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JGM
JGM, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 11554
Experience:  30 years as a practising solicitor.
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Legislation states that a Tenant is not allowed to withhold

Customer Question

UK Legislation states that a Tenant is not allowed to withhold rent by claiming defects in a property. Can you please let me know the actual reference which refers to this. i.e what I could quote to confirm the Tenant is not entitled to withhold rent. I need to know the exact reference in UK Law, generalisation is not what I am looking for

Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  JGM replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your question.
UK legislation does not in fact state that a tenant isn't allowed to withhold rent by claiming defects in a property although a properly worded tenancy agreement will make that clear.
What the legislation states is that a landlord has repairing obligations. See section 11 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985. It is because the legislation doesn't state that the tenant has a right to withhold rent that the tenant doesn't have a right to do so. So you don't have to prove a negative in other words.
Happy to discuss.
Please leave a positive response so that I am credited for my time.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

My problem is I am taking them to court and often County Court Judges do not always make decisions in accordance with the law. I have experienced this before and taken it to the High Court where the High Court Judge had no problem finding in my favour and criticised the County Court Judge for being wrong in fact and in Law. (not quite the same problem.) I need to know what to say to the County Court Judge to persuade him that they can not lawfully withhold the rent.

Just as an aside these Tenants are claiming that a Council Environmental Officer said it was not in a fit state. The Officer however says she never did say that and did not consider there was any grounds for withholding rent and that if she had considered it not fit then she would have issued a repairs notice or seven day notice. That does not stop them making the claim in court.

Expert:  JGM replied 2 years ago.
You say to the judge that there is no legislation which permits the tenant to withhold rent. As you will know, if the tenant follows the procedures laid down in the landlord and tenant act, there is a mechanism whereby the tenant can carry out repairs himself and deduct the cost from the rent but that is as far as the legislation goes.
JGM and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thank you. What if he said " Yes but I consider they should be entitled to a reduction in rent

Expert:  JGM replied 2 years ago.
I would reply to that that the court does not have the power to do so. I presume that the tenant has not made any application along these lines.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

No they are claiming they have not paid three months rent because they claim the property was uninhabitable. Totally not true as witnessed by Council representative. She cannot get involved apart from telling me she told them they must pay the rent and that there is no way the property was in an uninhabitable state.

Expert:  JGM replied 2 years ago.
In that case I don't think that the court has power to make a reduced rent.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thank you I will try with those answers. One last thought , could the Judge say he will award them damages if he believed them ?

Expert:  JGM replied 2 years ago.
Not unless they have made a claim for damages and given you notice of that claim.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thank you

Expert:  JGM replied 2 years ago.
You're welcome.