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LondonlawyerJ, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 822
Experience:  Solicitor with over 15 years experience.
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My daughter lives in a rented property. Last week she was

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My daughter lives in a rented property. Last week she was taken ill with pneumonia, so is living with me while my husband stays at the property to take care of her dogs. She has complained to the landlord's agents that when it rains water poured down the wall of the kitchen and over the light switch. It was 'caused' by the leanto at the back door, which was taken down this week. This took away the back door with the mortice lock, leaving only the kitchen door.
What has happened now is that the lock on the front door has completely jammed and the door can not be opened. My husband can only leave the property via the kitchen door, but is unable to lock it. He has suggested to the agent that he has the work done and then takes it out of the rent. The agent has said that this is not acceptable but that too much has been spent on the property already, and if we are unhappy my daughter should find other accommodation. How can we make the property safe to leave?
Hello, I am a solicitor with 20 years experience. I will try to answer this for you.
I assume the lean-to was taken down by the landlord. This certainly sounds like a defect to the structure or exterior which it is the landlord's responsibility to keep in repair. But it will be very hard to enforce.
However, one is not able to do the work and then deduct the cost from the next rent payment. In practical terms the right thing to do will depend on the position with your daughter's tenancy. I assume she has an assured shorthold tenancy. If the fixed term has expired the landlord can get possession very easily as of right. Many landlords do at the first sign of assertiveness from tenants.
It might be that the best thing to do is to fix it yourself and then your daughter can negotiate with the landlord or perhaps just deduct it from her last rent payment whenever that is.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

If we take the option of deducting the payment from the last rent, won't they just take it back from the deposit?

The deposit should be in a deposit guarantee scheme and you can then argue it out in the scheme's dispute resolution process.
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