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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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T has withheld part of rent on grounds a pipe leakage and patch

Resolved Question:

T has withheld part of rent on grounds a pipe leakage and patch of alleged mould. At L's expense repairs carried out based on reports by qualified plumber/drain unblocker. Boiler maintained and checked every 6 months on L's instructions. T claims repairs failed to cure issues raised. L would like to carry out further repairs to remedy issues long-term but not coerced into imminent action by virtue of withheld/reduced rent. (breach of Agreement?) This compounds any problem as full rent enables L to carry out any repairs. The T is happy to still live in the property despite "complaints". How shall I convey this to T without compromising my position as L or aggravating the T leaving no other option but to use S21 etc. which would create more (unnecessary) problems?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 3 years ago.

Alex Watts : Hello my name is XXXXX XXXXX I will help you with this. Please note that I am a working Solicitor and may be on and offline as I have to attend Court and meet with clients, even at weekends. As such you may not get an instant response when you reply, but rest assured I will be giving your question my immediate attention upon return You do not need to wait here as you will get an email when I reply.
Alex Watts : I assume it is a term of the agreement not to withhold rent please?
Alex Watts : When does the agreement fixed period end please?
Customer:

Started 6mths 1 June 2013. "Renewed" 1 month notice as per Agreement.

Customer:

Any rent is due in full, £20 charge if any "unreasonable" delay as per Agreement

Alex Watts : But is there a clause saying can not with hold or set off rent?
Customer:

Yes ....unless agreed in writing by the landlord.....(which it has NOT been!)

Alex Watts : Ok. And the deposit is protected?
Customer:

Yes

Alex Watts : And everything is in order now?
Customer:

Mould (small patch on chimney breast) will require long-term work. Plumbing work completed but T claims still not working 100%. None of which presents health issue or T stating that happy to remain in premises.

Alex Watts : yes. So how Iis it I can help you tonight?
Customer:

Is T entitled to part-pay rent when L not agreed (writing or otherwise)? Does the T have justifiable cause to take action against L or visa versa. Can L delay longer term repairs (particularly in current weather situation!)?

Alex Watts : No. The tenant can not agree to with hold ANY rent whatsoever.
Alex Watts : Landlord can delay repairs yes espxira
Alex Watts : Especially if the weather is preventing them being done.
Customer:

OK, as suspected. How do I convey this to T without compromising my position as L or risking aggravating the T as they may perceive it differently to my intentions?

Alex Watts : Well if they give you grief you can serve a section 21
Alex Watts : You need to say that due to the current weather the longer term repairs are delayed.
Alex Watts : Does that help a.
Alex Watts : help?
Customer:

OK. If I send a written statement outlining the issues raised and indicate T is in breach of Agreement I am covered. If worse comes to worse S21 can be issued .....

Alex Watts : Yes indeed.
Alex Watts : If this answers your question could I invite you leave feedback on my service which I hope has been excellent today, if you need more information or help then please click reply.Please remember that I am always happy to help if you have future questions, even if I am in Court I can normally respond within a few hours. For future information, please start them with ‘For Alex W’.Please bookmark my profile if you wish for future help: http://www.justanswer.co.uk/law/expert-alexwatts/
Customer:

Thanks for your excellent reply - especially at this late hour! If things go pear-shape can I still get back to you? Thanks.

Alex Watts : Of course,
Alex Watts : Have a good weekend
Customer:

Night.....

Alex Watts : Bye.
Alex Watts : Please remember to leave feedback before you go today.
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