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LondonlawyerJ, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 775
Experience:  Experienced solicitor
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Are there any conditions were a landlord has a legal obligation

Customer Question

Are there any conditions were a landlord has a legal obligation to repair a leaking roof of a garden shed?

The shed is listed on the inventory, and was not leaking at the time of moving in.
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.

-Could you explain your situation a little more?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.



We are a private tenant with an assured shorthold tenancy agreement, we have the use of a garden shed on the property.


When we moved in the shed was fine, no leaks, over the last couple of months the felting has split, water leaks through the roof and pools on one side of the shed makingit unuseable for storage.


Please let me know what additional info you may require regarding the situation. We have asked the agent to arrange a repair, but they ;landlord has refused.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

The response received from the agent was that the shed is not a section 11 repair, and there is no legal obligation to repair.

Expert:  Remus2004 replied 2 years ago.

I'm not sure this is really my area so I will opt out to let others consider the matter for you.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

ok thanks

Expert:  Nicola-mod replied 2 years ago.

It seems the professional has left this conversation. This happens occasionally, and it's usually because the professional thinks that someone else might be a better match for your question. I've been working hard to find a new professional to assist you with your question, but sometimes finding the right professional can take a little longer than expected.

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Thank you!
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I am happy to leave it open for a while yet.


Am I able to get a refund if this question goes unanswered?

Expert:  Nicola-mod replied 2 years ago.

We will continue to look for a Professional to assist you.

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Thank you for your patience,
Expert:  LondonlawyerJ replied 2 years ago.
Hello I am a solicitor with over 15 years experience. I will try to help you with this.

Do yo have a written tenancy agreement? If so, does it describe the shed/garden/outbuildings as being part of the leased property? what does the lease say about the items in the inventory and what does it say about maintaining them. Are you an assured shorthold tenant and when does the term of the lease expire?

I need this info to be able to answer properly. I am going to be quite busy today so may find it hard to respond quickly today but I will get a chance to look again this evening. I hope that is OK.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.



Thanks for the response:


Yes we have a written Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement, currently in the second year of occupancy. We renewed at around January this year a 12 month extension to run until february 2015.


The actual tenancy does not mention the a shed/outbuilding, section '1.5 property' is included in the agreement ( verbatim )


"The property situated at and being XXXX XXXXXX XXXXX XXXX XXXXXX, together with the fixtures, fittings and effects therein and more particularly specified in the inventory signed by the tenant and all grounds. It shall include the right to use, in common with others, any shared rights of access, stairways, communal parts, paths and drives.


The shed is listed on the inventory with the following remark:


"Torn roof felt towards edge, otherwise undamaged."


The tenancy also states:


"A tenant is responsible during the terms of the tenancy for the items listed and any damage which is not fair wear & rear are the responsibility of the tenant(s)."


There is no mention of a leak, the felting has now completely torn across one side of the roof due to weathering and now leaks during periods of rain. We reported this in January of this year, until then no leaks occurred.


There is also a clause which states the landlord is responsible for section 11 items ( of which there is no mention of shed or outbuilding )


Please let me know if you need any additional information and many thanks again for responding to the enquiry.





Expert:  LondonlawyerJ replied 2 years ago.
S 11 of the Landlord and Tenant Act deals with repairs to the structure and exterior of a dwelling house. The shed would not be covered. S 11 implies basic rights of repair into most tenancy agreements.

What we have here is s defect to the shed which has been referred to, at least to some extent in the schedule. The torn roof felt has got much worse (presumably due to weather etc and is fair wear and tear.

It seems fairly clear that it is the landlord's responsibility to maintain this. The shed is let for your use and it's utility has been compromised by the damaged roof.

What can you do about it? You could write to the agent/landlord pointing out the following:
- You are not claiming any repair rights under s11
- The shed is part of the let premises,
- the inventory includes the shed and describe it's condition at time of letting,
- that condition has now deteriorated and how it has deteriorated,
- if tools etc are kept there then these are at risk of being damaged
- that the landlord has an obligation to keep in repair the items contained in the inventory
- that he is now on notice of the disrepair
- that if the repair is not done and property is damaged then he is responsible for 2 reasons: 1) he has a duty to repair, 2) he is being negligent in not repairing the roof.

Give him a set period of time to fix it (say 3- 4 weeks).

Although I think you have an arguable point it will be difficult to enforce unless the existence of the shed was a very important factor in your taking the property.

If you take any effective action eg finding out how much it would cost to repair and then getting the work done and deducting the cost from your rent then you will have acted with dubious legality and would almost inevitably face possession proceedings when your tenancy expires. Taking him to the small claims court for compensation would probably not be worth it unless eg the shed is important to a business through being a store for work tools etc. The level of compensation would be tiny in the absence of specific measurable losses. And again you would likely face possession proceedings at the end of the term.

The landlord will likely argue hat the shed is in no worse condition than noted on the inventory.

In short you may be in the strict legal right but what you can do about this practically is unclear. It partly depends on how long you wish to stay there.

It may be that the best thing to do is to fix it as cheaply as possible to get you through to the end of your tenancy or perhaps fix it properly. I assume your deposit is in a guarantee scheme. If so you could deduct the cost from you rent payments at the end of the tenancy and then argue it out if necessary in the deposit scheme arbitration system. You would be in breach of contract of course in doing this but practically it may be effective. If you do this you shod get at least 2 quotes and tell the landlord you are going to get it fixed and invite him again to repair it.

I hope this answer is helpful but if you want to ask further questions please do so.
LondonlawyerJ, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 775
Experience: Experienced solicitor
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Expert:  LondonlawyerJ replied 2 years ago.

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