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Remus2004, Barrister
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 71138
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice.
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We are replacing the kitchen work top in the ceiling above

Customer Question

We are replacing the kitchen work top in the ceiling above this week but it's been leaking for two weeks. The heating has also been on and off for three months. I feel for the tenant and can see his point of view but is it legal for him to withhold rent?
If he is in the right legally then what would be the best approach to this? His three other joint and several tenants have paid. We've installed electric heaters throughout the flat now to make up for the buildings failing boiler which needs replacing.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  Remus2004 replied 2 years ago.
How can I help with this please?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hello a tenan won't pay rent because the heating in his flat has been faulty ceiling is leaking. We have fixed the heating and are fixing the leaking sink in the flat above causing the leak. What are his legal rights re. Withholding rent? Thanks.
Expert:  Remus2004 replied 2 years ago.
How long has it been like this?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
6 weeks on and off with the leak. We fixed it but it came back. Two weeks without heating which is now fixed.
Expert:  Remus2004 replied 2 years ago.
He can't just with hold rent to punish you.
What he could do is do the work himself and deduct the cost from the rent if he could show that you weren't acting swiftly enough but that doesn't seem to be what he is doing.
If he is just trying to punish you be with holding rent and that isn't lawful.
That said, whatever the legal position, he is withholding rent. You can recover from his deposit. If that is inadequate then you would have to sue.
Can I clarify anything for you?