Does a landlord have to replace a smelly carpet


#1

I rent a two bedroom house through a letting agent, all repairs are done by them. One of the bedrooms in the house to be completely honest stinks, its like a mouldy urine smell, hard to describe, unfortunately the room is my son’s and he cannot sleep or play in there as the smell is horrible, nothing can be put on the floor as the smell transfers to his toys and clothes, the room door has to be closed to keep the smell out the rest of the house. I reported this to the agent begining of August and they inspected the property mid September and agreed it smelled and they would contact the landlord and let me know what would happen, I’ve heard nothing since.

I’m wondering if they even have to change the carpet, I signed an inventory and accepted the carpet as damaged (it had burns from an iron) but they never mentioned smell. It’s uninhabitable by my standards but not sure if it’s legally uninhabitable.


#2

Sounds nasty, are you in a private residential tenancy? If you are you have more security of tenure so could maybe pursue repairs at the first tier tribunal without fear of being evicted? How they would view this kind of repair I really don’t know. There is some information on getting landlords to do repairs on Shelter Scotland’s website
At present my probably doesn’t meet the repairing standard (contaminated hot water tank), but as I am in a short assured tenancy, I can’t risk pursuing it.


#3

Yes I have the new private residential tenancy as I moved in at the beginning of 2018. I’m worried about annoying the landlord and being put out although I’m aware it is harder with my tenancy so not sure I’d be willing to push it that far although I pay a lot to live here for what it is (old back boiler, old kitchen, old bathroom) I would have thought they’d want to keep me here as i can’t imagine it being let again easily. They’ve repaired other things like the cooker and the front door without any hassle so I know they do do what they legally have.

That must be horrible for you, it’s such a worry that you can be thrown out for no good reason


#4

Hi Sallysarah, It may fall under the definition of a “statutory nuisance” which can include ‘smoke, fumes, gases, smell, effluvia or noise emitted from premises so as to be prejudicial to health or a nuisance’

The definition of premises includes all public and private sector housing for the purposes of the Environmental Protection Act 1990. “the premises/house as a whole” has to be prejudicial to health or a nuisance in order for a statutory nuisance to occur.
Prejudicial to health can be either mental or physical health, Nuisance would be something that is more than a tolerable interference so offensive smells would be included.

As a first step you may wish to report to letting agent or landlord in writing, highlighting the issue and what impact it is having. If still unable to resolve then can contact Environmental Health at local council to ask if they will assess it.

Anne, even if its SSAT (and this would only be if correct paperwork given to you by landlord) it may still be good idea to get some advice - we have an online chat service you can use it if you prefer to over the phone. Here’s a link (anyone can use it) : https://scotland.shelter.org.uk/get_advice/advice_topics/repairs_and_bad_conditions/taking_court_action_over_repairs/compensation_for_disrepair#launchlivechat


#5

Hi James,

I’m actually an online chat volunteer! But current circumstances mean I really can’t risk rocking the boat.


#6

Okay, would be interesting to get some info on the main reasons why you wouldn’t take action if that’s okay? Can you also say if you would feel differently if you had a different tenancy type such as a PRT?

Email me if you prefer at james_mullaney@shelter.org.uk

Thanks again

J