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Buachaill
Buachaill, Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10280
Experience:  Barrister 17 years experience
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Hello - My landlord is refusing to complete repairs to our

Resolved Question:

Hello - My landlord is refusing to complete repairs to our flat and blaming us for the repairs. The current issue is that of a non-working toilet, which he has not looked at but accuses us of "breaking". He frequently threatens to withhold our security deposit which is a large sum. I have no idea what to do next. His behavior is rude, not helpful, and worst of all we wait months for basic work to be completed. Help!
Thank you.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Buachaill replied 2 years ago.
Buachaill :

1. At common law, a tenant has the right to deduct the costs of any necessary repairs from the rent being paid to the landlord. Accordingly, the simply solution here, where the landlord is being difficulty is to carry out the repairs yourself and then deduct the cost of them from the rent. YOu should keep receipts and itemise all work so there is proof of the repairs. You should not do them yourself but hire someone to do the repairs and pay them. Be aware that a landlord has no right to eject you for doing this. So you may rest easy and deal with his difficult nature in the appropriate fashion.

Customer:

Thank you for your quick reply. I have a follow-up question. This person is also using our rented flat as his "home address" for the NHS and other purposes. Is that legal? We have had the lease since May 2013 and the home was rented for several years prior to our arrival.

Customer:

Thank you again.

Buachaill :

2. Obviously, given that a person is not living at an address, then it is not their home address. So if a person is asserting such a claim and they aren't living there, then that is unlawful, if the place is in fact being rented out. However, if a landlord is merely giving an address and collecting mail there, then there is nothing wrong with that. So you should consider whether the landlord is in fact giving a "home" address and not just an address before you go making a complaint. ULtimately, this is not going to better relations with your landlord. Maybe you should just stick to dealing with the broken toilet before you engage in an all out fight with your landlord.

Customer:

Thank you for your reply. Apart from the annoying issue of the mail, how can it be legal to defraud the NHS? I thought a person had to provide the NHS with a real physical address…?Moving forward - there is a final issue. That is the constant threat to not return our security deposit or reduce it for really anything. He imagines scratches on the floor and makes this threat and on and on. He is basically crazy. However, I need to know how he can withhold a security deposit. If we renew our lease can we have an outside agent again review the state of the apartment? I'm afraid we are not going to see that deposit again and it is 10,000 Pounds.

Customer:

This person was also storing a butane tank of gas out the front of our house in a shed, below street level, for 18 months. He finally removed it but now he has threatened us again as we should not be concerned with what is outside our door.

Buachaill :

3. Ultimately, you can sue the landlord for the return of the deposit. Given his attitude, you should prepare for such an eventuality. In law, a landlord cannot withhold a security depost except for cause.

Customer:

What is "cause" in this case?

Buachaill, Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10280
Experience: Barrister 17 years experience
Buachaill and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Buachaill replied 2 years ago.
4. Dear *****e, Cause for withholding a security deposit is destruction to the premises or the fittings going beyond reasonable wear and tear to the flat. Essentially, the landlord must be able to show you used the premises beyond what is reasonable wear and tear. Accordingly, you should have taken photographs when you moved in of the state of the flat and had an inventory of any furniture included. However, you can go and take photos now to be used later as evidenced, especially of the broken toilet. Additionally, you should speak with the Environmental Health Officer from the local Council about the butane tank outside your door and the fact your toilet is not working. It is a breach of Environmental rules to store butane in a residential building. Similarly, any broken toilet is unsafe and should be fixed immediately. Ultimately, you have to assert your rights with this landlord and make clear to him that you will stand your ground.
Buachaill, Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10280
Experience: Barrister 17 years experience
Buachaill and other Law Specialists are ready to help you

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