This is a personal experience I have endured with a local Cardiff Gas Engineers today.
I had an appointment yesterday for a consultation and re-scheduled all my appointments to fit in with the engineer arriving as I have a fault with low pressure and my combi-boiler cutting out at least twice a day.
(I do not like conducting my business in front of my landlord or contractors he sends out, even though I once specifically asked the landlord not to turn up because I had an important call, he purposely ignored my request and turned up anyway. He did not forget because I reminded him half an hour earlier and he agreed he would not, yet he still turned up).
The engineer yesterday was a no-show, they never phoned or texted they could not make it. So I lost a day’s work waiting for them (I do not like discussing my business in front of contractors).
Seeing as I was not paying for the call-out I was not going to chase them and thought no more of it until a day later, as the matter was not urgent or an emergency, and I attempted to go about my day, trying to catch up from the day before.
I gave strict instructions if they were outside my property to phone or text me as I have a problem with my hearing and cannot hear the doorbell if I am on my own.
However today my daughter was with me and she would hear the bell if it were pressed, (which was not), I will come to this in a moment.
So my daughter and I are in the middle of working when she hears someone walking up our stairs calling my name (I could not hear anything as I am partially deaf). She answers and goes to see who it was, and a man she did not recognize is on our stairs inside our property. He never rang the bell or knocked on the door, just walked in unexpectedly and unannounced.
Entering a property unlawfully is called trespassing and one cannot just enter uninvited or pre-arranged unless it is an emergency or in the case of the Police, a warrant. *The thing is I have a witness and I made an unofficial complaint to the building contractor the following day.
I then got up and realized it was the engineer. I immediately said you were supposed to come yesterday and he replied “oh, was I”, with no apology or anything…(totally ignorant and rude). I did not want to kick off and say “have you never heard of knocking”?
NO FACEMASK (Regulations at the time of publication of this article)
I noted he was not wearing a facemask and I said hold on I will go get my facemask to which he replied: “do you want me to put one on”.
I suspect they were trying their luck hoping no one was in.
The landlord should not have given them keys so I think this was planned because why else would they have had keys to the property if they knew 100% someone would be in?
There is something quite off with this now that I am thinking about it.
NO SOCIAL DISTANCING
The engineer told me to show how low the pressure gauge drops but that meant I had to be less than a foot away from him as my kitchen is a confined space with only room for one person. I was reluctant to go anywhere near him but had no choice to comply with his wishes.
CONTRACTOR COVID REGULATIONS
A contractor must wash their hands and sanitize them before touching anything and that did not happen. In fact, he even leaned on the banister touching freshly washed clothes with his outer clothing that could have potentially cross-contaminated any pathogens he may have carried on his uniform. My daughter after he had gone had to re-wash her clothes and sanitize all the surfaces he had touched including the boiler.
At this stage, I did not want to make waves and went to put my mask on even though he should have had one on without asking me if I wanted him to or not. I felt had I insisted he wears his mask it would have caused animosity.
I explained the problem I was having to adjust the pressure twice a day every day and this is where it got personal. I have known this engineer for the length of time of my tenancy and over the years I have told him I suffer from OCD. I am not ashamed to say it and I am an advocate and editor for mental health on my online journal www.disabilityuk.co.uk and this is where my daughter and I picked up on his insensitive and rather rude remark and what he said: “are you sure you that you have to adjust the gauge twice a day or are you just saying it because you are high on your meds” he continued to say, although I did not hear him say it, however, my daughter did “I must be special or a lunatic”.
I have a witness to what he said.
People who have mental health issues should not be humiliated and made a mockery of, not everyone with mental health issues is going to be a patient of mental asylums in which I felt was what he was insinuating.
I am so tempted to name and shame him and the company he represents and give them bad press.
He insinuated I was making things up told my daughter to make track of how many times I adjusted the boiler without telling me and also insinuated that both my daughter and I were lying about the leaking radiator, which was not leaking in front of him. He did however state he would be coming back next week to fix the radiator that was hanging off the wall in another room.
Considering he turned up unannounced and I excused myself and said I had to get back to my work and he went “yer right” like I was making it up or something and he did not believe me.
It was approximately a year ago that he came out to install my cooker I bought that could not be fitted at the time of delivery because I had a problem with my “Hot Zone” in the kitchen whereby another local Cardiff Electricians (I am not mentioning any names but I did tell my landlord about their incompetence at the time when he had to rewire my electrics) failed to notice the problem when they did an electrical inspection. When I mentioned this to the Gas engineer he too did not know what a “Hot Zone” was either until I sent him a link.
He told me I should not report the electricians and should not start making waves. I took that he was threatening me in some way.
Also when I mentioned that I may have had a leak in the pipes last week over the phone to the gas engineers director, he said floorboards would have to be pulled up and I corrected him and said a thermal camera would spot the leak which costs about £700 and he said no one in Cardiff has anything like that. Some people do not like being corrected and a gadget like that is an investment to any plumber and they should have it as part of their tools.
So for me not to have a cooker over Christmas and New Year 2019/2020 as I could not get it fitted because the electrics needed re-wiring was not a big problem to anyone other than me who spent £1,500 on take-outs over a period of two months for myself and my family as I could not cook any food. Who is going to compensate me for this? This is why I am documenting everything and I have receipts.
I feel I am being humiliated and intimidated by these engineers as they are friendly with my landlord and anything I say to any of the contractors goes back to my landlord.
This type of disrespect, humiliation, and intimidation is causing emotional distress. Who can I complain to about rogue contractors and unprofessional traders? This is why I am unwell because people do not abide by rules and Covid Regulations and are very judgemental. Some people simply think they are better than you and will try to ridicule you as in the case today.
FINAL THOUGHTS FROM THE EDITOR
I will not mention this company other than they are not on the first page of Google for the search terms “Cardiff Gas Engineers” and have a hyphen in their domain name. But what I will do is document everything and go out of my way to help one of their competitors because they should not be making waves with me.
I have in fact most recently renewed thedomain name www.cardiffgasengineers.co.uk and originally was going to make the domain into a directory of “Cardiff Gas Engineers” purposely to exclude them, but now I will help any company other than them.
People underestimate me and what I do and am capable of.
It is unprofessional to be personal to a tenant and make a mockery of their disability regardless of whether their disability is physical or mental.
I once had a detective (CID) demoted to police constable for entering my property unannounced and without a warrant, and I still suffer PTSD from that which has brought back memories. This is added to my emotional distress.
Also, one is not exempt from wearing facemasks, even though some may think they do.
It is not the first time other engineers working for the same company in question have visited my property without wearing facemasks and I have complained previously. But if I was to again I suspect I would be complaining about the partner of the business as I believe he is and also a friend of the landlord and I guess he feels invincible.
If he mocked me about my mental health and medication he would have also mocked my landlord who also suffers from mental health problems.
I feel if someone complains too much is then deemed as a nuisance, so I have to keep my mouth shut but have learned over time to document everything.
BREACH OF TERMS OF AGREEMENT
Imagine if my daughter and I were not home and he let himself in, my insurance would become void.
Another scenario could have been, my daughter or I could have been half-dressed coming out of the bathroom or bedroom as was the case with the detective many moons ago.
24 HOURS NOTICE
A landlord, the contractor, or letting agent needs to give you 24 hours’ notice before entering your rented premises unless it is an emergency. They cannot walk in unless they have notified you first when they are arriving and even then, they cannot just walk in if they know someone is present. The resident needs to agree and give consent.
When you rent a property from a landlord it becomes your home. A landlord, contractor, or letting agent, should only enter the property without you being there, if you have given prior permission for them to do so, or if it is a genuine emergency.
While your landlord, contractor, or letting agent will need to gain access to the property to carry out inspections, repairs, and maintenance, the law says that they must give you 24-hours written notice.
Remember whatever you do there are consequences to your actions. If you report your landlord he /she may serve you an eviction notice. The same goes with engineers they may try to sue you, so you have to have the evidence documented and have a plan A and plan B before you start complaining.
Oh, I forgot to mention as he was leaving he said to my daughter I had successfully wasted his time. Even though he recognized the radiator needed fixing and said he would and I quote “have to book it in”, yet had no regard that I had to pay people yesterday to manage the chat widgets on my client’s sites and could not monitor them properly this morning as I was rudely interrupted, in fact, I had a missed chat today and my client noticed which does not look good for me. So wasting my time is fine?…
I made an indirect complaint to the contractor that came to work in my bathroom today, something different from the gas engineer’s job yesterday, knowing that my disdain will get back to my landlord. Even the contractor agreed the Gas Engineer was out of order and that I should make an official complaint. Let’s see what transpires next week when he has to return to fix the radiator in one of the bedrooms, I will be having words with him one to one, and I will record him in stealth mode if he bothers to turn up.
My article is about asbestos but first I have to explain a bit about my landlord and I am sure I am not the only person in the UK that has these problems and some have worse than I do. I have therefore dedicated a category solely to collecting enough evidence about him without mentioning his name for legal reasons.
I wrote an article relating to health concerns about the condition of the property I rent. I have since decided to do an add-on to what I believe is appaulling living conditions considering my landlord demanded an extra £100 per month, rent increase this year in the midst of a pandemic, where businesses were losing business hand over fist and I too lost business but he thought I could just get an extra £100 from somewhere only giving me one month’s notice and the ironic thing is in his new contract he stipulates I could not conduct a business from the property, yet during lockdown how was I supposed to work if not from the property? So essentially if I do not work and I cannot obviously pay him, although I begrudge paying him considering the amount of money he scammed from me over the years and the health issues both my daughter and I have because of him.
Landlords & Asbestos
It has since been brought to my attention about the health risks if a property has asbestos such as the one I have been renting.
The following is research I have made relating to asbestos in properties.
According to Newswise who wrote an article about the dangers of Asbestos stating exposure to toxic amphibole asbestos may contribute to autoimmunity, potentially laying the groundwork for future autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis, according to a study published of the peer-reviewed journal Environmental Health Perspectives (EHP). Researchers evaluated 50 residents in a town polluted by asbestos—and found them much more likely to have a class of autoantibodies in their blood than a control group. The presence of these biological markers, known as antinuclear antibodies (ANAs), is often found in people whose immune systems may be predisposed to cause inflammation against their own body tissues.
This concerns me tremendously, considering in February 2020 workmen accessed my attic to repair a leak in the roof and only cross-contaminated my kitchen with asbestos. I took the images as evidence to prove that my kitchen was covered in dust but it never crossed my mind it was asbestos until now. Only because someone mentioned it and I started doing some research. (I have since cleaned my kitchen of the particles).
See images below of the dust particles from the workmen:
What is Asbestos?
Asbestos is most commonly a problem in older properties, usually, that built pre: 1980, but it may also be present in homes built or refurbished pre: 2000. It was commonly used as a building insulation material between the 1950s and 1980s, and if you invest in an older property – which many landlords do because they tend to be cheaper – you could unknowingly be exposing your tenants to asbestos.
My landlord has not had an asbestos survey done, knowing that this house has asbestos in order not to pay to have the house gutted.
Asbestos is a term used to describe six naturally occurring silicate minerals. Viewed under a microscope, they look like tiny fibers. These fibers are not dangerous until they are released into the air and subsequently breathed in.
This happened in my kitchen and my utensils, bookshelf of cookbooks, and appliances all had a brown film of asbestos covering every part of the kitchen.
Obviously, we have washed out utensils, pots, and pans and dusted the bookshelf, but imagine how much we breathed in before noticing what the brown film of fiber was.
So on top of the black mold and the mushrooms, we also have an issue with the asbestos.
I hear you when you say so if I know all this why do I not move?
Moving costs money, my health is not good and so is my daughter’s. I also run a business so do not know where I can get the time to move even if moving was possible.
I do not plan to be in this property forever I think 23 years is way too long to live in a property that not only is a health hazard is also the cause of a lot of our health problems.
I will however use all the evidence I have collated over the years and take legal action. At the moment I am stuck between a rock and a hard place meaning once I am ready to move, my landlord will not know what has hit him. The emotional distress my landlord has caused me over the years will have to be addressed sooner or later.
Emotional Distress in a Landlord-Tenant Dispute
Landlords may be sued for emotional distress in certain situations. It has been known that some courts have awarded emotional distress damages to tenants for their annoyance and discomfort caused by inhabitable living conditions such as inadequate heat and water and dangerous pests, this includes a landlord’s breach of quiet enjoyment caused by a landlord’s miscalculation of rent and subsequent eviction action may lead to emotional distress damages.
I have a long list of grievances, which I aim to deliver.
Asbestos illnesses do not happen immediately, but in time, the presence of asbestos fibers in the lungs can lead to serious lung disease and cancer. It’s basically a ticking timebomb, which is why industrial workers are only now seeing the ill effects of exposure to asbestos 20+ years after they left their workplace.
Where is Asbestos Found?
To properly evaluate where asbestos can be found in your home it is recommended to have an asbestos survey done. There is a number of places where asbestos may be lurking, including:
Insulation panels used as fire-proofing material in partition walls, soffits under the roof, above ceilings, behind fuse boxes, and in airing cupboards
Artex textured ceiling coatings
Pipe lagging in the attic and airing cupboard
Cement panels and roof in a garage
Roofing felt in outbuildings and sheds
This is not an exhaustive list; asbestos was so commonly used it could be present anywhere in an older property that hasn’t been refurbished in 20+ years.
What Should a Landlord do About Asbestos?
The only way to know for sure whether a building contains asbestos is to have a professional asbestos survey carried out by a professionally qualified expert.
Management surveys are visual inspections of the building to ascertain where asbestos may be present. The aim of the survey is to locate and monitor any asbestos or asbestos-containing materials. If the asbestos is deteriorating in any way, it can then be dealt with.
Management surveys are not usually necessary for domestic buildings but may be required in communal hallways and corridors in HMOs or blocks of flats.
A refurbishment and demolition survey is recommended if you are planning a major refurb of an older rental property and you suspect asbestos might be present. It’s also recommended if the property has an older concrete panel garage. This is a more intrusive survey and extensive samples will be taken to test for the presence of asbestos.
The UK Accreditation Service can help you find a suitably qualified asbestos surveyor if you need advice on whether a survey is recommended or an actual survey.
Note: asbestos surveys are a legal requirement for non-domestic properties built prior to 2000. This will be applicable to commercial landlords.
When is Asbestos a Problem?
Asbestos is not an issue unless it is disturbed in some way, for example, if it’s drilled into, sanded, or chopped in half. When this happens, asbestos fibers are released, hence why it is often called the ‘silent killer’. Unless precautions are taken, exposure to asbestos can lead to serious health problems. Breathing in asbestos fibers can cause Mesothelioma.
A Landlord’s Legal Responsibilities for Dealing With Asbestos
The law is clear on a landlord’s responsibilities with regard to asbestos.
1 (a)every person who has, by virtue of a contract or tenancy, an obligation of any extent in relation to the maintenance or repair of non-domestic premises or any means of access thereto or egress therefrom; [4-1(a)]
8 Where the assessment shows that asbestos is or is liable to be present in any part of the premises the duty holder shall ensure that—
(a)a determination of the risk from that asbestos is made;
(b)a written plan identifying those parts of the premises concerned is prepared; and
(c)the measures which are to be taken for managing the risk are specified in the written plan.
Landlords of non-domestic properties, such as commercial or industrial properties, are also covered by the legislation. In addition, ‘common’ areas of certain properties, such as larger houses converted into flats, are included, such as gardens, hallways, lifts, etc. Shared bathrooms and kitchens in HMOs are also classed as ‘common’ areas.
Landlord and Tenant Act 1985
The Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 states a landlord is obliged to maintain the structure and exterior of a property; this includes a shared party wall in a terraced or semi-detached property. If asbestos is present in the roof or some other part of the building structure and is not maintained, the tenant has the right to sue the landlord for breach of contract.
If asbestos exists in the property, the HHSRS includes a prescribed course of action, which includes identifying the hazard, assessing the extent of the damage and risks the asbestos poses, and how vulnerable it is to damage.
If a landlord fails to take appropriate action, the local authority is given powers under the Housing Act 2004, Part 1. It can serve an Improvement Notice, Hazard Awareness Notice, and even a Demolition Order in severe cases.
Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018
The Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act received Royal Assent in 2018. The act requires homes in the private rental sector to be ‘in repair’ and ‘fit for human habitation’. Asbestos is listed as something that could lead to a property being classed as ‘unfit for human habitation if it is found to be defective.
The Environmental Protection Act 1990
Under the Environmental Protection Act 1990, the presence of asbestos in a rental property could be classed as a statutory nuisance. If a tenant reports the presence of asbestos to the local authority, they have an obligation to investigate. If an environmental health inspector decides the asbestos is prejudicial to health, they can serve an abatement order forcing the landlord to deal with the ‘nuisance’. If the landlord ignores the order, he can be prosecuted in criminal proceedings and the court can force him to comply with the order or instruct the local authority to carry out the work – at the landlord’s expense.
Tenants can also bypass the local authority and take action against a landlord directly, by filing a complaint at their local magistrate’s court. Tenants can also lodge a complaint with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), which will investigate on their behalf.
Dealing with a Defective Property
Self-build landlords are liable under the Defective Premises Act 1972. If you built the property, you must ensure there are no major defects, which include asbestos. If a tenant is reasonably affected by such defects, they can sue for compensation under tort law. The court can then order the landlord to carry out any work required to rectify the problem.
Former tenants who buy their property from the landlord can also take action against the landlord. This is applicable to social landlords. Claims can be difficult to prove in the case of older properties.
In all cases, if asbestos is present in one of your properties, follow the prescribed course of action in the HHSRS. Ignoring the presence of asbestos is not a solution.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has a useful checklist for dealing with asbestos.
Verify asbestos is present in the property – assume a material is asbestos unless proven otherwise
Have an asbestos survey carried out, taking samples where appropriate
Assess what condition the asbestos is in
Make a written record of where the asbestos is located and its condition
Carry out a risk assessment based on the current condition of the asbestos and how likely it is to be damaged/disturbed
Make a plan of action
Take action where appropriate
Keep your plan up to date
Note that all asbestos surveys and sampling should be done by licensed professionals.
Dealing with Asbestos
The plan for dealing with asbestos will depend on its current condition.
If a survey reveals the asbestos is sound and best left undisturbed, a landlord has no legal obligation to act. Many tenants will be unhappy about the idea of asbestos in their home and it may be prudent to have the material removed.
Asbestos is an emotive subject. Some tenants will not be averse to complaining to the local housing department, even if it’s been proven by a professional survey that the presence of asbestos is not a threat to their health.
If asbestos is present (or potentially present) in the property, it’s vital that contractors are informed before they do any refurbishment work on the property.
While asbestos in good condition can be left alone but monitored, it must be encapsulated if it shows evidence of minor damage. Monitor the asbestos closely for signs of any further damage and again, inform any contractor that does work on the property.
Asbestos in poor condition or in a location that’s likely to be disturbed must be removed as soon as possible. This is not a job that landlords can do themselves – a specialist contractor must be hired to do the removal work and dispose of the material safely. This ensures you and your tenants are not put at risk by escaping fibers.
Rehousing a Tenant During Asbestos Repair Work
Whether a landlord is legally obliged to rehouse the tenant during asbestos repair work will depend on the nature of the work being done.
For minor repairs where the asbestos is being contained rather than removed, it won’t be necessary for the tenant to be rehoused, as the material is not being disturbed and therefore no dust will be created.
If the asbestos is being removed, the tenant will need to move out temporarily, as there is risk dust will be created during the removal process. A landlord is under no legal obligation to rehouse the tenant during the removal work, but you should do so if they have nowhere to go, e.g. family willing to offer them a place to stay. Refusing to help a tenant when the issue is not their fault will only lead to a loss of faith and almost certainly future problems.
The local authority can rehouse a tenant during asbestos removal work if the presence of asbestos on the property has been classed as a statutory nuisance under the Environmental Protection Act 1990. If it takes this step, the court can order the landlord to reimburse the local authority for the cost of temporary housing, which is likely to be a lot more than it would have cost the landlord directly.
In summary, asbestos should not be ignored. Always consider that asbestos might be present when you invest in an older property. If you spot any suspicious materials when viewing the property or if a survey flags it up, have an asbestos survey done to verify the extent of the problem.
An initial survey is relatively inexpensive, and it will give you peace of mind. Just make sure you hire an accredited asbestos survey company.
An electrician’s role as a tradesman includes specializing in electrical wiring and re-wiring of buildings, transmission lines, stationary machines, and related equipment. Electricians may be hired in the installation of new electrical components or the maintenance and repair of existing electrical infrastructure as well as electrical inspections which in the case of Landlords is required by law.
Electricians may also specialize in wiring ships, airplanes, and other mobile platforms, as well as data and cable lines and the installation of solar systems.
It is with no surprise that mental health is affected by financial worries, with an astonishing 9.5 million Brits suffering from mental health issues due to money worries. More than 18 million UK adults worry about money on a daily basis with a third saying their sleep is affected.
Therefore utility companies should not be intimidating and be wolves at the door if your bill payment is a few days late. They need to show compassion and be more understanding rather than harass people. Landlords should also take into consideration a person, personal circumstances before demanding money at short notice, 30 days notice is not adequate time if you have not put into place a surplus amount of money that you can use should the creditor increase their prices by an astronomical amount over the rate of inflation. Just because a property rental price is lower than the average price, says if a tenant did not agree with the prices they would have no option but to pay the average cost or move to an entirely new area. However, if the tenant needs to be in the area for business reasons and they have been a long-term tenant this says that the person has stayed in the area for a reason. Therefore if a landlord deliberately makes s a person get into debt which in turn causes mental health issues, the landlord should then be liable for the ill health of a person.
Some people can manage their money to a certain degree whilst others find it very difficult.
Feeling your financial circumstances are too much to bear, often people try to avoid the problem hoping somehow it will go away, but it never does, and the more you ignore it the worse the situation will become.
It is a well-known fact that people struggling with money have a link to poor mental health.
Below I will address the following categories:
What is the definition of poor mental wellbeing?
Can poor mental health affect the way you deal with money?
What if you feel everything has become too much and very overwhelming?
How to return to the drawing board and try and re-budget your finance?
Are there organizations I can try to get free debt help?
How to Deal with creditors?
What should you do if you have been unfairly treated?
How to manage your expenditure whilst you’re in the hospital?
What Benefits are there you can claim if you have poor mental health?
If someone you know is struggling with mental health and financial issues, how to help them?
If you cannot manage your money yourself who can help you?
Getting extra support for mental health?
What is the definition of poor mental wellbeing?
If you are finding that your mental health is being affected because of your financial circumstances and life is starting to be very overwhelming with sadness, stress, and anxiety, you may be experiencing poor mental well being which you need to contact a health professional like your local GP.
Poor mental wellbeing is when you experience the loss of a loved one (grief) feeling lonely or in despair, having relationship issues, or money worries or your physical health is not so good or you may even have problems at work. Most of the time we know what is causing us to feel low and we need to admit to ourselves that we do have a problem and learn how to deal with it. By simply ignoring the problem or being in denial will only make matters worse.
If you are feeling very low to the extent you may be having suicidal thoughts because of your money worries, you need to talk to a friend, family, neighbour or stranger otherwise call 999 if you are in immediate danger or give the Samaritans a call on 166 123.
Poor mental health can come at any time and last indefinitely unless treated. Your financial circumstance and worries about money can cause a chain reaction of problems not only to your health but to your day-to-day living.
Mental Health issues such as anxiety depression, sadness, stress, and PTSD can happen to the best of us, and remember you are not alone there are other people out there that most probably going through what you are going through.
Can poor mental health affect the way you deal with money?
Poor mental health being can be an onset of events that have caused you to feel, stress, sadness, sorrow, and despair. Your mental health can cause you to have anxieties, stress, depression, lack of motivation.
Some examples of the domino effects that can cause a chain reaction include:
Your income has been affected due to redundancies or could have stopped if you can’t work and are awaiting help from Univeral Credit, Housing Benefit, etc, or have to take time off work. It could also be because your child which is full-time education has turned 19 and you are no longer eligible to claim for your child tax credits even though their expenditure has not changed and you still have to feed them clothe them etc. (This is where the pencil pushers in parliament have not thought this through and have never been in this predicament). This is a loss of £400 per month and how is one supposed to live?
Your Landlord decides to give you one month’s notice to increase the rent without giving a thought about your financial circumstance. Even comparing the increase to similar rents in the area. So what happens if you do not agree, he/she will serve you notice to quit and where will you go then? He /she could potentially make you homeless and would he/she care of course they would not.
I have a saying “do I need it or do I want it”? If money is tight I weigh up would I be able to put off my wanting for another month. Could I live without whatever it is I want for a while until I could afford it? I have wised up to my financial spending about a decade too late. But now I have a better understanding of what is going in and what is going out. Someone with depression might spend their money on things they don’t need just to make themselves feel better and worry about consequences later, this will eventually become a vicious cycle with more unnecessary debt piling up.
People with depression may feel anxious or stressed about doing things like facing people, talking on the phone, going out, or opening their bills.
I am fortunate I do all my banking online and have done away with statements and bills coming through my door, everything is electronically done, I would like to think I am contributing to helping save the planet with zero carbon footprint emissions.
Money Navigator Tool
Are you looking for money guidance, but don’t know where to look? Start with Money Navigator, giving you instant help based on your circumstances.
Remember if you can write down all your going in money as well as your going out you will have a clearer picture of what costs cuts you can make.
Sometimes people that have enough money to live on may worry about money worries just in case they have to break into their savings. With rising costs and people in the human hierarchy importance ladder who simply do not give a damn about your mental health, you have to start fighting for survival and researching different options and how to get over your obstacle.
Your current situation may make you feel worried, anxious and nervous, or even depressed. You may have no motivation to face people let alone talk to them.
Your current situation may make you more stricter with your spending to the extent that you may not want to spend anything at all even though you may have money in the bank you do not want to dig into your life savings. This can cause anxiety and depression.
Your current situation may be the difference between putting food on the table because of people that do not care about your financial predicament and if you can actually afford a price increase. Small businesses should be more understanding and make massive increases to the tune of £80 as in the case of my landlord. (He will one day feel my wrath), he claims he has made repairs and has offset annual inspections that he is obliged to do onto the tenant. (I have so much ammunition on him he won’t know what has hot him).
Some people such as myself may find it hard to concentrate on making important decisions or concentrate or stay focused and may not take in all the detailed information and may not be able to manage their money properly.
Under Stress, people become forgetful and may not remember to do things.
There is an online tool provided by the NHS that can access you mental health especially if you are affected by financial difficulties NHS Money Worries tool. It does not take long to fill out in fact it only takes five minutes, which will then direct you to specific help based on your answers.
What if you feel everything has become too much and very overwhelming?
There is not one person on this planet that feels happy 24/7. Some may have very good days followed by very low days (Bipolar). Everyone feels low from time to time. Being able to identify the root of the problem is the first step to recovery. If one can pinpoint what is causing you to feel low and have your financial forecast in black and white in front of you (one needs to be ruthless with oneself) be as open and honest with your finances, which will pave a path tackling the problem.
If you cannot shake the persistent feeling of anxiety, worry, and depression off, you should seek medical advice from a health professional such as your pharmacist or GP. Sometimes making the first move and asking for help can be difficult and daunting that is why there are organizations that help you on the road to recovery. Mind has devised a tool called Find the Words, which will help you help you devise a plan of action and what you can say in the preparation of having a consultation with your GP, Nurse, or Pharmacist.
When it comes to financial difficulties the sooner you begin admit you have a problem, the sooner you can to tackle the problem and the easier it will be to take control. However it is understandable that some people may not be able to find the strength to deal with financial issues independantly and may find the whole ordeal overwhelming to the degree it may feel even impossible.
How to return to the drawing board and try and re-budget your finance?
Write Down in a Book so you can return to it later all your expenses and all your income. You will see at a glance how you can possibly save some money or juggle your money around. This is a perfect opportunity to manage and budget your money. Give yourself a Petty Cash so you can dip into that rather than your savings.
Do some research and find organizations that can help you with your finances
Reach out to your friends, family, and healthcare professional if the constant worry about money is so overwhelming that you cannot function properly.
Nominate someone you can trust to look after your mail for you, going as far as helping you budget and manage your expenses. Sometimes the thought of opening bills or statements is too much to bear.
Contact creditors, banks, and utility companies at the first opportunity and explain your circumstances they may put your debt on hold. If you ignore them this will only make matters worse and the problem will not go away by itself, in fact, it may escalate to debt recovery where your initial debt might double with recovery fees. It is best to just get the bull by the horns and confront your creditors before they do.
If you start to feel that life is unbearable and you cannot even face going to work, you must go to your GP to explain your ailments and ask to have a sick note. Contact your manager or HR department to let them know you are unwell. Some companies offer extra employee support, which is free and confidential.
If you go to your GP or another health professional and explain your problem, not only will your mental state of mind be logged on their system they may be also able to guide you by providing a Debt and Mental Health Evidence Form, which can help make assure creditors take your mental health problems into account. Only if you are in severe debt financial services may want to see written evidence of a mental health issue, but this is something that should only be discussed if you feel the situation has no way out and you are willing to share your personal data with these organizations. This is not mandatory and you will not be asked to provide medical evidence unless it goes to court.
If you a shopping addict or feel that buying something to cheer you up is the solution, when in fact it will only make your finances worse, consider doing something that occupies your mind that does not include browsing the internet with the temptation to spend. Go to your local library and borrow some books that you will be inspired by. If you are arty start painting. Do things that will not cost you an arm and a leg. Download some e-books before turning off the internet for a month or so. Give yourself time to re-rejuvenate.
How to return to the drawing board and try and re-budget your finance?
Poor mental health may make not allow you to be focused and may hinder the decision you make, thus avoiding making them at all can cause a domino effect with consequences to one’s actions. When you are starting to feel you are able to tackle your problems you need to be assertive, stay focused and correct the problems you may have. Also, try to safeguard yourself from future issues which may arise, by putting a little away each month if at all possible.
Are there organisations I can try to get free debt help?
I have been there when I had a nasty surprise when Norton renewed itself automatically approximately two months before the termination of the contract. I went about removing my card details from their system and every other company that I was not comfortable having my card details. This is the same for most online shopping sites and browsers often remember card details to make it easier and smoother to make purchases. If you feel at risk of making impulsive spending decisions you later regret, remove the auto-filled information from your browser settings.
Consider cutting up your cards or have just one for essential shopping, but do away with credit cards at your first opportunity. If you are in debt with credit cards the banks and credit card issuers will be happy for you to offer them something rather than nothing at all. This will also save them time chasing you and they will get their money although albeit it may take them a little longer. Offer something that is reasonable and show them your expenditure report.
If you have had poor mental health for some time it may be a combination of different things that have happened in your life. One of the reasons could be because you don’t have enough money to pay for the basics, such as food and rent or mortgage or you’re unable to pay your debts.
Although there are many places where you can get free financial help and information, only you know if you have enough money coming in or not to cover your bills.
A debt adviser can help to a certain degree and talk through your money worries and find ways for you to manage your debts, but they may not have all the answers. If you have been good at managing your money and all of a sudden someone throws an unexpected spanner in the works such as a rent increase of £150 for arguments sake, this will throw your budget straight out of the window.
Debt Advisers can suggest solutions you may not know about and can help even if you don’t think you have any spare money to deal with your debt.
A lot of people have felt stress when seeking debt advice; you’re not alone and it’s not a sign of weakness.
You can talk to debt advisers online, on the telephone or face-to-face – however, you feel most comfortable.
You should never be ashamed or embarrassed about talking about mental health to anyone. It is not a sign of weakness and in fact, speaking about is a sure way of finding the right help to dealing with it. Suffering in silence does not help you if you do not tell anyone how you are feeling. There are millions of people just like yourself in similar situations and if you can find the courage to speak out you have made the first steps to recovery.
If you do not tell anyone how you are feeling how are they supposed to know.
Creditors are human after all and even if they have never experienced stress, anxiety, and depression they may in fact know someone that has and they should be sympathetic towards you as long as you explain to them what you are going through.
Write it all down on a piece of paper or type it up, mentioning your mental state of mind, your disabilities and any medical help you may have. Do not leave any stone unturned.
Mention your incomings and outgoings so that they have a clear picture and may give you more time to pay off any arrears or debt you may have.
It is better to offer them something than nothing at all.
They will be happy to accept whatever you can offer them rather than taking you to court, which not only costs money it is a waste of resources that can be better spent elsewhere.
Creditors can be empathic and the definition of a creditor is someone you owe money to, such as a landlord, utility company, car finance company, your bank, building society, or lender (payday loans, store cards, etc).
People often feel talking about mental health that there is a stigma attached and the person you disclose this information to may think you are crazy. Having mental health issues such as anxiety and depression are normal experiences most people go through and experience at some point in their lives, from sitting your exams to having your first interview to feeling your job is not rewarding or you may be having relationship troubles. Everyone has experienced sadness, anxiety, and depression at some point in their lives.
When our parents and loved ones pass away we experience, sadness, grief, and depression.
Talking to their creditors about your poor mental wellbeing makes you a stronger person because you are brave enough to speak about it rather than shutting it out.
You can choose how much information you want to share and how it will be stored and used. You have control over your data.
Most importantly if you are feeling as if things have escalated out of control and you have nowhere to turn, do visit a health professional or GP asap and then contact your creditors in writing or appoint a friend or family member to do it on your behalf. You are not alone there are millions of people in the same boat as you.
What should you do if you have been unfairly treated?
Most organizations are empathetic providing you do give them the runaround. if you choose to ignore the past due letter and hope the problem will go away by itself you are very much mistaken and you will only infuriate your creditors. The sooner you make contact with them and the sooner you put all your incomings and outgoings on the table and a proposed payment plan the sooner they will give you extended time to pay. Remember they sooner prefer to have something than nothing at all and they certainly do not want to waste their precious time dragging it through courts. They will even cap any interest you may have as long as you make contact with them.
However if after you have disclosed your situation to the lender and they are being ruthless you can put in a letter of complaint and then go to an ombudsman who will act as a mediator. You also have the option of going to citizen advice and get free advice from volunteer solicitors or legal advice pro bono meaning they will not charge you until they win a case similar to (not win no fee).
The most important factor is you have to make contact physically or in writing and if you still feel you are not getting anywhere start pulling ranks so if the bank teller cannot help you ask for the bank manager and if the bank manager refuses to help go to an ombudsman.
In most cases as long as you offer your creditors something they will call off the wolves and will not pass your debt onto a debt collecting agency.
If you want to speak to a creditor in person it is wise to have someone with you as a witness and for moral support but the best way is to put it all in writing and do not leave anything out.
How to manage your expenditure whilst you’re in the hospital?
Sometimes the unexpected can happen so you should have a plan of action for a friend or family member to take over your day-to-day expenses. The best way is to set up a standing order or pay via creditors’ websites manually. Often setting up direct debits is a good idea but with this method, the dates transaction leave your account are fixed, whilst withstanding orders you have more control.
The best plan of action is to appoint someone as power of attorney and have it in writing that should you be unable to sort out your own finances and day-to-day routines like feeding the cat and watering the plants and putting any subscriptions on hold etc.
Obviously you need to be able to have someone you can trust.
However, if you are alone and have no family or friends, you could talk with your bank manager, you will be surprised what people they are in contact with and what resources and organizations they could put you in contact with.
On Rethink’s Mental Health and Money website, there is a full list of options and things you should think about, including how someone can help you pay bills, deal with benefits or talk to your bank or other service providers, such as your mobile phone, gas or electricity provider.
Always plan ahead should something happen like you being admitted into hospital suddenly. This will start a plan of action with the domino effect of the next person being notified to sort out your affairs.
If you are dependant on Government Benefits and Support you must notify the agencies because some benefits you will no longer be entitled to and this will avoid them overpayment, in which you guessed it, you would have to pay it all back. So it is best to let them know as soon as you can or get someone to do it on your behalf.
If you are admitted to hospital for a long stay you should know about the following:
If you are getting Disability Living Allowance, Personal Independence Allowance, or Attendance Allowance, your benefit will stop.
If someone gets Carer’s Allowance for you, their benefit will stop at the same time.
You are able to continue to get Housing Benefit for up to 52 weeks
If you are getting Employment and Support Allowance it will continue to be paid but depending on which type you are getting, you may lose some premiums or housing costs
Universal Credit will not usually be affected for six months
You will need to continue paying your bills. Think about setting up a direct debit so it’s done automatically
If you get benefits, tell the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) – or the Social Security Agency (SSA) if you are in Northern Ireland.
Tell your local authority if you get Housing Benefits or pay Council Tax because you may qualify for a reduction.
If you don’t tell the agency dealing with your benefits, they may continue paying you and you may end up owing money.
What Benefits are there you can claim if you have poor mental health?
If your mental health condition persists or worsens or another disability is diagnosed, you may be entitled to help with certain benefits.
If you are over 16 and have a diagnosed mental health problem, you may be entitled to a Personal Independence Payment (PIP) if you need help with everyday tasks. This isn’t means-tested, so you may be able to get it whether or not you have an income or savings. However, they will first make you have a long interview and will assess you on the day. With the Coronavirus Pandemic Regulations and Restrictions, these assessments have been put on hold. Do not be disheartened if your claim has been denied, nearly all claims are rejected and it is up to you to appeal their decision.
If you can’t work for an extended length of time because of your illness and you’re not entitled to Statutory Sick Pay (or it has run out), you might be able to claim Employment and Support Allowance or Universal Credit to help replace lost income. If you’re claiming a sickness or disability benefit, you will usually need to have a medical assessment as part of the claim process.
The Mental Health and Money Advice website has a full list of benefits you may be entitled to if you are suffering from mental health issues, or if you are a carer of someone who is struggling.
The charity Turn2us has an online calculator you can use to see what benefits you may be able to claim.
If someone you know is struggling with mental health and financial issues, how to help them?
As a friend or family member, you know the person you are worried about better than most. So you can spot changes in behavior, sometimes before they do, that might send out warning signals.
You may want to make an agreement with them that they let you know if they seem to be becoming unwell. You could make an action plan together, for example, you could look after their credit card or bill payments when they feel unwell or help them make a GP appointment.
When you feel like there is a constant grey cloud following you everywhere you go and no matter what you do and nothing seems to be working in your favour, you must step back and analyze the situation and see how you can tackle the problem or make changes to make your life more bearable.
Sometimes stress, anxiety and depression can make it difficult to see straight, making it difficult to focus and make important decisions.
I have suffered from clinical depression for many years and I find writing down my thoughts and helping others as I am doing now part of my therapy. I have other disabilities which you can read on my other site www.disabledentrepreneur.uk My disabilities are not a burden per se, but a superpower as I can inspire other people that your disabilities do not have to define you and you can adapt around them within your means.
I have learned what to avoid that may trigger my depression and my other disabilities and what can worsen them. I have a controlled environment that is not normal by any standard but it works for me.
The first step to getting help is to talk with your health professional such as your local GP.
It’s easy for someone to say “things will get better” but if they are not walking in your shoes they do not have a clue what you are going through and have no right to give you that advice.
Only you can make the changes and make things happen and for people to say “things will get better” are basically sugar coating the problem.
If you are to your eyeballs in debt no amount of words is going to help you. You need a plan of action and you need people that can help you, rather than people trying to put a band-aid on a gaping wound.
The only way you can get out of debt is to talk to a professional that can help. You can even try to consolidate your debts into one monthly affordable sum. You need to speak with your creditors that you have run into financial difficulties and if you are also suffering from depression you MUST also see a Doctor. To be prepared to make the changes, you must make the first step.
It’s also soul-destroying watching people live in fancy houses driving fancy cars whilst you are struggling to make ends meet.
The constant noise of people bragging how successful they are is all smoke and mirrors and you should not be interacting or viewing this.
If you are connected on Instagram with people and groups living luxury lifestyles, turn off your account or simply do not log in.
For the MPs that dictate to people on low incomes how much support they are prepared to give people to live on, it would be interesting to see if they could live on £98.48 tax credits per week for six months supporting a young adult in full-time education who have no way of supporting themselves.
By my calculations, £98.48 per week based on 40 hours of work is £2.46 per hour, which is less than the living wage. Now if you add other income this could equate to a further £1.65 per hour, which brings a total of £4.11 per hour which is less than the national living wage, and they wonder why people have mental health issues.
So for a small business owner, they would have to further earn more than £164.48 per week to live and make a profit. Which equates to £657.92 per month that a small business owner would need to find just to get by on a low income.
If a small business owner has bills to pay and has a very low income that is struggling to pay its business overheads how does the government expect people to live on £98.48 per week? Even with the extra income, a small business owner makes it only comes to £164.48 per week. How on earth are people supposed to support themselves?
I have a question if a young adult turns 19 years of age, do they eat less the older they are or use less toiletries, electricity, water, etc? My point being if a young adult is still in further education not claiming universal credit and is not working and is disabled should the carer for that young person get penalized £100.00 per week and be given less to live on.
These politicians need their heads banging together and get basic salaries, equating to the National Living Wage of £8.91 per hour and not a penny more. They are not small businesses that often are highly educated CEOs that can command large salaries. Yet MPs are civil servants and you do not need to have a degree to become one all they need is to pay £500 with their application and if they are voted in by the constituents (followers), they then get to train alongside other MPs with starting salaries of £30K which equates to £625 per week or £15,63 per hour based on a 40 hour week.
Yet these MP’s command extortionate wages, bonus’s and expenses that come out of the taxpayers money, rather than helping people that genuinely need help.
I think it is bloody disgusting that politicians dictate how much a person should live on without calculating the cost of food and overheads expecting the average person on a low income to live on basic breadcrumbs that they begrudgingly give out.
They should try to live at least 6 months on those payouts and actually see how the other half live.
How about they swap their swanky homes for a person in a council house for at least 12 months, they would soon be singing a different tune.
Regardless of how much money I personally make and even if I could afford a house like the Real Housewives in Beverly Hills which I am watching on Netflix, I would never buy a house to flaunt my riches and make the less fortunate people feel envious of me. I would however live in a modest house that would not make me look like a privileged snob and I would use my money to help people less fortunate than me. I currently live in privately rented accommodation.
I challenge any politician to live on the income some of the small business owners live on just to be able to interview them 12 months later.
Similar to the film with Eddie Murphy and Dan Ackroyd ‘Trading Places it would be interesting to see a MP live on the money the government payout to small business owners and swap places with them for a year.
I apologize if I offend anyone reading this with my language but some people really are trying to make something of themselves and do not want to get into debt by getting loans/grants and simply need some help financially or help with getting more leads for free.
Some people may be disabled and may not be able to work in a normal working environment and choose self employment as one of their options other than being on the dole for the rest of their lives.
I have not really spoken with any small business owners on the subject but I am sure there are plenty of lone parents out there that support young adults whilst they are in college whilst juggling a small business and decreased revenue because of the ‘Coronavirus Pandemic’.
There Are Many Dr Evil’s In This World, Disguised!
It is society’s fault and a contributing factor that people suffer from depression!
For the landlords that increase your rent and expect you to find the money within a month are just plain greedy and ruthless without empathy, they should increase the rent by the Bank of England Rate of Inflation which is 2.5 %, NOT 14% as in my case.
My landlord said due to the fact his insurance has gone up because of the pandemic and the annual electricity check and extra alarms fitted, he has had to increase the rent by £960 per annum. I also have business insurance and my insurance has NOT gone up. He thinks I am stupid.
I will ride the wave and when I am finished I will create my own tsunami.
I live in a rented property and I have black mold on my walls which have ruined my furniture and furnishings all the landlord has said for years now, is “wash it down with bleach and re-paint it” and that he would pay for the paint.
Now I know what his argument is going to be if I ever try to bring this up again and that is because of my OCD he was not able to fix the rising dampness properly.
In my defense, my OCD is up and down from day to day so even if I was having a bad day I would work around workmen. My OCD does not define me and I can work around it in my home. It did not stop me last December with the numerous amount of people that entered my property to fix the ‘hot zone’ in the kitchen over the installation of a cooker I had bought. So his argument can be counter-argued.
Rising damp has to be treated properly and needs a qualified builder to take on the job not some cowboy building contractor which I have met a few over the years.
Rising Damp and Black Mould can have adverse effects on your health especially if you fit into the following categories:
those with respiratory problems, such as allergies and asthma
those with a weakened immune system, such as those having chemotherapy(this is something my daughter has and has been treated with).
These people should stay away from dampness and mold.
Molds produce allergens (substances that can cause an allergic toxic reaction), irritants, and, sometimes, toxic substances. Inhaling or touching mold spores may cause an allergic reaction, such as sneezing, a runny nose, red eyes, skin rash, or even death. Molds can also cause asthma attacks and MS. Mold (black) can be deadly and a sign of a house that is lacking ventilation, not only would it be bad for MS but general health.
Now you have to weigh out all the pros and cons when complaining.
Landlords are bound by Government legislation to conform to the laws set out.
If a Landlord is found to be doing things, not by the book he can be fined and even face a custodial sentence, hence if you complain about your landlord you have to also think about the domino effect.
The landlord is no longer going to be favorable towards you and will slap you an eviction notice at his first opportunity once the dust has settled so to speak. He will just claim he is no longer renting out the property and unless you have £££££s of pounds in the bank you could find you are kicked out on your ear with nowhere to go.
For me personally, I am going to move the first opportunity I have and then report him and not a moment sooner.
I know that the mold could have been a contributing factor to my daughter’s ill health and when I do move my landlord will reap the consequences.
The guidelines to keeping moisture at bay are to keep your home warm and have good ventilation, which I do and have the central heating on 24/7 in the colder months, and have an extractor fan. They also say open windows when you cook or in the bath as the steam needs to escape. This is not ideal in freezing cold temperatures during the winter months and extractor fans are the better option.
Mold and dampness are caused by excess moisture. Moisture in buildings can be caused by leaking pipes (I believe to have leaking pipes as my combi boiler cuts out every two hours or so and I have checked why that could be happening and it could be because of a leaking pipe, not only that, one of my kitchen radiators was leaking water so I have turned it off completely. Rising damp normally starts in basements or ground floors, or rain seeping in because of damage to the roof or around window frames. (Well my window frames are rotting and are single glazed so that could be another contributing factor).
Some dampness can be caused by condensation. This can lead to a growth in the mold that appears as a cloud of little black dots.
Condensation occurs when moist air comes into contact with a colder surface like a wall, window, mirror, etc. The air can’t hold the moisture and tiny drops of water appear. It also occurs in places the air is still, like the corners of rooms, behind furniture, or inside wardrobes. (This is particularly true as my Italian Furniture is ruined and have photographic evidence of this).
‘Rising damp’ is due to a defective (or non-existent) damp course. This will leave a ‘tide mark’ about a metre above the floor. Fixing rising damp is a job for a qualified builder.
Do consider the consequences of complaining about your landlord and even though he cannot serve you an eviction noticewilly nilly, as it is illegal to do so, he can bide his time, and once your contract is up for renewal simply say he is no longer renting out the property and will give you notice to leave. He could use a number of reasons why he does not want to rent out the property any longer and the only thing you can do is claim compensation for damages due to ill health and damaged property as in the case of my furniture. Also, you have to weigh out the length of time this will take to be dragged through the courts and is it in your best interest to start something knowing there are consequences in every action we take.
Remember there are numerous ways to skin a cat (metaphorically speaking) and get around things and if he no longer wants you, he will find a way, even waiting for your contract to end to serve you notice. He can easily just keep the property empty for a few months and in most cases as I have witnessed with the numerous tenants over the years below me, he waits until they have moved out before refurbishing leaving the properties empty for a few months.
Do have a ‘Plan B‘ ready for when the landlord says he will no longer be renewing your contract. Do save some money, including deposit and rent for the next property and removal costs as well as buying furniture, etc, etc…..
For me personally speaking, I will bide my own time and when the time is right have all my guns blazing. No one should live in substandard conditions and you do have rights but always do your research first before taking action and always have a ‘Plan B’.
I wrote a while back about an electrical engineers company in Cardiff (UK) that did not notice that there was a problem with my kitchen hotzone in my property when they came to do an electrical inspection approximately a year ago and as a consequence caused a domino effect, whereby my cooker which was delivered on December 17th 2020 to be precise was not fitted until the 11th January 2021, because it was difficult to get anyone out to resolve the problem and then fit it.
I was then subjected to having take-outs at a cost of £50 per day for two meals per two people over 25 days period totally £1,250. My Christmas was ruined.
Moving forward to today I get a message from my landlords assistant who says the same company that came to do the an electrical inspection a year ago are coming tomorrow to do an annual check?
I responded and said unless it is mandatory I would prefer no visitors, to which she replied it was and it has to be done by law.
Obviously I never take things at face vaule and I decided to do some research and this is what I found the screenshot follows after the PDF:
Now considering the UK has a “stay at home ruling” you would think minimising contact with other people would be of highest priority but somehow people are being so blasé about the Pandemic it is starting to make my blood boil.
Secondly the Landlords Assistant whom I assume should have done some training with ‘Rent Smart Wales’ would know that the electrical tests are every five years not annual. It is the Gas Safety Checks that have to be checked annually.
However I am going to have some fun tomorrow when the the Electrical Engineers arrive and will ask them to comment to the following questions:
Why they are doing Electrical Inspections on an annual basis, when it says every five years? (already had this answered, they are apparantly doing fire alarm inspections instead).
Why they failed to notice a problem with the kitchen hotzone a year ago?
Why they failed to move the socket from the hotzone on the 17th December and only covered it with a plastic covering? ( According to the electrician today that was ok. No this is not fine as the plastic could melt from the heat).
Why they fitted a light on the same circuit as the banister light which when one light blows the electrics trip? (He said that yes when the light goes it will trip the electrics but if the bulb goes on the light which is positioned in a dangerous place I still have to change it as it will continue tripping otherwise. So that was a waste of time installing the second light).
Why they changed the bathroom light which was already bathorrom safe for another one, just to make extra money? (I never got round to answering this question).
Why they fitted an extra three smoke alarms on top of the one I already had, considering my flat has one floor and I should have one alarm on each floor?(he said by law I had to have one in the living room, on the landing, kitchen (heat detector) and the entrance to my flat, we where having a full blown argument as he was persistant that I was wrong).
Why they did not spot the washing machine was plugged into an extension lead, which was trailing on the ground and not plugged into a wall socket which I did not have behind my machine? (if there was a leak and water went over my extension lead, well all I can say is, I would be toast)? (I mentioned about this and he the best thing would be for me to lodge a complaint with the company, once I get the information from the government I will be emailing these electricians and reporting them).
Who will compensate me for all the money I wasted on take-outs?
Where does it say I have to have annual fire alarm checks done? (I asled the electrician and he could not give me an answer I wanted the name of the website to fact check).
Considering this company is registered with electrical safety register I would like to know who taught them about electrical safety inspections?
Furthermore my daughter is classed as vulnerable person according to the government, so why is it that people insist on visiting my property when I do not want them to? Its all getting beyond a joke.
I will update yousoon.
In the meantime I highly recommend “First Phase Electrial – Electricians Wales”, if you have any electrical emergency work that needs doing. Give “Jeff Smith” a call or visit his website: www.electricianswales.co.uk
I stand corrected I am not having an electrical inspection done after I pointed out the 5 year rule to my landlords assistant, instead I am having a fire alarm system check but as always I leave no stone unturned and have found this PDF from the Governments website relating to Fire Alarm Inspections. There is no mention how often fire alarms should be tested by a quaified electrician and besides it is not rocket science to test the alarm yourself which is recommended that everyone does anyway.
This is now an invasion of my privacy, against covid regulations and a risk to my daughters health.
My grieviance is not only the hotzone and money I wasted on take-outs, but the amount of visits I have had to my accomodation outside of my immediate bubble to the total of 9 people relating to my landlord’s decision, within the last month. This is now wearing me down. Had they all come at the same time, I could have had a party.
Two DHL Appliance Delivery Engineers.
An Electrician who capped the socket the same day as DHL Delivery.
My Landlord the following day and his assistant x total 3 visits.
The Gas engineer who came and went without installing the cooker.
The Two Gas Engineers that finally installed my cooker.
Engineer today checking the fire alarms.
A total of nine people in the last month that have entered my accomodation.
Update 18.33 pm 22/01/21
I had my visitor today person number 9 in the space of one month test the fire alarms and basically this is all he did, he sprayed some smoke from a canister directly below the alarm, waited for the alarm to activate and disarmed it, wrote something down and off he went.
I have since written to the government to confirm what legislations there are for checking fire alarms and how often.
From what I have read one has to check the alarm once a month.
If this is the case there is no way on this earth I am allowing any more visitors to my accomodation.
I pointed the hotzone out to him and he agreed the electrical engineers overlooked the hotzone but I could not blame the company but the engineers.
He continued to say that capping the wall socket was ok. Obviously another cowboy to the list of cowboys.
Here is my capped wall socket, which is now behind a splashback, which today electrician said was fine.
Can a landord delegate gas safety checks and maintenance with a tenant.
The answer is NO.
Regardless who bought or installed the appliance it is still the landlords responsibility to make sure the appliance is safe to use, as he has the responsibility of all the occupants in his property and adjacent properties to make sure there are no faults.
A gas engineer or landlord should not expect the tenant to pay for a Gas safety check on the tenants appliance if the tenant is paying rent to include maintenace and services.
If the appliance developed a fault and caused an accident the landlord would be liable and at fault for not having a gas safety check done. Not only is he/she safeguarding his/her tenants he is also safeguarding his property. The landlords building insurance would be null and void if he did not have a gas safety check on an appliance fitted by him/herself or the tenant.
Furthermore if a gas engineer tries to say that he will not be doing a gas safety check because it is the tenants appliance, then the gas engineer is at fault as all gas appliances have to be checked regardless who bought them.
Gas Safe Register website also mentions they are governed by HSE screenshot below that it is the tenants responsibility to make sure their appliance is in good working order and have an annual gas safety check.
According to the Law:
Under section 11 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985, the landlord is responsible to:
to keep in repair the structure and exterior of the dwelling, including drains, gutters and external pipes,
to keep in repair and proper working order the installations in the dwelling for the supply of water, gas, electricity and for sanitation (including basins, sinks, baths and sanitary conveniences.
to keep in repair and proper working order the installation in the dwelling for space heating and heating water .
Gas safety is at a highest priority in rented properties. All gas appliances, fittings, installations, pipes and flues must be kept in perfect working condition. This applies to communal and private areas, regardless of whether tenants have access.
All landlords are required to arrange an annual gas safety check by a Gas Safe registered engineer. They must earn a gas safe certificate or make improvements prior to letting to tenants. The certificate must be made available to every tenant prior to moving in and must be kept for at least two years.
It is absolutely illegal for anyone to knowingly use unsafe gas equipment. Treat the matter with highest regard ! Always require the gas safety certificate prior to renting a property.
From 1 Oct 2015 the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm Regulations 2015 came into force, which means all private rented sector landlords have an obligation by law to have at least one smoke alarm installed on every floor of their properties and a carbon monoxide alarm in any room where solid fuel is used.
For more information on licensed landlords in Wales please visit:
In my opinion it should be the landlords responsibility to make sure all gas appliances are checked regardless who bought them. If anything went wrong the landlord is protected and so is his tenants.
There should be a clause in the tenants agreement if the tenant has purchased the appliance with a fixed fee added to their rent or the tenant needs toappoint a gas engineer of their choosing and provide a gas safety check certificate.
For the sake of Home Insurance the Home Owner should not rely on a third party (i,e the tenant) to carry out a Gas Safety Check and should arrange it him or herself with a Competent Gas Registered Engineer.
However as it stands one cannot leave the onus on the tenant, not all tenants are internet savvy and will not do the research as I have and MAY NOT KNOW THE LAW and if it is not written into the tenants contract, then this opens up a can of worms.
Furthermore EVERY Gas Engineers, Electrical Engineers and Gas, Electrical and Appliance Manufacturers and Retailers website’s should have LINKS and have information about:
Carbon Monoxide Alarms
Gas Safety Checks and Landlord and Tenant Resposibilities and the law.
***I have contacted HSE for comment and am awaiting on their reply. I will update this post as soon as hear from them.
A Hot zone (hot-zone or hotzone) is an area in the kitchen surrounding your cooker and refers to an area that is considered to be dangerous. It part of safety regulations with in your home. It specifies the measurements and hard wiring requirements to make your kitchen safe.
FINALLY because of my complaint I made just before Christmas when my cooker was delivered but the engineers refused to install it, I am happy to say Argos have updated their website and have put a page up about Hot Zones on their FAQ Page.
I have one small suggestion to make and that is I went on Argos website just now and pretended to buy another cooker, where it says please “read me before booking installation and recycling”the page does not mention or have any links back tothe page I referred to earlier reference hot zones, especially under ‘the section cookers‘. So if someone who has no clue about hot zones pays for installation they will be left in the same dilemma as I have been. There needs to be a link back to the Hot Zones Page.
I would also like to say today 30/12/20 I have finally got the e-voucher. As for my cooker it is still not installed as harware stores are not open and it is hard to find someone to come out and do all the maintenace in my kitchen.Lesson Learnt!