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Joshua
Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 26003
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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I am renting a 3 bedroom flat. Since I moved in there have

Resolved Question:

I am renting a 3 bedroom flat. Since I moved in there have been problems; the dishwasher was not working and had to be renewed. It took 4 months to replace and I had to pay for it but can take it of the rent. Since januari this year, there is no lighting in the 2 bathrooms ,no working washing machine and no working dishwasher and no heating in livingroom. The managing agent suggested to negociate a discount in my rent of 10 percent per day. I would like to know what my rights are and what would be a reasonable amount to deduct on a daily basis?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Joshua replied 3 years ago.

Joshua :

Hello and thank you for your question. I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practicing lawyer in England with over 10 years experience.

Joshua :

I am sorry to hear of the issues you are suffering. May I ask when your fixed term tenancy expires and if you wish to stay if the issues can be resolved?

Customer:

My contract started on the 12th of august 2013 and I have a 2 year contract with no break clause. I would like the issues to resolve but I will move after the 2 years.

Joshua :

Thanks.

Joshua :

You have a wide range of rights in relation to the above issues. The Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 places an implied term in every tenancy that the landlord must keep in repair the structure, sanitary installations and exterior of the property which means he must maintain and repair the boiler or hot water provision. this includes maintaining a boiler that functions reasonably efficiently. The Supply of Goods and Services Act provides that appliances the Landlord provides with the property must function adequately. Landlords can also be held liable if they have failed to provide a safe and healthy environment for their tenants. You could consider using or threatening to use the HHSRS inspection system and ask the environmental department at the local council to carry out a health and safety assessment of the property. They have the power to serve improvement notices on the landlord to remedy any areas which do not come up to standard.

Joshua :

There is a raft of legislation and regulations to protect tenants in respect of landlords repair obligations. The landlord provides for duties under statutory legislation. The Environmental Protection Act 1990 provides that the Landlord has a duty of care to provide adequate and safe conditions in their properties and the Housing Act 2004 introduced the Housing Health and Safety Rating System which shifted assessment towards health and safety impact. Each council is responsible for developing its own policy but most have a substantive list of requirements that address mould, damp structure and so on. There is a useful guide to the same here:

Joshua :

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/9425/150940.pdf

Joshua :

you will note the HHSRS requirements include the provision of an efficient heating system appropriate for the property as well as lighting

Joshua :

The conditions you describe on the face of it would appear to breach the Landlord and Tenant Act and the Housing Act as above and there would if this is the case be grounds to claim a reduction in rent for the period you have suffered the issues for loss of amenity in the property.

Joshua :

The first step is therefore likely to be requesting an HHSRS inspection so that the council can take action in respect of issues that are unacceptable and in addition this will give you a report you can potentially use in respect of any claim for compensation.

Joshua :

Is there anything above I can clarify for you any further?

Customer:

Thank you ,that is helpful. I did organise and paid for an electrical certificate that the electrician suggested because he could not repair the issue. So I paid for that with permission of the landlord,which I probably should not have done and can deduct from the rent. However it has not solved the issue. I suppose contacting the HHSRS is the first step. Could you suggest a possible realistic deduction figure? I was thinking to suggest at least 20 percent per day from the date it has not been fully functioning?

Joshua :

Deductions are often calculated by working out the approximate floor area effected and then adjusting to take account of whether you have any use of the room in question. So as an example if the sitting room represented 30% of the overall floor area and you can still use it but it is unpleasant you might calculate a deduction of 15% of the rent on the basis that the issue effects 30% of the property but it is still useable but it is unpleasant so discount that by half.

Joshua :

If the room were flooded and so completely unusuable you would not apply the deduction because it is completely unusable.

Joshua :

It is not the only basis for calculating rent but I find it is a useful basis for quantifying a claim.

Joshua :

Is there anything else I can help you with?

Customer:

Thank you very much. You helped me to clarify my situation. One last question , is there a way I can safe our conversation?

Joshua :

Yes certainly. The thread will save automatically and can be accessed from your customer home page at any time. You can also copy and paste it into a document of your choosing if you wish.

Customer:

Thank you

Joshua :

A pleasure.

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