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Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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I rent a house and pay my rent. Since an undiscovered leak

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I rent a house and pay my rent. Since an undiscovered leak in the kitchen in sept 2013 part of the kitchen was ripped out and lots of the units were put in the lounge, the flooring taken up so we had uneven concrete underfoot, the plaster and tiles were removed from walls in kitchen and bathroom. I had a noisy industrial dehumidifier constantly on for 5 months. We could still use the cooker and sink and bathroom but it was damp cold dusty and messy. The freezer was broken for 2 months on and off. I asked for a reduction in rent but the landlord insisted I pay full rent and that I would get compensation when the insurance paid up. He said an insurance estimator had said the house was habitable, but would not tell me who the insurance company was, or when they supposedly visited the house. He did give me £450 to pay the electricity bill due to the dehumidifier. He will not give me any idea how much I will get from the insurance company in compensation, and will give me no access to anyone from the insurance company. They tried to mend the property in May but broke the worktop in the process so now we do not have a finish date.
The landlord has just given me two months notice and told me I will get compensation when the work is done or when I move out, but no idea how much it will be. I do not trust him. I feel that I have given him way too much money already and I do not want to pay him anymore rent. I do not know if this will jeopordise my chances of claiming from him if I dispute what he gives me in compensation (if anything). Please can you tell me what rights I will have over a dispute for fair compensation. Please tell me whether my rights will be affected if I withhold rent until the compensation has been agreed.

Alex Watts : Hello my name is XXXXX XXXXX I will help you with this. Please note that I am a working Solicitor and may be on and offline as I have to attend Court and meet with clients, even at weekends. As such you may not get an instant response when you reply, but rest assured I will be giving your question my immediate attention upon return You do not need to wait here as you will get an email when I reply.
Alex Watts : How much do you pay a month and how many months has it been like this please?

I pay £1,250 a month and it has been like this for 9 months. It was more or less mended last week but as I said the worktop was broken in the process and the work is therefore not complete. They have given us no idea when the work will be complete and therefore the claim could be made. Thank you Alex - Anne

Alex Watts : Ok. You should get quotes for getting the work done and timeframe.
Alex Watts : Then you can write to your landlord and set out your losses.
Alex Watts : In your claim you can set out past losses and continuing losses.
Alex Watts : There is no reason your landlords can't pay past losses, even if there is no payment on future loss
Alex Watts : I think you would be looking at a 50% reduction in rental value for the duration.
Alex Watts : You need to write and set out your losses and request a refund within 14 days or say you will go to Court within 14 days. You should make sure you send this signed delivery and keep a copy.
Alex Watts : If they do not refund you then you can issue proceedings in the County Court. You can either do this online at: or by completing form N1 and take it to your local County Court.
Alex Watts : The Court will then issue a claim which a copy will be sent to the Defendant who will have a limited time to defend it, if not you can enter Judgment and enforce.
Alex Watts : If the matter is defended it will be set down for a trial. If the claim is for £10,000 or less it will be a small claim and you will not need representation.
Alex Watts : can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

Hi Alex,

Alex Watts : Hello

Hi Alex Thank you this is very helpful. The landlord has arranged for the work to be done so our losses are in the unpleasant way we have had to live for 9 months. We shall follow your advice. In my initial question I asked whether our rights would be affected if we withhold paying rent until the matter is resolved. Please can you advise on this? Thanks

Alex Watts : You can't with hold rent. That could lead to you being evicted.
Alex Watts : So don't with hold rent but go the proper route by making a claim.
Alex Watts : If this answers the question might I invite you to rate my answer.
Alex Watts : If the system won't let you do please say.
Alex Watts : If you need more help please click reply.

Hi thanks Alex, I may need more help , just having a moment to think . Thanks for your patience

Alex Watts : Sure of course.

Hi again Alex


You have been very helpful. Can I just verify regarding if we have to take the landlord to court. You said we will not need representation. Does this mean we will not have to pay fees to the court ?

Alex Watts : You will have to pay court fees to issue and hear the claim
Alex Watts : But if you win those are added to the claim itself.
Alex Watts : Does that clarify ?

Hi Alex, You have been very helpful. Please can I verify regarding if we have to take the landlord to court. You said we don't need legal representation. Does this mean we won't have to pay court fees? Thanks very much

Alex Watts : You will have to pay court fees but if you win those are added to the claim.
Alex Watts : Does that clarify matters?

Thank very much Alex for your help. I am very pleased and shall give you an excellent rating


best wishes , Anne

Alex Watts : Thanks, XXXXX XXXXX try and rate, if the system doesn't let you please say.
Alex Watts : All the best Anne

Hi Alex


It won't let me rate as it says you have not finished answering


do I need to press "save and exit " before I can rate you ?

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