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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
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Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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We are renting a property on a short term lease and upon moving

Resolved Question:

We are renting a property on a short term lease and upon moving in noted on the inventory that the cisterns were leaking on all four toilets. We have spoken to the water providers who have confirmed that this is responsible for making water consumption more than four times higher than it should be for a family of our size, and this is reflected in the bills. We have raised this with the managing agents who say they will do nothing as under the terms of the tenancy we are responsible for all bills. The issue with the cisterns is still not resolved. Is there anything we can do about the bills as it seems unfair that we should have to pay the full amount, which is over £100 per month?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Hi.

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

How much would it cost to fix the toilets?

Did you ask the landlord or agent to fix them other than the mention on the inventory?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi - the toilets will (eventually) be fixed via the managing agents - they sent a plumber round last week only to call him off after he arrived because they had found out that the landlord had insurance through British Gas - who were due to turn up today to fix the problem but didn't.


 


We have called the agents on three seperate occasions to try to get this rectified because when I phoned the water company to register with them after moving in they told me that the property had abnormally high water consumption that had first been noted prior to our tenancy - it was clear to me that this was being caused by the cisterns, and this was subsequently confirmed by the water company who sent someone out to check.


 


Jamie

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Why did you not chase the agents continually to fix the toilets?

How were they leaking? Was it running water because of a faulty valve?

How much would it cost to fix each one?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Why did you not chase the agents continually to fix the toilets?


On each occasion they told us that they were in the process of resolving by going through the process that they had to follow - getting instruction from the landlord then instructing their repairs company to resolve. Calling continuously would not have changed this and we were told we had to follow this process.


 


How were they leaking? Was it running water because of a faulty valve?


Not were, are. I am not a plumbing expert so can only say what the person from the water company told us i.e. it is faulty cisterns


 


How much would it cost to fix each one?


Because of the process we have been told we have to follow (see above) we have not had the work priced ourselves. In any case, British Gas will be fixing shortly because of the landlord's insurance.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Ok. So you did chase them.

How many times have you spoken to them about this roughly please?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

5-6 times not including mentioning it on the inventory. This has mostly been by phone but there are some emails relating to getting the issue fixed. I should point out this has happened in a relatively short period of time - we moved in on Jan 29th this year.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
I think you have a claim for compensation in respect of landlords breach of covenant to repair.

You cannot withhold rent because that puts you in arrears.
Y
ou can sue the landlord for the difference in the cost between what the water bill would have been had the leaks not existed.

The only way you will be able to quantify that is to take the water bills after the leak has been repaired and compare it to the water bill before and ask the landlord for the difference.

If he does not pay the difference, you will have to sue him in the small claims court.

Here is the link to the Small Claims Court www.moneyclaim.gov.uk
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 69775
Experience: Over 5 years in practice
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