Section 11 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 says:
11 Repairing obligations in short leases.
(1)In a lease to which this section applies (as to which, see sections 13 and 14) there is implied a covenant by the lessor—
(a)to keep in repair the structure and exterior of the dwelling-house (including drains, gutters and external pipes),
(b)to keep in repair and proper working order the installations in the dwelling-house for the supply of water, gas and electricity and for sanitation (including basins, sinks, baths and sanitary conveniences, but not other fixtures, fittings and appliances for making use of the supply of water, gas or electricity), and
(c)to keep in repair and proper working order the installations in the dwelling-house for space heating and heating water.
[F1(1A)If a lease to which this section applies is a lease of a dwelling-house which forms part only of a building, then, subject to subsection (1B), the covenant implied by subsection (1) shall have effect as if—
(a)the reference in paragraph (a) of that subsection to the dwelling-house included a reference to any part of the building in which the lessor has an estate or interest; and
(b)any reference in paragraphs (b) and (c) of that subsection to an installation in the dwelling-house included a reference to an installation which, directly or indirectly, serves the dwelling-house and which either—
(i)forms part of any part of a building in which the lessor has an estate or interest; or
(ii)is owned by the lessor or under his control.
(1B)Nothing in subsection (1A) shall be construed as requiring the lessor to carry out any works or repairs unless the disrepair (or failure to maintain in working order) is such as to affect the lessee’s enjoyment of the dwelling-house or of any common parts, as defined in section 60(1) of the Landlord and Tenant Act M11987, which the lessee, as such, is entitled to use.]
(2)The covenant implied by subsection (1) (“the lessor’s repairing covenant”) shall not be construed as requiring the lessor—
(a)to carry out works or repairs for which the lessee is liable by virtue of his duty to use the premises in a tenant-like manner, or would be so liable but for an express covenant on his part,
(b)to rebuild or reinstate the premises in the case of destruction or damage by fire, or by tempest, flood or other inevitable accident, or
(c)to keep in repair or maintain anything which the lessee is entitled to remove from the dwelling-house.
(3)In determining the standard of repair required by the lessor’s repairing covenant, regard shall be had to the age, character and prospective life of the dwelling-house and the locality in which it is situated.
[F2(3A)In any case where—
(a)the lessor’s repairing covenant has effect as mentioned in subsection (1A), and
(b)in order to comply with the covenant the lessor needs to carry out works or repairs otherwise than in, or to an installation in, the dwelling-house, and
(c)the lessor does not have a sufficient right in the part of the building or the installation concerned to enable him to carry out the required works or repairs,
then, in any proceedings relating to a failure to comply with the lessor’s repairing covenant, so far as it requires the lessor to carry out the works or repairs in question, it shall be a defence for the lessor to prove that he used all reasonable endeavours to obtain, but was unable to obtain, such rights as would be adequate to enable him to carry out the works or repairs.]
(4)A covenant by the lessee for the repair of the premises is of no effect so far as it relates to the matters mentioned in subsection (1)(a) to (c), except so far as it imposes on the lessee any of the requirements mentioned in subsection (2)(a) or (c).
(5)The reference in subsection (4) to a convenant by the lessee for the repair of the premises includes a covenant—
(a)to put in repair or deliver up in repair,
(b)to paint, point or render,
(c)to pay money in lieu of repairs by the lessee, or
(d)to pay money on account of repairs by the lessor.
(6)In a lease in which the lessor’s repairing covenant is implied there is also implied a covenant by the lessee that the lessor, or any person authorised by him in writing, may at reasonable times of the day and on giving 24 hours’ notice in writing to the occupier, enter the premises comprised in the lease for the purpose of viewing their condition and state of repair.
You need to write a letter, set out your losses and request compensation within 30 days or say you will go to Court. This is called a pre-action protocol letter of claim. You should make sure you send this signed delivery and keep a copy. You must give 30 days warning before going to Court.
If they do not compensate you then you can issue proceedings in the County Court. You can either do this online at: www.moneyclaim.gov.uk or by completing form N1 https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/form-n1-claim-form-cpr-part-7 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 claim is for £10,000 or less it will be a small claim so you will not need legal representation. Over this value, you would need representation for trial.
Can I clarify anything for you about this today, please?
If you need anything further I am available for a follow up at no extra cost.