a couple of minuets after and the neighbours are begining to complain (obivously we cannot flush it at all at night).  The property owner say's they cannot afford to have the repairs done.

  The fridge freezer seals have gone and the door keeps opening on its own so the appliance is running all the time - even if we lodge the door shut.  Along with half a dozen more applaiance problems.

The wooden kitchen cupboards have damp and are going rotten.  The bed mattress needs replacing etc. etc.

  We have recently found out that 3 friends of the owner have copies of the keys to the property - obviously a concern as we do not know any of these people.

The owner has employed an 'Agent' to look after the property on their behalf.  He never replies to texts calls or emails and is always 'away' (he does not have a business card or offices and seems like the usual British chancer just out for what he can get) - the only time we ever see him is when it is time to collect the rent when, weirdly, he always arrives on the dot.  It's annoying as we are paying him extra on the rent per month to do nothing.

I know these are minor issues really - and the flat is relatively cheap to rent.  Its really annoying as we pay the bills on time every month and the rent - we really do not know where we stand according to Spanish law. . . .





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07 Aug 2012 09:27 by steone Star rating in Santiago de la Riber.... 386 posts Send private message

there are several questions that you have raised.

Firstly is the premise that you get what you pay for - you say the rent is cheap so dont expect everything to be perfect. If it was then surely your rent would be higher. We are not dealing here with Spanish Law but common sense. If  you are not happy with the arrangement MOVE. You are only a renter. If your landlord will not do the repairs, toilet noise, then give him notice that if it is not repaired within say 7 days then you will get someone in to mend it and deduct that money from the rent. The fridge is different as it might be said that you 'broke' it and therefore you should pay for a repair/new one. With regard to damp kitchen cupboards and old matress etc. my question is WHY STAY THERE?  At the moment there are many more properties than tenants so just up sticks and go.

You have not said if you are a holiday rent or long term. Also you have not mentioned your written lease. If it is not in Spanish then it is unenforceable. You have indicated that your landlord is British so it is possible that your rental might not be strictly legal. I wont go on here about that.

To sum up if I was in your position I would just find another property and give notice and go. I would never allow 3 strangers to have keys to MY apartment so they can enter as and when they like. Get out and run like the wind



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07 Aug 2012 10:17 by cabbage340 Star rating. 6 posts Send private message

 Thanks Steve,

   It's a long-term let, the owner is in the UK, but the rental contract says landlord is the 'agent' (I think its a given that they will are not paying the taxes on the rent and no matter what we will not see the deposit again).  I really hate to run out on a contract and was hoping there was a legal way to null and void it.  





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07 Aug 2012 11:00 by steone Star rating in Santiago de la Riber.... 386 posts Send private message

Cabbage

The 'norm' in Spain is that your initial deposit (usually 1 month) is your rent for the last month. i.e. you just don't pay your last months rent. Yes you probably can legally fight your contract/lease but surely you will be just throwing good money after bad. If your rent is low then maybe for your peace of mind just find another property and then give 1 months notice to existing landlord but first of all remove all your personal valuables out just in case another keyholder enters the property!

Good luck



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08 Aug 2012 12:04 by I_Love_Javea Star rating in Gibraltar / Morocco .... 125 posts Send private message

Why on earth did you rent an apartment in this condition in the first place? Cheap, maybe?

If it was not in this terrible condition when you rented and it has got significantly worse during your rental, then common sense says, (subject to Force majeure) maybe you are not taking your responsibilities as a rentor seriuosly.

On the other hand if you just want to do a "runner" just do it, trying to justify it to anonymous people on this forum will not make you a better person. 



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08 Aug 2012 12:04 by I_Love_Javea Star rating in Gibraltar / Morocco .... 125 posts Send private message

Why on earth did you rent an apartment in this condition in the first place? Cheap, maybe?

If it was not in this terrible condition when you rented and it has got significantly worse during your rental, then common sense says, (subject to Force majeure) maybe you are not taking your responsibilities as a rentor seriuosly.

On the other hand if you just want to do a "runner" just do it, trying to justify it to anonymous people on this forum will not make you a better person. 



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Shiny happy people - where?




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08 Aug 2012 15:36 by cabbage340 Star rating. 6 posts Send private message

  After contacting a local solicitor we have found that as our occupation of the property is being disturbed, due to the innaction of both the owner and the agent, they are in breach of the tenancy agreement and we are free to leave at any time we wish.  And no, we were not looking to do a 'runner' as you suggest, but looking for a legal remedy to an intolerable situation, hoping more to force the owner and agent into action rather than leave the tenancy.  After reading your post we can only conclude that a: you have not read the thread correctly  b: Your own predujices are coming into play here or c: Your an ass.

 

 





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08 Aug 2012 16:44 by I_Love_Javea Star rating in Gibraltar / Morocco .... 125 posts Send private message

 Free to leave or do a runner is a a matter of intrepretation, much the same as whether it is a breach of tenancy agreement very much depends whether you are the landlord or the rentor. You state you are in personal contact with the agent who is the landlord each month, so it is not impossible to discuss your problems.

You have not made it clear why you moved into this apartment in the first place. I can only only deduce from your own statement, "I know these are minor issues really - and the flat is relatively cheap to rent", that you were the ass to rent it in the first place.

I could care less what your motives are, all I am saying is you went in with your eyes open, it seems now you regret the decision you made, no ones fault but yours.

If you choose to take part in public forums be prepared to encounter views that are not necessarily what you hoped for! In the same way that if you inspect and rent an apartment which in your own words is "relatively cheap to rent" and then find "minor issues". What on earth are you braying about?

Good luck in the future and best regards.



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08 Aug 2012 17:52 by cabbage340 Star rating. 6 posts Send private message

 A contract is binding two ways - one from the tenant and the agent/landlord. . . Obviously you are only interested in the rights of the landlord.  Why bother posting if you are not intelligent enough to understand the underlying issues and dilemmas?  

 





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08 Aug 2012 19:03 by maddiemack Star rating in Grantham, Lincolnshi.... 194 posts Send private message

What on earth are all these insulting comments about?  It's impossible to put everything into a first request for advice unless you write every piece of information involved....just in case you miss something out that might cause confusion to the reader.  Have you never been in a situation where you felt you needed a sympathetic comment? Anyone that can only offer unkind remarks in a situation that they really don't have any sympathy for should just keep their remarks to themselves.

You have my sympathy, cabbage340, and I'm sorry I can't offer you any advice on this matter.

 

 


This message was last edited by maddiemack on 08/08/2012.

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08 Aug 2012 20:01 by normansands Star rating in Kent. 1281 posts Send private message

how very sound isn't that what the forum is for????

Norman



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N. Sands



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08 Aug 2012 20:07 by elaineG Star rating in Spain . 409 posts Send private message

Hi Norm. 

You lost me this time,  Are you still just being funny ?





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08 Aug 2012 21:42 by maddiemack Star rating in Grantham, Lincolnshi.... 194 posts Send private message

Norman, when you write 'isn't that what the forum is for?' I'm guessing you mean asking for advice and, hopefully, getting it...yes, of course it is...it just isn't about asking for advice and getting unhelpful, unkind replies.  Actually, I haven't found any of your advice or comments unkind at all, Norman.  I was referring to others' opinions. 

I enjoy reading your comments, Norman.  I find them interesting, often helpful and often entertaining.  Don't go away!

 

 

 



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09 Aug 2012 10:52 by robmacm Star rating in West of Scotland. 83 posts Send private message

Just move out! Forget about trying to do things correctly as you would in the UK, just leave the dump. You'll lose the deposit and that'll be that. How many people have bought a house only to discover afterwards when it's too late that all was not as it seemed at the time of purchase? Anyway, just walk out he door and don't look back, the rental market is awash with properties.





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