Long road to justice

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After a long battle with my landlord about the tenancy agreement I’m in and what rules they have broken, or neglected, they have finally backed down today and a resolution sort!

I’ve always been a firm believer in equality and fairness, and knowing that landlords come down like a tonne of bricks on tenants who don’t stick to their side of the deal, but tenants don’t feel able to challenge rogue landlords is something that sits very uncomfortably with me!

So, in this scenario, the landlord had in their tenancy that the service charge I pay a month covers broadband however this was a “mistake” (their words, not mine) in the tenancy and that it is a complementary service. After quoting to them their own clause on the tenancy we have mutually signed, they STILL tried to argue it is a complimentary service and that no financial compensation could be given for internet outage. After receiving a highly-ironic Amazon voucher for £10 as their good-will gesture, I was still pushing for financial compensation and this was an ongoing dispute.

I was going to push the broadband but it wasn’t a huge bearing on my life, it was just inconvenient… UNTIL a whacking great big semi-permanent stud wall was erected in my kitchen yesterday evening… With no notice. With no consultation, and with no appreciation for the disturbance caused.

Safe to say my first reaction was “what the [insert appropriate expletive here]” and immediately rung the landlord to find out what had happened to a “eek, ring back in the morning”. So, after being woken up with drills and hammering at 9.20am this morning, I got dressed and walked out the house with my blood boiling on the phone to the landlord and demanding a manager speak to me.

She didn’t know what had happened and why we hadn’t been informed… I then pushed for an explanation from high up to be sought before end of business today and I also stated I would be seeking legal advice.

Seeking and consequently threatening legal action worked overall in my favour, and even if some strong words were exchanged over the phone – Farefield Estates have backed down, offered me financial compensation, admitted they are in the wrong, will be changing the tenancy agreements and sincerely apologised.

Could I have backed down? Of course I could have. Could I have gone about it differently and softer? Yes, but I doubt the outcome would be the same! Have I been an effective advocate for tenant rights? Based on the outcome, I’d say so.

It has been a long road to justice, but sticking to my guns and having the courage of my convictions has paid off and now future tenants will (hopefully) get a better deal.
It’s something I’m not wanting to pull in the cheers for, but can sleep in the sound knowledge that I have successfully advocated on behalf of an unknown quantity of people.

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