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F E Smith
F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 16923
Experience:  I have been practising for 30 years.
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We, as tenants, have 2 problems in our studio flat: the sash

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We, as tenants, have 2 problems in our studio flat: the sash window is stuck closed and being a small flat facing the south it gets very hot and airless quickly. The other problem is there must be a leak in the bathroom because it smells of damp and there are mushrooms growing. The landlady has been with a builder and she has denied there is a leak in the bathroom even though the builder has agreed there is a problem and with regards ***** ***** window she has said it would be too expensive to repair and she is not prepared to fix the problem. She started screaming at us
JA: What steps have you taken so far? Have you prepared or filed any paperwork?
Customer: No, what steps can I take apart from appealing to the landlady to fix the problems?
JA: Where is the flat located?
Customer: E14 7EG West Ferry
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: We do not want to leave the property but these problems need to be fixed. We are worried she might try to evict us even though our rent is always paid on time and we have kept the flat in really good clean condition

Welcome to Just Answer.

I will be happy to assist with your question today. I need some time to consider this and compose a response. There is NO need to wait online because you will get an email when I respond. Sometimes it will be minutes, sometimes longer.

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when you say she started screaming at you - saying what?

is she a private landlord (not using an agency)

so she wont replace or repair the window or find the leak?

how long have you been there?

Customer: replied 5 days ago.
When we said 'we need the flat in a good condition - it is part of the contract' she started screaming 'who will pay for that repair. she can't afford it'. We said we are wasting her time. We asked her to calm and then to leave and when she left she shouted 'f...k you!
She is a private landlord.
And she said she won't repair the window and denied there was a leak.
We have been living there for more than 3 years.
We have been told by the council to contact the Environmental Health Service. Is that your advice too or is there something further we can do?

The landlady hasn’t got the money to repair the flat, she should sell it. If you can’t stand the heat, stay out of the kitchen.

The leak in the bathroom is easy enough to prove particularly if you have fungus.

I would suggest that you spoke to the Environmental Health Department at the local authority with a view to getting the property declared unfit for human habitation because of the damp, the fungus, and the fact that you cannot open the windows for ventilation.

In the 1970s, I repaired dozens of sash windows and it isn’t rocket science.

She cannot evict you for reporting disrepair problems. You have a statutory right to do so and for compensation and the landlord is under a statutory duty under section 11 of the Landlord & Tenant Act to keep the property in good repair which she is failing to do.

Unfortunately, you are not entitled to withhold rent but you do have a substantial claim for compensation.

Now I get to what you have been advised, yes, that’s what I said earlier. You might want to put the complaint in writing if you initially deal with them on the telephone.

You might want to also look around for a solicitor that deals with landlord disrepair is on a no win no fee basis because you could get a chunk of money out of this.

So she can’t afford to fix the window or the leak it does beg the question as to how she’s going to pay the compensation if you take her to court.

Not your problem.

Although she could give you notice to quit, she cannot do that while there is a disrepair claim because it’s classed as “revenge notice” and it would get thrown out if it got to court. That is of course notwithstanding the extension under the Corona Virus Act.

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Best wishes.

FES

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