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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 70124
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I am renting a property in London I moved into it August. The

Customer Question

I am renting a property in London I moved into it August. The flat has problems that I was not informed about - the windows do not open, the TV aerial does not work, the toilet is leaking, the oven doesnt work.
I have raised the issues with the landlady who has said they will get the issues resolved asap - the issues are STILL not resolved and after alot of chasing I was told today that 'we will get them fixed asap'. I have not been given a timeline by which the issues will be resolved, and I am paying alot of money to stay there.
What can i do about this situation? I feel they mis-led me completely and mis-sold a flat to me ( albeit im renting). Can I withold rent? Terminate the tenancy?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.

Thank you for your question. My name is Jo and I will try to help with this.

What type of contract is this please?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

For Jo C.

It is a standard UK tenancy agreement through estate agents KM Jones. The property owners are Belgrave Properties.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.

Is it entitled assured shorthold tenancy agreement?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
It is yes
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.

You are raising issues of disrepair essentially. Obviously some of your points are more important than others

You can complain to Environmental Health at the council. That is often a very effective way of getting work done. They will not be interested in all of the issues that you raise but they may well be in the leaking toilet.

Alternatively, you can do the work yourself and withhold the cost from the rent. It sounds simple to do that but you do need to give the landlord warning in writing of your intention to do that. Also you need to get several quotes and choose the cheapest. its not all that quick to do this but it would certainly be quicker than waiting from August.

I'm afraid that you don't have grounds to terminate the tenancy agreement though on this basis. ASTs are very hard to escape. You pretty much have to show that your life is in danger from something like a gas leak.

When I say that you can withhold rent, what I mean is that you can withhold the actual sum of money you are cost though. Its important to understand that. This is not a licence to refuse to pay rent at all until the landlord resolves this problem. However much he should put right his property, you are not able to do that in law. You are able to do the work yourself and reimburse yourself from rent though.

Can I clarify anything for you?


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