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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 69359
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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Can I ask for a reduction in my rent if I can not use the garden

Customer Question

Can I ask for a reduction in my rent if I can not use the garden as it is too dangerous for my daughter to run around in due to disrepair? Thw concrete patio slabs have lifted and buckled, the back step has sunk about 1.5" and the drain has risen out of the ground at least 3". It has been like this for a year now and the agents/landlady hasn't fixed it yet in spite of it being agreed last October. To further complicate matters the landlady has now put the house on the market and I think it highly likely she won't fix it now.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Hi.

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

Are you subject to an AST ?

What would it cost to put this right please?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Jo,


Sorry what is an AST?


The whole patio needs lifting approx 12 slabs, then they need to dig down to investigate why the patio has sunk in two directions and the drain lifted, possibly due to a 30ft silver birch tree in the neighbours garden, then re-sit the drain and lift the step back up into original position. I don't know what hey have been quoted money wise though, sorry.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Jo,


 


Apologies again I have just realised


AST = Assured Shorthold Tenancy...


Yes we took the tenancy in July 2008 so I guess it's now a SPT (?)


 


Regards,


Ian.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Thank you.

You are not entitled to withhold rent although as the garden is part of the property you are entitled to some kind of compensation in respect of loss of use.

It seems unlikely that the landlady is going to volunteer that money and if she does not, then you are faced with suing her in the Small Claims Court for a proportionate amount.

It is not going to be a fantastic amount of money but may account for about 5% of the rent quite simply because people spend most of their time inside the house and not running around outside.

Whether this is actionable at all not would really come down to the extent of the problem and whether it is the odd concrete slab which has lifted or moved or whether the whole garden and patio area is dangerous.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Jo

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