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LondonlawyerJ, Advocate
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Experience:  Solicitor with over 15 years experience.
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I have an issue regarding my mothers old landlord billing

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I have an issue regarding my mothers old landlord billing for repairs etc.
My parents took over the tenancy of the property in 1971/1972 whereby the house was an empty shell. In the last few years the property has has had 3 landlords the latest buying the property 9 months ago. Due to a heart attack we finally convinced my mother (father passed away 13 years ago) to move into a more suitable accommodation as she is now 74 and not of good health on top of the heart attack.
The present landlord has been in touch to complains about the mess, decoration, and damage to woodwork and wants to claim damages. There has never been a deposit and the house was sold to him at auction and he did not view the property before buying. The house has had several visits over the years from environmental health over the condition of the property as it has always had a severe mould issue and damp, although reported no landlord has fixed the issue.
When they moved into the house there was no internal doors, bathroom, or kitchen sink. My father paid for repairs, rewiring of the house, doors, fencing, plastering, bathroom,kitchen 2 boilers all at his own expense; however this was during the 1970's/80's.
Since my fathers passing my mother obtained a government grant for partial central heating where previously the only heating available was a gas fire in the lower back room. She has reported several times to all landlords regarding damp, mould and leaking roof and Windows, and rotten floor boards.
The landlord continues to force the issue under the tenants garuntee or assurance agreement, which I believe only took affect after 1977.
Do we have any case to argue? I have agreed to travel and clear any remaining items that was left behind after my mother moved out, but the claims over decoration and repairs are an ongoing problem.
Many thanks
Dawn Clements

Hello I am a solicitor with 20 years experience. I will try to answer this for you.

I don't see what claim he has. He bought a property with a Rent Act Protected tenant, which he had no right to get of and she leaves conveniently for him thereby handing him a massive windfall. I find it incredible he has the cheek to complain about everything. Has she actually actually left permanently or does she intend to return if she gets better? A protected tenancy is not something to give up lightly.

Your mother would have a legal right to get he landlord to fix those structure/exterior repairs and to compensate her if he didn't.

Assuming that your mother didn't damage the property after he bought it then caveat emptor applies and he takes the place as it is.

He is a chancer trying to exploit a vulnerable old lady.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your reply.Yes it is a permanent move to a bungalow, and closer to family so she can be supported while still living independently.The leaks etc did get worse especially from the windows when he took over the property which she reported and he was "waiting for the right day" to come and add some secondary / temporary glazing. I know she mentioned rotting wood work inside and out, my only concern is that he may have a case over the internal door frames, as he keeps telling me we should replace or compensate him under the tenants assurance garuntee (or whatever it's called).Thanks

I am sorry. I thought I had answered this morning but that reply seems to have got lost somewhere.

He is responsible for structural disrepair/exterior disrepair inc windows from the moment he has notice of the

disrepair plus a reasonable amount of time. Your mother may have a claim against him.

When did he get the property?

I have never heard of tenants assurance guarantee. I specialise in landlord and tenant law, none of my colleagues have heard of it either.

You should take photos of the property when you go round to protect your position.

His claim is likely to be without merit and is probably just an attempt to exploit your mother.

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