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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71141
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I rent a house since July 2014. We had lots of problems since

Customer Question

I rent a house since July 2014. We had lots of problems since we moved in. The day we moved in two bathrooms were mean to be replaced we not done in fact they were empty. It took another six weeks. Since July we not had a use of a cooker and the hob only has three rings going. I have three disable people in the house. My husband is diabete and on a breathing machine. We had water coming in the dining room roof and the landlord did nothing so I got a roofer in and paid. I have all pictures to dhow the how bad the place was the bath was in a bedroom and loo in garage. We have to have take out five nights out of seven which is making my husband I'll. now since jan 12th we have had no electric in kitchen, dining room, downstairs loo, hallway, landline, and on the 16th my husband fall in the middle of the night as he sleeps downstairs due to not being able to getting up stairs. And now is under the hospital. I got in the endveromental agency from the council who told him to get it repair. He got a company called home serve out. The electric man said because the landlord had allow so many different people to touch the box and take wires of and the box and wires were wet he was not going to touch it. Next day a roofer came and he said the cladding around the house needs replace urgent as there is no menbrian and water is getting in there in there down the wall into the electrics causes the lights to go. So till this is put right the lights wont be able to be put right. The landlord would not have this he got in his own people who spoke in their own language and he said the electrics will have a report saying they are fine even though we don't have all going, and a roof man again I didn't under what he was saying is doing a report saying the roof is fine. I do have a copy from home serve. I have withheld three months rent has I have paid out £3500 for the roof and I have pay out to much in take out foods which is not tight. He is now taking us to court he said he sent us a sec8 in dec 27 but we never got one he knew we was away as we could not cook I took the children to my aunts. He turns up night and day when he wants and over Christmas I did wonder if someone had been in has we had no post at all not even jack mail. Can I claim for every day we have had to eat out.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
Was there actually no means of cooking at all? You seem to be saying above that tere was a cooker with a limited number of hobs?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

The cooker has not work at all the hob is on it's own it should have four rings but only 3 rings plus he never gave us a gas cert.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Is there any other means of cooking? Like a microwave?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

No none.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
I have fairly bad news I'm afraid.
You do have a claim for a reduction in rent for the affected periods.
However, if you have withheld three months rent then that is going to exceed the claim that you have I'm afraid. Therefore, his S8 application is made out against you.
That is not to say that you cannot counter claim for disrepair. How much you would get depends really. You do seem to be describing fairly important disrepair issues but they are not going to be sufficient to amount to a reduction of 100%. Even if you do succeed on that point though all that would mean is that the award against you in compensation would be reduced to reflect your disrepair compensation.
In terms of the roof, I'm not quite clear what has actually happened here. I would never, in principle, advise anybody to withhold rent as it does lead to S8 claims. If you are saying that you withheld to pay out for an essential repair and you can prove that you did then that is a defence but it does need to be a literally essential repair and you need to be able to prove that you looked at cheaper sources.
If he hasn't served the notice upon you though then that is another ground to contest this. He will have to prove that it was properly served upon you. If he is relying on grounds 8, 10 and 11 though he only needs to give 14 days notice so that does tend to delay the inevitable.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Would he hand deliver it or sent it recorded I just re read a text were he said Haart agency have done it,but I spoke to them today and they said they did not. Has he was mean to have the rent paid to them but he got me to pay the rent to him. I hot pictures were the water was coming in the fining room and the water marks are still here I did oh for the cheapest. The doctor said because my husband is diabete he should not be living on take out food, I got the bill and the man futon council has got a copy. He said he had till this week to get the repairs done. But the roofer that come didn't even get on the the roof to look. So how can they do a report. What about the gas cert the council said we should had have it when we move in. Why did he take our dep and month rent up front then when we went round the house to find it not able to move into. But all our things were on the lorry.we clear all his rubbish plus got the rat man out to clear the rats as the garden was full of them as rice was left in the sheds.and my husband having a accident cause of no lights.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
That doesn't change the situation above. You have a disrepair claim. Whether it is sufficient to withhold rent in the view of the court remains to be seen. It is always a pretty high test.
With situations like this it is always best to make a report to Environmental Health who would have sent him an improvement notice.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

So would we be able to sue him for the accident now he got to have a operation due to the fall , having no lights with special need children seem wrong there are five of us in the house. He put the family at risk. I had to spend a great deal of money on junk food and cupbroad food I wouldn't buy normally like tonight it was £51.56. I will go to court has I been told now by next door he always end ups in court for the reasons says he do things then don't.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
It depends on the exact cause of the accident. The absence of a light wouldn't normally be the only cause.
You don't have a claim for food. You may have a claim for reduction of the rent for disrepair.