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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71158
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I have just started renying a house the lights do not work

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i have just started renying a house the lights do not work at the top of the stairs and in the kitchen the light switch is broken and the dish washer is broken + other bits and bobs that they promised to do before we moved in afe they in breach of contract please
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
Is this an assured shorthold tenancy agreement please?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

no 12 months

Ok. That is the normal length of an AST.
Is it entitled AST ?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

what does that mean

Assured shorthold tenancy agreement.
The nature of the contract changes your options.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

yes i think so

Is there a break clause at the 6th month point?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

yes there is

Ok. Thanks.
You have a variety of options.
The short answer is that these items should be working. Anything that is in the house at the time that you let should be maintained throughout your agreement.
The question here is what you do about it. This doesn’t really quite amount to landlord disrepair of the property. It is certainly not sufficient to interest Environmental Health which is how disrepair is really challenged.
Similarly it is not sufficient to escape an AST although you could legitimately use the break clause if you want to.
Your remember really is to do the work yourself and sue for the cost or withhold from rent but it isn’t that easy. You have to give them really good notice periods in writing so that you can prove what was said.
if you have spoken to the landlord and that is achieving nothing then I would write to him giving him 28 days to put right these faults. Make clear that if he does not you will do the work yourself and seek to recover the cost. I think it needs to be 28 days rather than 14 because these faults are not life threatening and getting tradesmen in some areas is not quick.
If there is still no response then have the work done but get two quotes for everything and choose the cheapest. Then sue here
You can also withhold from rent but I would never advise that unless a person literally could not afford to sue because it impacts upon your rental history.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

i have sent so many emails and they have a quote i just want to get out of here the last tnt left because the work was not done my husband triped up the stairs

I'm afraid these are not grounds to leave an AST.
ASTs are extremely hard to escape I'm afraid. You pretty much have to show the property is completely uninhabitable such as gutting from fire damage.
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