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JimLawyer
JimLawyer, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 6146
Experience:  Senior Associate Solicitor
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Morning! I’ve been living in rented accommodation since

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Morning! I’ve been living in rented accommodation since March. When we viewed the property in February, the inventory showed issues with damp. Myself and my flat mate put an offer on the flat on the condition of new carpets and the damp to be addressed. We’ve chased and chased our Maintenance manager and letting agent for months to get the damp fixed. Last week they came and said they fixed it, but just painted over the mould. We now and still have damp in ever room of the flat with mould on the backs of mirror’s, picture frames and actual dripping water in some places
Assistant: What steps have you taken so far? Have you prepared or filed any paperwork?
Customer: We have e-mail trails and texts and have just chased and chased the letting agent so far
Assistant: Have you talked to a lawyer about this?
Customer: No
Assistant: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: I was going to write to the council but this is our first time renting and didn’t know what to do!

Hello, my name is Jim and I am a qualified lawyer happy to help you today. I am typing out your answer now.

 

Customer: replied 13 days ago.
Thank you

By law, landlords must ensure the property is in good repair under S.11 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985.

If they do not, they face prosecution by the local council and can be fined. It would also be breach of contract on their part and you would be within your rights to terminate the tenancy agreement. Damp is a health hazard given respiratory problems with mould spores.

The Local Authority Environmental Health Officers have powers under the Housing Act 2004. They have a duty to ensure that properties in their area are in a habitable condition, and will serve improvement notices on landlords of properties which are assessed, under the new Housing Health and Safety Rating System as having ‘category 1 hazards’.

Similar powers are available to Local Authorities under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 if the property is considered a threat to public health.

I would therefore urge you contact your local council (the housing department) in the first instance to report the matter and ask them if they can send someone out to do an emergency repair - if so, they will do the work and they will bill the landlord themselves. If for some reason the council cannot help, you would either have the option of paying it yourself and withholding rent (not applicable here as you have already paid), or to instruct a builder to come out and fix the problem and you then pursue the landlord for the money.

If the landlord does not pay or if they refuse for whatever reason, you can sue them in the county court for your losses on the money claim site (http://www.moneyclaim.gov.uk) although I recommend sending the landlord a letter before action to warn them of your intentions first and allow them 14 days to reimburse you. If they do not reimburse, you are free to issue a claim.

If you want me to fine the number at the council, just let me know which area you live in and will find the right number for you to contact.

I hope this helps - if you can please accept the answer and give me a 5 star rating (there should be a button at the top of your screen to do this), I can answer follow up Q&A's at no extra charge and Just Answer will credit me for helping you today.

Many thanks,

Jim


 

Customer: replied 13 days ago.
Thank you so much

No problems, also don't let the landlord tell you that you knew about the mould - the law is on your side regardless of that. I hope I have helped. Before you go please don't forget to rate the answer by clicking the 5 stars on screen and clicking “submit”.

Many thanks,

Jim

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