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Remus2004
Remus2004, Barrister
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 69525
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice.
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I have been renting a property for close to 8 months, and during

Customer Question

I have been renting a property for close to 8 months, and during this time the Landlord has been reluctant to properly maintain the property. Appliances do not work adequately and he is always looking for the cheapest solution possible, which then means that the problems are repeated and each time I am disadvantaged. The latest example is the family shower that leaks through the ceiling downstairs...it has happened before and he simply regretted the tiling...4 months on the issue is back, I have been waiting 8 days and he keeps sending new people to the house for a quote as he doesn't like the ones he has already received. I am paying close to £4,000 pcm rent and would not expect this. What rights do I have?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  Remus2004 replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your question. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try to help with this.

Is there another shower in the house or just this one?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Jo,


 


Thanks for the help! The Master Bedroom has an en-suite shower, so at the moment the entire family (4 of us) are using that. It has been 8 days that the shower has not been useable.


 


There have been a long string of issues with the house from the very beginning, including the fact that the Managing Agent confirmed by email with me that the loft in the house was boarded for use as storage (we were moving from a larger house). The day we moved in and entered the loft we found that it was not boarded, and so I spent £1,500 to board it and install a loft ladder - I am yet to be reimbursed for this.


 


Paul

Expert:  Remus2004 replied 2 years ago.

Is the ceiling damaged? Have any of your goods been damaged?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

There is no damage to our goods.


 


The ceiling is damaged to the extent that there are water marks on the ceiling and the wall - this has been like this since the first time it leaked 6/7 months ago. With the latest leak there is a small hole in the ceiling where some of the plaster has fallen off...the area is slightly smaller than the size of an iPhone!

Expert:  Remus2004 replied 2 years ago.
Thanks for the information and the time.

I am sorry but I cannot give you good news then. I’m afraid you are in difficulty here.

You may well have a disrepair claim here. It depends on a number of factors. However, unfortunately the fact that this particular shower is not usable does not give rise to a claim. The landlord is only under an obligation to provide washing facilities somewhere in the property and there is another shower.

I suppose there isn’t a permanent leak in the ceiling unless that shower is used so its not possible to argue that the room below is not usable either.

If other appliances do not work properly though then you could argue that amounts to disrepair.

If you are prepared to take a risk then you could always pay to have the work done yourself and sue for the cost. He could defend on the basis that it doesn’t amount to disrepair but generally landlords will often settle that type of claim as he is going to have to do the work at some point. You could try, in any event, arguing that you are entitled to use of this shower under the contract on the basis that it was there when you took the property and so it became part of the contract. It would have the advantage of resolving the instant problem. If you are intent upon doing that then you need to get two quotes and choose the cheapest and send written warning to your landlord that you plan to do this.

I'm sorry this isn't the answer you wanted but it is the position that you face and I have a duty to inform you truthfully.

Hope this helps. Please let me know if you need more information.

Jo
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thanks for the response - as you say, it is not really what I wanted to hear! :)


 


If we take the fact that there have been a number of issues where the landlord has not acted in a manner expected, and I am in 8 months into a two year lease, what are my rights in respect of getting out of the lease? Surely I have some rights? I am paying him £45,000 per year!

Expert:  Remus2004 replied 2 years ago.
Its very unlikely you can escape the lease. ASTs are hard to escape.

But you would have a claim against him for a reduction of the rent in disrepair.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Amazing that the tenant has no right/protection from a landlord that is not supplying what was expected when the contract started. Last question - and thanks so much for your answers - is there a possibility to break the lease after one year, even if we do have a 2 year lease? I seem to recall hearing that from somewhere.

Expert:  Remus2004 replied 2 years ago.
Well, you do have protection. In disrepair.

You may have a break clause on your lease. You will need to check the document. Often they are at the 12 month point.
Remus2004, Barrister
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 69525
Experience: Over 5 years in practice.
Remus2004 and 2 other Property Law Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Remus2004 replied 2 years ago.

Thank you for the positive rating and remember that I am always available to help with your questions. For future information, please start your question with ‘FOR JO C’. You can also bookmark my profile http://www.justanswer.co.uk/law/expert-remus2004/

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