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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 69359
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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My son rents a property through and estate agent. There is

Customer Question

My son rents a property through and estate agent. There is a large damp patch in the living room resembling a large crocodile type design. The landlord won't or can't afford to pay for the outside wall which has deteriorated and the estate agent has promised to do something, but my son has given up phoning them as it has been going on so long. What can we do about this please?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Is this an AST?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


what is an AST?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.


FOR JOMO1972 - what is an AST please?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
An assured shorthold tenancy?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


i think so, but i'm not sure.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.


FOR JOMO1972 - I think it is, but am not sure. It was initially signed for, for 12 months and then it was renewed.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Ok. Thats all I need to know about that.

How long ago did he report this?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

FOR JOMO1972 it must have been 6 months or more. The landlord even changed estate agents, because they were fed up with the last ones pestering them about the repairs. I have just spoken to my son who informs me that the landlord sent a builder round to fix a broken window above the front door, but was a complete cowboy who didn't appear to know what he was doing. He is unreliable about turning up when arrangements are made. So my son is now worried that if he lets this apparent odd-job guy into the house, he may start the job but leave the living room like a war zone. Should a qualified person be attending to a major job like damp in the walls?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Is the damp below waist height or above?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


FOR JOMO1972 - Above.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

FOR JOMO1972 - above.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Okay.

He is on a periodic tenancy agreement now as the original AST has expired.

The landlord has much the same disrepair obligations but the nature of the contract can influence the action that he can take.

Clearly this house is affected by damp. The landlord does seem to be taking some responsibility.

However damp has many causes. One is in disrepair arising from rising damp. If that is the case then the landlord is clearly live on. Damp can also be caused by condensation which is unfortunately to do with the manner of occupation rather than the structure of the house. If that were to be the case then unfortunately that's is down to the tenant.

Since the damp it is a bath waste height then unless it rises from the bottom is quite unlikely to be rising damp.

In any event, he can make a report to environmental health who will issue improvement notices and do the work at reasonable cost in defaults.

You should be aware though that there may be a dispute over liability that will have to be faced ahead.

Sorry thats probably not the answer you wanted but it is the position that you have and I have a duty to give you truthful and accurate information even though its not what I want to say.

Hope this helps. Please rate my answer OK SERVICE or above and I can answer your related questions.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 69359
Experience: Over 5 years in practice
Jo C. and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


FORJOMO1972 - hi there, thanks for being truthful. Sorry that i am unable to give a tip of any worth, as i have been unemployed for more than 6 months, but wanted to do something for my son for Easter - he will not be receiving any choc this year :) But i have given the highest rating for your good service.


 


If my son chooses to contact the Enviromental Health, would he be obliged to use their services? He has withheld his rent to force the response he had from landlord, so i guess he could use that money?


Would that be legal?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Its fine. You don't have to leave a tip!!!

They would issue an improvement notice to the landlord demanding that the work be done. That will get the work done but it may lead to a dispute over liability.

Obviously if he has withheld from rent then I wouldn't have suggested doing that. Having done so though he could do the work and then leave it up to the landlord as to whether he will sue for the cost.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

FORJOMO1972 - sorry, i'm not clear on what you have said in second paragraph. If my son did the work, are you saying the landlord could then sue him for rent spent on the repair or do you mean my son sues the landlord for the cost?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.

Yes, the landlord could do that.

The landlord would have to be arguing that your son caused the condensation to bring that claim and it does not appear to be his case at the moment but he could raise that argument.

Your son cannot sue the landlord for the cost if he uses the rent money for the work.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


FOR JOMO1972 - THANK YOU :)

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
No problem.

All the best.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


FOR JOMO1972 - same to you

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Thanks.

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