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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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We are renting a flat in London, UK and we were flooded last

Resolved Question:

We are renting a flat in London, UK and we were flooded last October. The living room ceiling and walls were badly affected, but it appears that the landlord has no intention to renovate until the insurance company approves the estimate budget.
At the same time, he announced a rent increase of 12% even if our experience with the flat is the worst we've had since moving to London.
- we have a mouse issue but the landlord refuses to book a worker to seal entry holes around plumbing and oven gas lines with the simple advice to keep food out of the way at all times;
- we had problems with the electricity (no lights in the bathroom, issues with other rooms lights etc)
For us (work especially) the location of the flat is excellent, moving houses is a nightmare (so we wouldn't want to leave) but the rent contract is ending soon and we realise we cannot live there without some changes.
Do you have any advices?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
Alex Watts :

Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this.

Alex Watts :

What type of tenancy agreement do you have please?

Customer:

Not sure what type is. we have a rent contract with the landlord directly, I can find the contract if needed (will take 10 minutes)

Alex Watts :

Ok - how long have you been there for?

Alex Watts :

Does it get renewed every 6/12 months?

Customer:

I have the contract, can I attach it?

Customer:

no, every 12 months I think

Customer:

he asked us about renewal and we said yes if we will have our issuies solved

Alex Watts :

Ok - so you renew it every 12 months?

Customer:

and he called (the talk was on email) and didn't said a thing at the phone

Customer:

yes

Customer:

is our first year

Customer:

will be over on 25th february

Alex Watts :

Ok and he proposes an increase?

Alex Watts :

When do you pay rent?

Customer:

yes!

Customer:

every 19th

Alex Watts :

And when did he inform you about increase?

Customer:

a month ago by phone

Customer:

and I moved the conversation on email to have it written

Alex Watts :

Nothing in writing?

Customer:

yeap

Alex Watts :

Have you been served a Section 21 notice or notice to quit?

Customer:

we have the emails

Customer:

not sure what is this but we kind of agreed to continue

Customer:

but without solving the issues would be stupid from us

Customer:

to stay there

Alex Watts :

But he has never served a notice asking you to leave or end the tenancy?

Customer:

no

Alex Watts :

Ok - give me a second

Customer:

sure

Customer:

no rush

Alex Watts :

Right, the Landlord must serve at least 2 months notice if he proposes to increase the rent

Alex Watts :

He has not done this so you dont have to pay

Alex Watts :

He needs to serve a formal notice that allows you to challenge the increase

Alex Watts :

So in short he cant increase it without your consent.

Alex Watts :

He can only do it without consent if he has served a notice to quit (Section 21 notice)

Alex Watts :

Then he can say either you pay the increase and sign a new contract or have to leave.

Alex Watts :

This has not happened here. So after February you are on a rolling monthly contract

Alex Watts :

He can't say the old one ends UNLESS he has served 2 months notice or a Section 21 notice.

Alex Watts :

Therefore the old rent applies.

Customer:

I see

Alex Watts :

If he wants to increase it and you are on the rolling tenancy you can have it reviewed by a Tribunal

Alex Watts :

For more information on that see:

Alex Watts :

https://www.gov.uk/housing-tribunals/disputes-about-rent

Alex Watts :

So either:

Customer:

wait

Alex Watts :

1) He needs to give 2 months notice to end the tenancy, but you pay the old rent in the meantime

Customer:

the issue

Alex Watts :

2) You continue to stay on a monthly rolling contract in which case you can appeal the increase

Customer:

is that we stay in a flat affected by a flood and he is doing nothing to solve this

Customer:

there are 3 months now

Alex Watts :

Yes. What you can do is sue for a reduction in rent and losses.

Alex Watts :

You need to write and set out your losses and request a refund within 14 days or say you will go to Court within 14 days. You should make sure you send this signed delivery and keep a copy.



If they do not refund you then you can issue proceedings in the County Court. You can either do this online at: www.moneyclaim.gov.uk or by completing form N1 http://hmctsformfinder.justice.gov.uk/courtfinder/forms/n001-eng.pdf and take it to your local County Court.



The Court will then issue a claim which a copy will be sent to the Defendant who will have a limited time to defend it, if not you can enter Judgment and enforce.



If the matter is defended it will be set down for a trial. If the claim is for £10,000 or less it will be a small claim and you will not need representation.



Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

Customer:

:) sure

Customer:

so you advice to set the losses and ask for them

Alex Watts :

Yes

Customer:

like having a partial rent back

Customer:

let's say for half of the flat

Customer:

that is affected

Alex Watts :

Ok and only for the period in question

Customer:

this way we are sure we have to leave ...

Customer:

ok

Customer:

I see

Customer:

this is good info

Alex Watts :

Yes I imagine so

Customer:

we have something to negociate with

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything else for you?

Alex Watts :

Yes you do

Customer:

I am wondering if we should leave without negociating

Customer:

i know for sure he will try to get our deposit

Customer:

as he is amazingly cheap

Customer:

as he even refused to repair the bathroom lights

Customer:

yes, now I have a better idea and is kind of obvious I need to move ...

Alex Watts :

It does not stop you making a claim whether or not you leave

Customer:

if is something else you would advice please

Customer:

ok...

Alex Watts :

Ok

Customer:

for this claim... should I just do it and send it by post and email?

Alex Watts :

www.moneyclaim.gov.uk

Customer:

if I want to settle?

Customer:

whom I should talk

Alex Watts :

Landlord

Customer:

ok

Customer:

no mediation needed?

Alex Watts :

The Court can appoint mediation

Customer:

ok

Customer:

thank you

Customer:

I am ok for now

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything else for you?

Customer:

should I mention the bathroom lights in the claiming or not?

Alex Watts :

Yes

Alex Watts :

Everyrthing

Customer:

we had to use external power source to use the bathroom

Customer:

excellent

Customer:

thank you Alex

Alex Watts :

Great. Can I ask you to rate my answer before you go today - the button should be at the bottom of the screen

Alex Watts :

If you need more help please click reply

Customer:

yes

Customer:

now

Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience: Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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