Moregeous rant: Just what IS a landlords responsibility?!

An interesting question arose this week about what should be a landlord’s responsibility. Our rental apartments are in blocks i.e., I take a cruddy old Victorian block converted badly in the 70’s / 80’s and redesign the interiors to make fabulous new apartments within the same spaces. I like that all our tenants are in blocks rather than disparate individual buildings / houses, it means that I can make the hallways and gardens look gorgeous rather than rely on an inevitably poor management company’s decisions and timescales, plus maintenance of the outside of the buildings gets done too, which I believe, is the landlord’s responsibility.

Which is why I am driven INSANE by the absolutely crap landlord / management company next door with whom we share a driveway and car park. I’ve lost count of the times I’ve called them about piles of rubble & sodden building material left at the back of the building by their in-house builders, household rubbish in split bin bags attracting vermin, and for about the last 8 months, this drainage and pigeon guano problem, the latter of which is a risk to human health according to Rentokil:

Ash Residential Manchester property

Despite several phone calls and a single pitiful attempt last summer by their in house ‘maintenance’ team to get rid of the roosting pigeons by putting plastic spikes up without cleaning off any of the existing muck first so the spikes just fell off after a week, the situation gets worse and worse. It’s compounded by the fact that they don’t seem to realise or care that the pipes carrying waste water from a bathroom are supposed to go all the way to the ground, not stop a metre up in the air thus flooding the area several times a day with dirty water which is no stagnant and stinking.

Even getting Environmental Health involved proved absolutely useless, they visited 2 or 3 times, got several fobbing off promises, but still the problems continue. I chatted with some of their tenants who told me they are moving out because they can’t stand the noise of the pigeons outside their bedroom window any longer. The landlords find it funny too, which is even more amazing, their builders stood next to us at a local merchants the other week loudly asking if anyone knew how to solve pigeons problems. Nice.

When I posted the situation on Twitter, I was stunned when it was suggested that it was down to the tenants to sort out out. Are tenants supposed to be pigeon poo removal & drainage experts, own ladders, equipment and pay for spikes? Are the bin men supposed to move these shit covered bins to collect household waste? Children play in the area, what about the risk to them?

I leave you with a little video I popped on Vine this week, I do hope lots of prospective Ash tenants see it and think twice about their choice of landlord!

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