How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Thomas Your Own Question
Thomas, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 7663
Experience:  UK solicitor holding an England and Wales practising Certificate.
Type Your Property Law Question Here...
Thomas is online now

I am on a short term tenancy agreement and several cracks appeared

This answer was rated:

I am on a short term tenancy agreement and several cracks appeared in the last few months on the walls, some of the plastering fell, in some cases on our bed while asleep and on my son bed when he was asleep, also, some of the walls from the outside and inside perimeter are cracking.
Also the floor on the garden is sinking and is quite evident the house is shiftin to one side
how can I have the environmental office or someoen else to come over and check if it is secure and liveable?

Thanks for your patience.

You need to contact the local authority and ask to be put through to their environmental department. You should explain what has happened in respect of the plaster and that you consider it could be dangerous. They should make an inspection. If it is unsafe or preventative works are required then they will make a declaration to this effect and send it to the landlord. You should keep a copy. If the landlord does not carry out the works after this then it’s potentially something for which he could be prosecuted.

In addition, you should formally write to the the landlord (copying in the agent) specifying the disrepair, making a list of the reasonable repair required and ask that he make those repairs within a reasonable time (eg. 14 days). State that if the landlord does not make the repair within that time you will pay to have the repairs made and will seek to claim the expense from him and are prepared to make an application to court if necessary.

If the landlord does not make the repair you can pay to have it done and then write formally to him requesting the payment of the cost, again within a reasonable time). If he does not pay you can issue a claim for the money yourself through Her Majesty Courts Service's online service: Write to them first asking for the money and stating that you will issue a claim if it is not received.

Its pretty cheap and straightforward to use.

Open a file, send letters by registered post, keep copies of everything for use in any claim you may choose to issue at a later date.

If it’s too expensive to pay for yourself then you should claim it is a breach of contract and state that if it is not remedied then you will terminate your tenancy (but only if you consider that this problem denies you the substantial whole of the benefit of the contract) and state that you will sue him for damages and expenses.

Please remember to RATE my answer OK SERVICE, GOOD SERVICE OR EXCELLENT SERVICE or above if you are satisfied that you have received the correct legal advice (even if it is not the answer you wanted to hear), otherwise I do not receive any credit for answering your question.

If you are not willing to rate my answer as OK SERVICE, GOOD SERVICE OR EXCELLENT SERVICE then allow me to assist further by replying asking what clarification you require rather than rating my answer at levels below.

If you wish for me to provide you with further guidance on any question you may have in the future then please submit a further question to the board requesting me either by my profile or by marking your question. “FAO Tom”.

Kind regards,

Thomas and other Property Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

he's aware of that from months as I sent him pictures and he ddi nothing

also he ignored me until I decided to stop paying rent, now he has a possession order but I already left the property and I am preparing all this to counterclaim after him


If that's the case then you're going to have to take your chances at Court with your defence and counter claim.

Generally, you're only as good as your evidence so you really need to start collating evidence of the disrepair and how it affecting your ability to safely enjoy the tenancy.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

but shall I not also seek the environmental agency report t osupport it?


You can do, yes, but it would have been best for you to do this at the time. They can only confirm the state of the walls now. You need to demonstrate the state of the walls when you were there. It will help but it may not be accepted by the court as conclusive evidence of your right to terminate.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

well I have time stamped pictures and same pictures were sent to the landlord to make him aware of the problem

that shall be sufficient

It's worth a try, yes.