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Joshua
Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 26300
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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We have lived in this house for over 40 years, it was a tied

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We have lived in this house for over 40 years, it was a tied property with my husbands job & then sold to a private company about 25 years ago. Apart from a new boiler & the kitchen we put in about 30 years ago, no changes have been made to the house. My husband & I now find it difficult to get into the bath, can we ask for the bathroom to be modernised & a walk in shower put in. The bathroom suit is near 50 years old
Assistant: Where are you? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: We live in Horsham Sussex
Assistant: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: When we had a visit from the agent last year & mentioned this,his comment was our rent would go up & the council might give us a grant to do it ourselves.
Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: As the property was tied & the rent goes up every 2 years we pay slightly less than the going rate, They always ask the rent office for a higher rate but have it reduced slightly.

Hello and thank you for your question. I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practising lawyer in England with over 15 years experience.

  1. I note that the property was originally a tied property but I assume your husband has not worked in the tied job for a number of years and from what you say you now pay rent to a private owner. Is your understanding that the tenancy is now a regulated tenancy or an assured tenancy?
  2. If you are not sure do you recall when you started paying rent? You refer to around 25 years ago which would point to the mid-nineties?
Customer: replied 6 days ago.
I don't no whether it is regulated or assured, the company sold the properties to the private owner while he was still working for them. It must be at least 25 years ago around the mid nineties.
Customer: replied 6 days ago.
I have just looked up some old paperwork & found that it wasn't sold to the private company until 2002. Sorry I thought it was earlier than that.

Thank you. Do you recall when your husband retired and you started paying rent - whether this was to his old employer or the new owner? Approximate date is fine

Customer: replied 6 days ago.
We have always paid rent but it was only a few pounds deducted from his salary, once it moved it came under the Rent Office & has increased rapidly since. We have paid by standing order/ DD since 2002. He retired 9 years ago.
  1. Thank you. May I ask what kind of job your husband had?
  2. Did you pay a subsidised rent or no during his period of employ?
  3. If so did you pay that subsidised rent right up until 2002 or did you start paying non subsidised rent earlier than that?
Customer: replied 6 days ago.
He worked for the water board & they owned a few properties locally. They offered him one for a nominal rent of about £9 per month that was 40 years ago. Once they sold them the rent was assessed by the rent officer & has been increased every 2 years since then. We have no paper work of when we first took over the house.

Thank you. The timeline you refer to indicates that it is possible that you have an assured shorthold tenancy without security of tenure. However your reference to the involvement of a rent officer suggests that your tenancy is being treated as an assured tenancy or regulated tenancy. This may be due to the amount of rent you were charged. I would be happy to investigate but this question is likely easily answered by your contacting your rent officer and asking him to confirm you have a regulated or assured tenancy and he is likely to be able to easily and quickly confirm. as long as you have either a regulated or assured tenancy, you will have security of tenure - i.e. the landlord cannot force you to leave. what follows assumes that you have one of these two types of tenancy so I would recommend this point being the first you check.

Assuming you do you have one of these two types of tenancy,in answer to your query - there are two principal bases on which you can seek to make adaptions:

1. from what you say, the bathroom is extremely old and therefore likely does not comply with the Housing health and safety rating system that was introduced in the Housing act 2004 because modern safety standards have changed a lot since the time the bathroom was installed. It may be that you can therefore require the landlord to bring the bathroom up to modern standards. If the landlord is not willing to do so you can either carry out the works yourself or you can ask the council to carry out something known as an HHSRS inspection which is an inspection carried out by an environmental officer to ensure that the property meets modern standards for safety. you can see the standards against which the property will be judged at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/housing-health-and-safety-rating-system-guidance-for-landlords-and-property-related-professionals

2. The second basis which can be used either instead of or in conjunction with the above is under the terms of the equality act 2010 under which the landlord is required to make reasonable adjustments to the property to adapt it for your use where you find certain aspects of the property difficult because of a disability - this can include restricted movement that many of us experience as we get older. He does not have to make changes to the structure of the property but you can ask for changes to fixtures and fittings and furnishings that are reasonable in the circumstances.

It is also possible to obtain grants the local authority to make adaptations subject to your financial circumstances. If this is something you wish to investigate, you can contact adult social services who can sensibly around to carry out an assessment of your needs. they can also assist with liaising with your landlord to carry out adaptations where they are found to be necessary.

Does the above answer all your questions? If it does, I should be very grateful if you would kindly take a moment to click a rating for my service to you today. Your feedback is important to me. If there is anything else I can help with please reply back to me though

Customer: replied 5 days ago.
Thank you

A pleasure. if I can be of further assistance, please do not hesitate to revert to me.

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