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Mr S

Locked Out

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Hi first time post and I was after some advice please

I rent my home from a letting agency (we shall call it green-tiles for privacy as I am unsure of rules about naming)

 

On 30 Dec I left my property to go Ice Skating with my 2 children aged 7 and 9 and upon locking the front door of the house the key snapped in the lock. I phoned the letting agency as I only have oe key although this is irrelevant as the tip is stuck in the lock and as they were closed  for the holidays I got redirected to the emergency repairs number. I told them what had happened and was told a locksmith would come out at an arranged time of 16:30 to help me out. Perfect brilliant.

We go ice skating and on the way we get a phone call from the locksmith confirming he would be at my address at 16:30 so I thank him and we have a lovely day. we come home tired wet and cold arriving at 16:20. we wait until 16:45 when I decide to phone the locksmith to ask how long he will be as the kids are cold, wet and hungry (it was 2 degrees outside) The locksmith apologizes and says oh the agency cancelled the job you will need to speak to them........

I phone the emergency number back to see what is going on only to be told that they have cancelled the job as they have not managed to gain permission from the landlord, I ask what this means and she says again the same sentence "we were unable to gain permission from the landlord. Obviously this annoyed me as I had not been told anything so was unable to sort out an alternate plan. Anyway I ask her what are my options as I need to get into the property. She explains that due to not having permission from the landlord I have to arrange for a locksmith myself and pay for it myself. I explain I am unemplyed I have no money and I cant afford it so I need another option of which she says there are none....

I try to explain again we are cold wet hungry I have 2 kids with me it is now 6pm at night its dark and she says I am sorry there is nothing we can do you will have to seak alternate accommodation this is some thing I am unhappy about. I dont want to seak another accommodation for a week with no money no clothes no toothbrushes no nothing I want to go into my house to eat my food until the letting agency finally open.

 

Anyway I speak to a friend and begrudgingly accept their offer of financial help to get in, I phone a locksmith and he comes and sticks a stick through the letter box and opens the door charging me 90 pounds for the privileged before telling me it will be a further 55 pounds for a new lock. I dont have the money I dont want to borrow more money as I have no idea how I will afford to pay back what I have already borrowed so I tell him its fine I am in ill leave it till I speak to purple bricks.

I phone them on the 4th but fail to get through so I leave a message, On the 6th the field agent for the letting agency knocks round saying he was in the area and wanted to check a problem with the door, I explained the situation and he took a photo of the receipt for the 90 pounds and said he would speak to the office about phoning me that afternoon. Afternoon comes and goes and then its today I still have not managed to make contact with them and I have been in a house I can not lock for over a week now.

 

I NEED ADVICE PLEASE

 

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Listen Sweetheart, you BROKE THE LOCK, so YOU PAY FOR IT!

You are not in a hotel! Also try reading the Terms & Conditions of your Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement - presuming you can read at all that it.

If you borrowed your friends car and broke the key in the ignition, would you expect them to pay for it? NO!

Finally, try getting a job and you wouldn't need to be harping on about how hard-up you are and expecting the tax payer to pay for your rent, the local council to pay for your council tax, benefits to pay for you and your children, and the landlord to pay for damage to his property that YOU caused through your own incompetence.

Also interesting that you have money to go ice skating but no money to pay for the damage you caused. Hmmmm? 

Take responsibility for your own actions.

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The question that needs answering is whether the lock was faulty.

If the locksmith can confirm the lock was faulty in writing you have a strong case for reimbursement.

If the key snapped because the lock was just stiff and hadn't been lubricated and it had been stiff for some time that would be the tenants fault for not reporting it earlier and giving it a squirt of oil which is a normal job a tenant would be expected to do. After all you are not living in a hotel. 

Note: Just noticed this post is 3 years old

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