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Jamie-Law
Jamie-Law, Solicitor
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Experience:  Solicitor
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My daughter is in private rented accommodation in Leeds,

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My daughter is in private rented accommodation in Leeds, where she is a student.
A few months ago, a problem with damp was identified. This resulted in damage to my daughter's property and that of her flatmate.
The landlord was contacted and advised of the situation and tried to blame it on condensation caused by the girls' "lifestyles". However, the problem became manifest when both were absent. This was during the summer months so, heating was not an issue.
The landlord told them they must leave the windows open to ventilate the property but, it is a ground floor flat and they are out all day.
When they moved in was noticed that there was a de-humidifier in the property, suggesting prior knowledge of this problem. However, it was not mentioned by the landlord or in any details of the brochure or tenancy agreement.
I complained to Leeds city council on behalf of my daughter and, after much prevarication, the landlord arranged for an inspection by a damp specialist. That company identified that the premises where devoid of natural ventilation (in contravention of building regulations so, in my opinion not fit to let) and advised the fitting of a forced extraction system.
The installing engineer stated that the damp was probably coming through the floor and NOT due to condensation. Although I am a layperson in this regard, I share this assessment, as I have visited the flat and seen no evidence of the presence of condensation.
It took three months for this system to be fitted.
My daughter has made several attempt to find out how much this unit will cost to run but, the landlord has failed to supply this information. This is an additional cost above that which was envisaged at the time of signing the lease agreement.
There is then the matter of damage to personal property and the inconvenience the girls have suffered through not being able to spend prolonged periods in the property because of the effects of damp spores.
My daughter and her mother have made attempts to engage the landlord in discussion re compensation for the damage and inconvenience but, he has refused to engage with them and continues to try and blame my daughter for his failure to exercise due diligence re the state of the flat (which is, I am told, a recent build).
My daughter's rent, payable 3 months in advance, is due and she has paid 3/3 of the amount. She gave prior notice that this would be he case and the landlord refused to enter into any discussion. He is now threatening her with penalties should she not pay the amount in full.
Where do we stand?
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jamie-Law replied 7 months ago.

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

What is it you want to achieve please?

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
I want to know if we have the right to withhold part of the rent in lieu of agreed compensation (given the landlord's refusal to take up the offer of discussing the matter) or, if my daughter must pay and then pursue for compensation.
What is the status of the tenancy agreement considering this significant change?
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
How much longer will this take?
Expert:  Jamie-Law replied 7 months ago.

sorry for the delay, I have been in court. Does the agreement say you can offset or deduct rent?

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
no.
Expert:  Jamie-Law replied 7 months ago.

How much are you seeking to claim please?

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
My daughter has thus far withheld 1 months rent, about £400.
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
This will be split between both tenants.
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
She has just received an email threatening court action.
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Apologies, original question should read "has paid 2/3 of the amount", not 3/3.
Expert:  Jamie-Law replied 7 months ago.

You should NOT I repeat NOT deduct rent.

You need to write and set out your losses and request a refund of the £400 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/n1-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?

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
That is loud and clear, thank you.
I do not need further clarification at this time.
Expert:  Jamie-Law replied 7 months ago.

All the best. If this answers your question could I invite you to rate my answer, 5 stars the happy face before you go today, otherwise the site doesn’t pay me for the time spent with you. Thanks in advance!

Jamie-Law, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 3284
Experience: Solicitor
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