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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10915
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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My daughter rents a flat with a friend. They have had so

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My daughter rents a flat with a friend. They have had so much trouble with the flat and getting any proper answers from the letting agent. A month after moving in, the toilet blocked, and it was cleared, this happened again each month, and on the final visit, they found a single tampon in with the other loo paper. So they have declared that they (my daughter and flatmate) are to blame for all the blockages, and that they should pay all the invoices. We had a drains specialist inspect the toilet system properly and they said the fall on the connector along with the ridged nature of it - and the fact it was covered in limescale - was the problem, and that 1 tampon would not cause a blockage. My daughter does not use tampons, but a friend had flushed this whilst visiting. The landlord refuses to correct the problem, saying that the drain specialist doesn't know what he is talking about. The letting agents always refuse to talk, and have intimated that they will stop the cost of the invoices from their deposit at the end of the tenancy. What will happen when the toilet blocks again, and can they stop this money from the deposit.
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 7 months ago.

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

How much was the deposit please? Is it protected?

Alex

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
I think it was aprox £1500 and is protected
Expert:  Ash replied 7 months ago.

do you have photos of the limescale etc?

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
we have forwarded the photos to the agent and the landlord, but they are saying the drain specialist is an idiot and there is nothing wrong with the coupling.
Expert:  Ash replied 7 months ago.

Ok then I would not worry. If the landlord tries to deduct anything then you can issue a small claim but the deposit is protected anything so would have to go through the dispute service to deduct.

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://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/hmctsformfinder/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 claim is for £10,000 or less it will be a small claim so you will not need legal representation. Over this value you would need representation for trial.
Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

Alex

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Do we send the claim for the refund of the inspection fee now or wait and see what they try and stop at the end of the lease. Can we actually claim for the specialist inspection. The landlord said we can't do this without his authority for the inspection and his agreeing to pay should the system be at fault. So he is saying he won't pay, even though we informed the agent's what we were going to do and they didn't object, but didn't agree either. The landlord is still saying there is nothing wrong with the toilet.
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Can you tell us how we actually stand should the toilet block again.
Expert:  Ash replied 7 months ago.

Wait until the next. If the toilet gets blocked again then you can get a plumber out to rectify the problem and Bill the landlord.

Does that clarify? Alex

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
but we can't get the plumber unless the landlord is not available, so they would normally get it unblocked, but we are worried they will then add any further unblocking fees to the deduction at the end of the lease.
If we informed the agent we were getting an independent specialist to inspect the WC, and if the fault was not ours then we would be forwarding them the invoice for it - and they did not object to this, are they liable for paying the invoice?
Expert:  Ash replied 7 months ago.

Well if the Landlord does you can dispute it and take it to Court.

But the Landlord cant make any deduction just like that, it has to go through the dispute service as it is protected.

Does that clarify?
Alex

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
I know about the deposit scheme and dispute service, but I want to know if we can insist he pay the inspection fee, given we gave him notice and he didn't object, How do we stand on this point legally.
Expert:  Ash replied 7 months ago.

Thanks,. That depends on what is in the contract. If the contract says an inspection fee is payable then it is.
If the contract does not mention the fee is payable, then no the Landlord cant charge this.

Does that clarify? Alex

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
No I mean the inspection fee WE have paid to have the loo inspected (see above). I informed the agent we were going to have it done, and if the report showed it was the toilet system at fault, then I would be sending the invoice for the inspection to them for payment. They did not object to this even through we told them twice. Can they now object to pay it. The landlord is saying we can't get inspections done without his approval,(as per the lease contract) but we did inform the agent they did not either approve or object.
Expert:  Ash replied 7 months ago.

I see, sorry I misunderstood. You can claim that back. You can add that to the cost of the claim above.

The toilet clearly needed to be inspected and that is the Landlords responsibility

Does that clarify? Alex

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Is this the case even though the lease says we can't get work done without their approval. we did tell the agent, they didn't object (Is this the clause that would enable us to claim it back) can we LEGALLY now claim this money back. I really need definite advice on how we stand legally, as I need to write to the landlord and state he LEGALLY has to pay this fee, but can't if I don't know if this is the case.
Expert:  Ash replied 7 months ago.

Well this is different because it a toilet. The Landlord and Tenant Act quite clearly states that the tenant must have toilet or water facilities. So legally yes he has to pay the fee. Contract does not trump statute.

Does that clarify? Alex

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
I am still not clear, I know about the tenants act, and they must have a toilet, but the toilet wasn't blocked, but as they were saying the previous blockages were my daughters fault, we said we would get the system inspected to assertion whose fault the blockages were. (see above) We told the agent about this proposal and they didn't object, but didn't give permission either. The landlord said without his permission, then he isn't liable for the fee. Does the fact that the agent didn't object to the proposal that we would get the system inspected, mean that they are now LEGALLY liable for the fee.
Expert:  Ash replied 7 months ago.

No, you can say there is implied consent by conduct. The agent did not object. So yes they are liable for the fee.

Does that clarify? Alex

Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10915
Experience: Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Great thank you Alex. Sorry it has taken so long:)

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