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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 10915
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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I have been renting a property since last April. One of

Customer Question

Hi, I have been renting a property since last April. One of the conditions of our contract was that the property was professionally cleaned before we moved in - it wasn't. Also when we moved in the electricity wasn't working and we ended up destroying several electronic goods (inc. a laptop) due to power surges. There were even live wires on the bathroom floor! All the heaters were faulty and didn't work. Our landlady lives overseas and she has placed the letting agents in charge of property management. However they had to check all repairs with her first and it would sometime take weeks to reply. In the end it took over 10 visits from electrcians (days of work had to be taken for all of these). The electrcity issue wasn't fully sorted until the end of September. When we moved in one of the window locks was broken and as we are on the ground floor the property couldn't be secured, it took several months to get this fixed. To make matters worse in September after being assured by the letting agents electricians that everything was now safe, I was electrocuted by one of the boiler timers and the next day the elctricians reported that the switches were indeed faulty and replaced them. Due to our own personal cost (from days of work, cost of having no power for washing clothes, showers etc, loss of goods and unsafe conditions) we have asked the landlady to return 1 months rent to us. However as we don't have her direct address all requests have gone through the letting agents (as she requested), however they have not been able to reach her and so we have not received a response in over 6 weeks. To make matter worse we have just received an email from the letting agents saying she is using her break clause to remove us from the property. What can we do as still no mention has been made of her request? Can we withold the final month of rent and take her to the small claims court? We really don't want to withold rent but we have no faith we will be able to get hold of her if this were not to happen.
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  Ash replied 10 months ago.
Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you.Has your deposit been protected please?
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 10915
Experience: Solicitor with 5+ years experience
Ash and other Property Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
I am happy to do this, but would you be able to send me a brief written summary after our conversation.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Are you free around lunchtime tomorrow?
Expert:  Ash replied 10 months ago.
I have a hearing tomorrow until 12 and then on the train. So we can discuss but I may have to call you back.Let me know tomorrow when is good.Does that help?Alex
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Sorry, I have been very busy. I am free to talk anytime on Monday or Tuesday, does this work for you?Kind Regards,
Alex
Expert:  Ash replied 10 months ago.
Yes but remind me as I may forget!
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Hi Alex, really sorry in the delay I have been swamped at work. My number is ***** Please call at any point today or tomorrow?Kind Regards,
Alex
Expert:  Ash replied 10 months ago.
I will call in the next 10 mins.,
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Please could you send me a summary of all the points discussed yesterday. Please could you also advise what we can claim for myself being electrocuted (they admitted the same day that the exact part I reported having electrocuted me as being faulty, it had been replaced about 1 month before). Could you please also advise what the potential side effects would be if we withhold rent and wait for this to go to court before releasing the money. Also what can we claim for her breaking the initial terms in our contract, I.e. not professionally cleaning the flat, broken window which didn't shut, no hot water for well over a month.
Expert:  Ash replied 10 months ago.
www.moneyclaim.gov.ukIf you withhold rent then you may lose your deposit, but you could use last month rent to offset losses and if it went to Court and went against you, it would be set aside to be paid anyway.But you need to detail all your losses. No hot water is a breach of the Landlord and Tenant Act.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Moneyclaim only appears to allow for one claimant, there are 3 of us in the property. Excluding the direct monetary costs, how much can we seek for hot water, security, electricity failings and electrocution? Also please could you document the key points from the call yesterday (Inc. Issue with landlady being overseas, the court being able to charge money against the house, charging for days off work, the costs associated with small claims, and the process of taking legal action. I need something semi-detailed for my housemates so that we all feel comfortable taking it to court. Kind Regards, Alex
Expert:  Ash replied 10 months ago.
You can claim up to £10,000 to keep this a small claim.You would need to do a paper claim for 3 Claimants:http://hmctsformfinder.justice.gov.uk/courtfinder/forms/n001-eng.pdfTake it to your local County Court.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Please could you provide a more thorough written response to all the questions raised.
Expert:  Ash replied 10 months ago.
Which part are you stuck with?
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
I need a written response (preferably a word document) summarising our conversation to give to the people I live with the confidence to proceed to court. In regards ***** ***** points all the issues raised in my message at 10.28.
Expert:  Ash replied 10 months ago.
Moneyclaim only appears to allow for one claimant, there are 3 of us in the property.You file form N1 as discccused aboveExcluding the direct monetary costs, how much can we seek for hot water, security, electricity failings and electrocution?You can claim a sum of rent, ie 25% plus a nominal sum of £500 for elecrticuted.Also please could you document the key points from the call yesterday (Inc. Issue with landlady being overseas, the court being able to charge money against the house, charging for days off work, the costs associated with small claims, and the process of taking legal action.The Court will issue the documents at the last known address in the UK. The address will be on the agreement form - I assume therefore she wont defend the action.Any costs are then added to the claim. If you win you can seek to enforce the order such as a charging order on the property to secure the debt and make it like a mortgage.Does that clarify?Alex

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