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Ask LondonlawyerJ Your Own Question
LondonlawyerJ, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 818
Experience:  Solicitor with over 15 years experience.
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I had a landlord who would not conduct repairs on our property

Customer Question

I had a landlord who would not conduct repairs on our property despite us paying our rent on time for over 3 years. He left broken windows for over 6 months, and our garden was dangerous as it had holes in the decking and banisters missing on the stairs which were clearly dangerous for our young children (aged 3 and 1). Eventually I gave him notice (2 months) and told him i was vacating the premises given the dangerous nature of the premises. I also withheld rent from that point so technically there is two months rent to pay, but under the contract it allowed withholding of rent if the property was dangerous. I have photographic evidence and correspondence showing the damage and his lack of response. However I now feel I should have contacted the Council. Anyway since I stopped paying the rent when I gave notice I feel I should have consulted a lawyer or the Council. Anyway he is now withholding my deposit and saying I have 7 days to pay the two months rent. What should I do? How can I demonstrate that he has been a terrible landlord and to whom? How can I get my deposit back, or can't I? I also feel I should warn future tenants as he shouldn't be able to get away with this - i was a private tenant paying a high rent, not DSS. Please help!! Thank you
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  LondonlawyerJ replied 3 years ago.

hello, I am a solicitor with 20 years experience. I will try to help you with this.


When did your tenancy commence and is your deposiy held in a guarantee scheme?

JACUSTOMER-hxnlmgyp- : It started in 2011 January. And yes it is in the my deposits scheme.
JACUSTOMER-hxnlmgyp- : I should say that clearly none of the damages referenced above were caused by us as tenants

Hello, I have had IT problems today and am travelling at the moment will soon go underground. I will answer this later this evening.


In that case it is not his money to withhold from you. The money is your and held on trust by the scheme. There is a dispute resolution scheme in the deposit scheme and you need to look that up. The deposit is only for damages and not relevant to disputes over rent arrears. You need to make sure that you have good evidence of the disrepair. Photos for sure, and maybe you should get a surveyor round to prepare a report, depending on the severity of the disrepair and the amount of money at stake.


If he pursues you for the rent arrears you can counterclaim about the arrears and seek damages to set off against the alleged arrears. You should contact the deposits scheme and let them know there is a dispute.