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Joshua
Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 25980
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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Hi There, Today I complained about 3 things that are wrong

Resolved Question:

Hi There,
Today I complained about 3 things that are wrong with my property, one of which is 8 months old now. Another is regarding the security of the property and the other is a pest problem.

I spoke with the landlord, who was not helpful. I expressed my dissatisfaction that 8 months is too long. 2 hours later I received a letter through my letter box basically saying if you don't like it, to leave. "you have an option to terminate the tenancy".

I see this as bullying, they are happy to take my rent but not act on maintenance issues.
Can you help?
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 :

May I ask how long remains roughly on your fixed term of tenancy please? Is there a break clause in the tenancy?

Joshua :

Do you have any evidence that you complained so long ago - eg.an email trail?

Joshua :

Could you very very briefly outline the problems in a little more detail - just the bare bones should be fine.

Customer:

Good Morning,

Customer:

I have been at the property now for 11 months, its a rolling tenancy with the rent reviewed annually. I can give 1 months notice and they give 2 months notice.

Customer:

Unfortunately, I complained via telephone - my landlord does not use email or the like. Which makes it difficult to prove I complained 8 months ago.

Customer:

Basically, I rented this property because it came with a garage. I am self-employed and used the garage to store my materials in. The garage roof leaked terrible when it rained, so I contacted my landlord, and was told they would look into this. Recently, the window lock on the front room window, just fell out, so there is no way of securing the window, and also squirrels are living in the loft, causing all sorts of damage. I called my landlord yesterday, and asked for these issues to be addressed, I was told that they cannot control pests, which is complete nonsense. Also, they would look into the other matters, well I have waited 8 months for my garage, so it isn't looking good.

Customer:

I have spoken with other tenants, who say that its not worth asking for repairs or maintenance as the landlord wont do it, and a few have had similar letters indicating if you don't like it then leave.

Customer:

My upset, has been caused as I have merely asked for repairs and I get back a letter that states if you can leave if you don't like it. This is not a nice way to deal with people, and they know how difficult it can be to get places to rent, so I see this as threat/blackmail - to be quiet.

Joshua :

Sorry for the delay in reverting to you. Many thanks for the above. May I ask two final questions... have you received notification from the landlord that he has prtected your deposit? Would you like to remain in the property ideally?

Customer:

I didnt pay a deposit when I moved in. I am not that bothered, I feel that they are trying to bully me - so I guess no I will look to move.

Joshua :

Thanks. 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 for example the boiler or hot water provision and keep in repair doors and windows. 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 has a wide range of 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 provision relating to security shelter and pests among many other provisions.

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. However if the landlord were to deny that you had previously reported the issues to him then this could cause you a problem in terms of attempting to claim such compensation because it is necessary for you to show on the balance of probability the period of time you have suffered the disrepair issues which could be awkward if the only discussions you have had have been verbal.

Joshua :

A further issue is that whilst you have a wide range of rights as above, there is nothing preventing the landlord serving two months notice upon you to ask you to leave. However you could nevertheless seek an HHSRS inspection which could be very costly for the landlord despite this. You could therefore potentially seek to use such a threat as leverage against the landlord to demand some compensation or some other concession.

Joshua :

Is there anything above I can clarify for you?

Customer:

Thank you Joshua - this has been very informative. I guess, I need to decide what my next steps are, but with the knowledge of who I can call on and quote.

Customer:

Thank you for your time.

Joshua :

A pleasure. If I can assist any further as the situation develops please do not hesitate to revert to me

Joshua :

If you have no further questions for now I should be very grateful if you would kindly take a moment to rate my service to you today. Your feedback is important to me. If there is anything else I can help with please reply back to me though

Customer:

Ok, is there an easy way to do this or do I go through Just Answer?

Joshua :

You are very welcome to ask for me through the following link:
http://www.justanswer.com/law/expert-joshua/

Customer:

Ok, thanks again - have a good weekend.

Joshua :

And you. Best wishes

Joshua and other Law Specialists are ready to help you