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LondonlawyerJ, Advocate
Category: Law
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Experience:  Solicitor with over 15 years experience.
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I have a roof leak and damp in my flat. i live on the top floor

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i have a roof leak and damp in my flat. i live on the top floor in a block of flats and the freeholders have noted that the roof needs to be damp proofed and relayed but have not given a fix date. what are my options, this is causing me so much stress and anxiety
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
note the roof needed to be damp proofed repaired prior to me moving into the flat according to the freeholder but nobody told me that that was an issue when I moved in. I moved in july last year and this has been an ongoing issue since the weather started to get colder in 2015 from September up until now and the rain has been really heavy. I have reported the issue to environmental health who issued the landlord with notice for repair, the landlord did some redecoration - painted over the damp but it has since come back as the roof was never repaired. I suffer from anxiety and have been getting sick following this whole situation.What can I do?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
also, the damp has been made worse in my opinion by the fact that the heating in the flat has never worked. the inventory report correctly did report that the heating had not been tested as working. To conclude I am in a damp flat, with mould growing around my bed, and a roof leak that comes through the bedroom and the kitchen. Also, prior to me moving in they fixed new double glazing windows and they have gaps which you can see daylight through, they also leak when it rains
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
please also note i live in the UK.
Hello, I am a solicitor with 20 years experience. I will try to answer this for you.
In order to answer this I need to know whether you are a tenant or a long leaseholder.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Do you have an answer for this question?
Yes. Sorry for delay was on my way to court.
OK in addition to any clauses in your tenancy agreement the following applies.
The Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 means that your landlord is under a statutory obligation to keep in repair the structure and exterior of your home, including drains, gutters and external pipes. Your landlord must also keep in repair and proper working order the installations in your home for the supply for water, gas, electricity and sanitation, including basins, sinks, baths and sanitary conveniences. Your landlord must keep in repair and proper working order the installations in your home for space heating and hot water. Your landlord may have further repairing obligations which will be set out in your tenancy agreement.
Design Defect
Where re-occurring disrepair can only be prevented by remedying an inherent design defect, a landlord will normally be under an obligation remedy the defect.
Landlords are under a duty not to cause injury or damage because of careless or negligent behaviour. The court will consider what a reasonable person in a similar situation would have done. An example would be carrying out repairs works in a negligent way or not carrying out any work at all.
This seems t be breach of your landlord's duty to maintain in repair the structure and exterior of the property.
Have you contacted the Environmental Health Department again as if the notice has not been complied with they can take enforcement action at no cost to you.
You can write yourself to the landlord referring to the law set out above and requiring him to remedy the disrepair.
You should give him a time limit after which you will consider taking legal action.
However if you are and assured shorthold tenant you should be aware that a frequent reaction of landlords is to issue possession proceedings as soon as they are able to after getting such a letter.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thanks yes I contacted environmental health, they visited, issued the landlord with a notice re the repair. Landlords freeholder did a temporary repair but since the leak and damp have got worse. I'm finding it hard to find a solicitor as a majority are saying the legal costs will eat up the compensation offered. I guess I'm in a catch 22 situation. I asked environmental health to come out and do 2nd visit, they said they they won't be able to revisit for another 3weeks as they are doing jury service
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
The whole situation has caused me great anxiety and depression, just not sure what to do next. The estate agent is even saying that the claim for damaged goods replacement will not follow through as the freeholders insurance is not covered for damp damage despite the fact that it has been proven the damp has been caused by the roof leak and the lack of damp proofing.
1 It may be hard to get Environmental Health to do much but if they have carried out an inspection maybe you could get a copy/summary of their findings. Also. do you have a copy of the Notice?
2 RE: solicitors you need to see a specialist housing solicitor, not a generalist litigation solicitor. It may be that if your premises are in such a state that they are prejudicial to health that you yourself could bring a prosecution under the Environmental Protection Act. This might be a cheaper and quicker alternative to orthodox civil proceedings.
3 Their insurance is their problem. Who cares if the landlord's insurance covers this or not. They are liable. If they don't have insurance they can pay you themselves.
4 What sort of security of tenure do you have? ARe you an assured shorthold t4ennat? If so when does/did your fixed term expire.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thanks for this, I am an assured hold tenant, this will expire June 2016. I have logged a complaint with the property ombudsman to see if they can help but I know they will probably just drag it out.It was good to meet you today. As I think I hopefully demonstrated I really am keen to help you resolve things as soon as possible.The estate agent visited the flat yesterday I was so upset I just gave up talking and burst into tears. He sent this email in response saying I had agreed to items that I never agreed too. I told him I'm not a professional in these cases so I want representation re the grievances u hAve raised.He said
We agreed: (I didn't agree to any of this)
· We will try to find alternative accommodation as soon as possible. We will try to find you something comparable but that you will also consider looking with other agents if necessary. Ideally it will be best through us. I have a flat coming up in Lower Sydenham that might be suitable which I will show you once I know more
· You want the removal expenses covered and help with the move.
· 3 items have damp/condensation damage(Mark Koors, I pad / PC case and a non branded beige bag). The cost of repair or replacement if required needs to be a claim on the freeholder/management company. The landlord of the flat is liaising with Xxxx of the management company regarding a claim. As agreed I have taken 2 items to see if they can be repaired by a the dry cleaners or people they work with who specialise in this area.
· You want a reduction on the rent from October. You did not want to give me a figure and have asked for guidance on this from the Ombudsmen
I am happy to work constructively with the ombudsmen to agree a fair solution.
In the meantime you have agreed to keep all 3 standalone heaters on constantly (at a low level whilst you are out) to keep the flat warm. Our electrician has been today and will go again to ensure the heaters on the wall in lounge and bedroom are working. Once they are, please keep them on all the time too as they are storage heaters and they need to heat up at night to then release the heat throughout the day.
I think this covers what we discussed. I shall be in touch again as soon as I have more information.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Also the non branded bag he noted is a mulberry bag
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
im looking for all related expenses associated with the move to be covered by either the landlord or agent, this for me would include removal van and packers, Sky and phone installation, the time which it will take me to look for a flat etc. Will I be able to put a monetary sum on this?Here are the pictures of the roof leak that has caused damp and mould in the flat. The situation got worse after environmental health a visit!634&authkey=!AF5N5jpAq_Vfo5U&ithint=folder%2cjpg
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Do you know any solicitors that will take this case on? The estate agent is claiming that the landlord did not know about the pending damp proofing works and would not have let the property if they had know. But he then confirmed the landlord was a lease holder which means the landlord would have been made aware of the cost to repair the roof correct? I'm guessing they mayhave even asked the landlord for additional service charge also to contribute to the damp proofing that was required?
OK if you are going to move then a private prosecution may not be the answer.
Moving out seems very sensible as you may well have to leave anyway in 5 months time.
The person who is responsible to you for the problems is your landlord who seems to be a long leaseholder of the property.
If you move out then you may still have a money claim against your landlord for the inconvenience and stress of living in poor standard accommodation + the specific costs caused by the disrepair.
But you would only be able to bring this if you can prove structural/exterior disrepair. So you need something from the EHO who inspected to use in those proceedings.
If you are now moving out you don't really need a solicitor as it would probably be a claim in the small claims court. You might need a solicitor if you were trying to force repairs to be done through getting an injunction etc.
I hope this answer is helpful. I would be grateful if you would please rate my answers as I will not get paid for answering your questions if you don't. This will not close the question and I will continue to answer further questions.
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