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Ash, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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Property Law
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Can I claim loss of rent for damage due to roof leak?

Hi there, I'm a leaseholder... Show More
Hi there, I'm a leaseholder of a top floor studio flat in London (conversion). The roof has leaked periodically and ongoing since I've been in possession. I arranged roof repairs in 2008 and again in 2010. In 2011 the managing agents changed, the leaks came back and I paid for subsequent repairs in 2011 but by that time there was damage to walls in my studio and bathroom ceiling (plaster damage, water staining, small hole in ceiling). I was preparing to rent the studio out for the first time when the leaks came back, i asked the managing agents to look into it asap and repair, and they did so the following month, confirming with mt in writing. Not even a month later, my tenant told me the leak was back. I again notified the managing agents and it has taken until now, Feb 2014, for them to erect scaffolding, survey the roof and finally repair the leaks. In the meantime the first tenant gave notice before his term was up saying that the flat was too cold and damp. I managed to get another tenant upon the first tenant leaving, however i had to pay an estate agent's fee (the cost was over a month's rent). My second tenant, who has lived since the start of her tenancy with a water stained wall due to the managing agents slowness at rectifying the leak and therefore my inability to do repair to the plasterwork, has started asking for a rent reduction from me. I have insisted that the managing agents also repair the interior damage, which they are now doing, however my tenant is insisting on compensation/discounted rent for the time she's lived with the damp wall (c. 8 months). Can I claim this, and financial loss from my first tenant leaving, from the managing agent/freeholder? Is it worth it trying to claim? What amount can I claim if worth it?
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Alex Watts : Hello my name is XXXXX XXXXX I will help you with this. Please note that I am a working Solicitor and may be on and offline as I have to attend Court and meet with clients, even at weekends. As such you may not get an instant response when you reply, but rest assured I will be giving your question my immediate attention upon return You do not need to wait here as you will get an email when I reply.
Alex Watts : How much is your loss? Has your landlord reduced the rent please?
Customer: I am the landlord (I own the flat) and I'm renting it out to my tenant. My ground rent to my freeholder is 100p.a.
Customer: My financial loss so far is c. £1000
Customer: The freeholder hasn't reduced the ground rent and I as yet haven't reduced the rent my tenant has to pay.
Alex Watts : You need to write and set out your losses and request a refund within 14 days or say you will go to Court within 14 days. You should make sure you send this signed delivery and keep a copy. If they do not refund you then you can issue proceedings in the County Court. You can either do this online at: (but as you are abroad the system may not let you) or by completing form N1 and take it to your local County Court. The Court will then issue a claim which a copy will be sent to the Defendant who will have a limited time to defend it, if not you can enter Judgment and enforce. If the matter is defended it will be set down for a trial. If the claim is for £10,000 or less it will be a small claim and you will not need representation. Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?
Customer: Thanks for your answer. Can you clarify when the 14 days starts counting? Can you advise as to what amount I should seek to recover?
Alex Watts :

14 days would be from date you send the letter

Alex Watts :

Does that clarify?

Customer: I see, ok thanks for your help.
Alex Watts :


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