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Joshua
Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 25471
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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Hi I rent a shop through a letting agent and have a landlord,

Resolved Question:

Hi I rent a shop through a letting agent and have a landlord, I can think there is a drain under the shop and is cracked because there is a nasty sewage smell that comes up every so often. The landlord insists that there is a basement and no drain, but when we put a bucket off boiling beach water down the drain outside the smell goes. What can be done to stop this smell without getting charged ?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  Joshua replied 3 years ago.

Joshua :

Hello and thank you for your question. I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practicing lawyer in England with over 10 years experience.

Joshua :

May I ask if your lease is a fully repairing lease please or if the landlord is responsible for maintenance of the premises?

Customer:

I do believe that I am responsible for the inside of the premises and the landlord is for the outside.

Joshua :

Thanks. If the landlord is responsible for the structure of the property this would normally include a responsibility for him to maintain any pipes that do not exclusively serve your premises.

Joshua :

Your lease will specify precisely what you are responsible to maintain and likewise what the landlord must maintain.

Joshua :

On the basis that the landlord is responsible for the drain in question then you can serve notice on the landlord advising that he is in breach of covenant in failing to address the issue with regards XXXXX XXXXX drain which according to the terms of the lease appears to be his responsibility going on to say that you have identified the issue with the drain by carrying out the above temporary treatment. You may consider asking him to request an attendance by Dynorod or such similar contractor to resolve the matter within say 7 days.

Joshua :

If he does not then you can consider advising him that you propose to carry out service to the drain yourself and that you will look to him to the cost.

Joshua :

Is there anything above I can clarify for you?

Customer:

Thank you so much that was going to be my next question about getting in Dynorod, but you read my mind, and I am within my rights to ask the landlord to pay for the service?

Joshua :

Providing your lease provides that you do not have responsibility for the drain in question you can hold the landlord liable for the same. A typical non repairing lease will make you liable for internal pipe fittings but the landlord liable for maintenance of drains however there is no law that says this must be the case so it is necessary to read your lease to confirm this point first. Providing it does so confirm you can consider proceedings as above.

Joshua :

Is there anything above I can help you with?

Customer:

What happens if it is not the drain. because he is saying if we can identify where and what is causing the smell then he will fix it, but surly he should be doing the investigating? Sorry to keep on but what if it is a basement then that means we are responsible for it because I do think we have repairing lease for the inside?

Joshua :

Who owns the basement? Is it the landlord?

Customer:

yes

Customer:

there is no acsses to the basement

Customer:

we have never been in the basement

Joshua :

Thanks. If he contends it is the basement and not the drain then it remains his problem to fix. He is required to give you peaceful occupation of the premises which includes a right to be free from nuisance originating from his property. That you have carried out a test with the drains which temporarily cleared the problem raises a presumption that it is the drains and this would appear sufficient to require him to attend to the matter unless he can show that it is not the drains - rebutting your evidence to this effect.

Joshua :

Are you happy with the information I have provided to you above or is there anything above I can clarify for you any further?

Customer:

Thank you very much I think you have covered everything I was worrying about, thank you again and hope you have a good day.

Joshua :

A pleasure. I hope you are able to resolve it with minimum fuss.

Joshua :

If you have no further questions for now I should be very grateful if you would kindly take a moment to rate my service to you today. Your feedback is important to me. If there is anything else I can help with though please reply back to me though.

Joshua and 2 other Property Law Specialists are ready to help you

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