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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71134
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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Landlord and tenant question- I have been trying to get an

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Landlord and tenant question- I have been trying to get an unhygenic substandard kitchen repaired for 3 years now . I have got as far as having my own estimate and submitting it to the landlord. He in turn has had a contractor round to measure up. That was 3 weeks ago. I have heard nothing. So far as I know my estimate is very competative and I have even offered to pay half the cost of the rather expensive sink because I particularly liked it. I am very busy and want to know what is happening about the matter as I will have to fit the work in with important matters when I will be away. Can I legally write to the landlord If I hear nothing to the contrary in 7 working days, I will instruct my contractor (Dave) to go ahead . I will pay him and deduct that amount from the rent. Can I say If you do not countermand the above I will consider I have your full agreement.?

Thank you for your question. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try to help with this.

What exactly is unhygienic and substandard about it?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

the worktops are damaged burned and stained, the sink also and pitted
The sink and tap were the very cheapest in the first place. There is not even a cutlery drawer or a cooker hood so I have to open a window to let out steam I could go on

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I have replied Damaged and stained it is not possible to see if sink or worktops are clean (they are in fact not). The chap sent by landlord admitted the kitchen needs repairing and updating. The land owner is a multimillionaire with numerous buisnesses and much land and houses

Thank you.

You cannot tell him that if you do not hear from him you will take it that he has agreed. There is already case law on that Felthouse v Bindley which goes back over 100 years and is still good law today.

You also are not allowed to deduct rent for any circumstances whatsoever. If you do, you will be in arrears and the landlord can eventually serve you with a section 8 notice to quit.

What you can do however if you feel that the kitchen is unhygienic (not substandard but unhygienic) is refer the matter to the Environmental Health Department at the local authority. You can tell the landlord that if he does not get the kitchen sorted by a particular date, that you will do that. The landlord may not particularly want the Environmental Health Department on his case.

If the Environmental Health Department find the kitchen unhygienic, they can make the landlord resolve the issue within a specific period of time which is weeks not months.

You can of course get the job done yourself and then sue the landlord in the Small Claims Court for the costs but you are going to have to have some proof that the kitchen is in such a state that it really is in an un-lettable and unusable condition and without the environmental health agreeing, that might not be too easy.

The landlord may also not take too kindly to use suing him in the Small Claims Court and could easily give you a section 21 notice to quit at the end of the term.

It really comes down to the state of the kitchen as to whether you have a claim for compensation or not and in that respect, the Environmental Health Officer is probably going to give you an opinion and advice that you can rely on

Can I clarify anything for you?

Jo C. and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I have been the subject of a lot of harrassment from the landlord and those who work for him. I have even called the police on 2 separate occSIONS WHO HAVE CONFIRMED (sorry caps) his behaviour as harrassment. I am 70 and not in good health I need a new mixer tapwith an easy to turn lever as I fell down his front step and have a permanently damaged right hand. I NEED the repairs to the kitchen. It appears that what you are saying is that I have to contact Environmental health. Last time I did that 2 years ago when there were rats in the loft . He told me he was going to sell the house and so I had to leave. I believed him at first and tried to find somewhere else then a friend of mine who knows him very well said stop panicing he is just saying this to upset you and get rid of you. So it turned out. He is at present busy spending lots of money on the farm (this is a farmhouse) and a new drive but trying to get out of paying a few hundred £s to help in the kitchen. I kind of agree when my friends say he should be in jail. He has swindlrd insurance for huge sums. But I digress I fear I could go on and on.