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Jeremy Aldermartin
Jeremy Aldermartin, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 8303
Experience:  Dual qualified Solicitor and Attorney
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I rented a 2 bed flat on London from 200620, on a 12 months

Customer Question

I rented a 2 bed flat on London from 200620, on a 12 months lease
Rental is GBP 500 week, e.g. GBP 2166.67 monthly
5 weeks deposit paid
Rent paid monthly
The complex was new in 2018
It’s been problem with the hot water and heating pretty much from we moved in. As summer 2020 was very warm I’d didn’t caused significant problems at that time
It turned out it was very well known amongst the flat owners in the complex that it’s been significant problems with heating, hot water and leaks from the complex was new.
It’s a lot of documentation between owners and building company related to all the problems. As an example the boiler for the whole complex was not working for half a year and a temporary boiler was installed outside the complex.
Until November 2020 the landlord managed the flat. We been in contact numerous times without any resolution.
The landlord has admitted that the previous tenant had to shower in their office.
In November 2020 both the hot water and heating complete vanished. The landlord could not help and I as the tenant had to contact the heating company. After around a week the manager to get the hot water and heating back again. The reason was a blocked filter. The heating company said the landlord had neglected a service plan, which would have caught the problem before it took away the hot water. The landlord accepted to sign up a service plan with the heating company and send me documentation when it was done. No such documentation is received. The landlord accepted to not receive rent for the period the problem with no hot water and heating occurred. I calculated this to be a bit over a week and paid GBP 1500 in rent rather than the GBP 2166.67. Three months later the landlord came back and said I underpaid with GBP 452.97, as they now said the only would waive the rent for three days. I paid in the GBP 452.97 in February to not hear more about it.
From November 2020 a real estate agent took over the management.
I chased the agent since November numerous times, however they didn’t bother to respond.
It’s been a heavy water leak from roof into neighbouring flats. Engineers had to access my flat numerous of times.
The neighbour flat was so water damaged that they had to strip down the whole flat to dry it and rebuilt.
This work has caused a lot of noise and dust. As I have another flat in Scotland we had to leave the London flat in December 2020.
The work in the neighbouring London flat is still ongoing. At the moment it’s stripped down, and they drying it. The drying sound is like a nice vacuum cleaner sound 24/7, making it hard to sleep in the flat. A month ago I planed to stay in the flat but gave up after a week. The owner of neighbouring flat estimate the drying to be completed in two months.
I ceased the rent payment in March as the landlord and agent seems not to be bothered to respond. I told them that I felt two months worth of rent was an acceptable compensation, however landlord refused. The responded the GBP 215 compensated in November was more than enough, and told we would not die without hot water.
For a couple of weeks ago the agent indicated we could reach a deal where the lease was renewed at a lower rate to compensate. They said I should wait with rent payment of outstanding rent until they have heard back from the landlord. The “third month” of rent was due the 200521.
A couple of days ago the agent came back to me saying the landlord would not discuss in any way around compensation or renewal.
I’m currently in Scotland and this leaves me in a very difficult situation. It would not be enough time to view new flats, sign a deal and arrange for moving in just three weeks (the lease expires 200621).
A couple of days ago the agent reach out to me that the flat beneath had water ingress they suspect was coming from my flat, thus the need to enter and asked for permission. I granted permission as I felt I had no other choice re the alleged water leak.
Today an engineer attended and checked out
JA: What steps have you taken so far? Have you prepared or filed any paperwork?
Customer: Hbhhhhhhh
JA: Where is the flat located?
Customer: London
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: hhhh
Submitted: 15 days ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  Virtual-mod replied 14 days ago.

I've been working hard to find a Professional to assist you with your question, but sometimes finding the right Professional can take a little longer than expected.

I wonder whether you're ok with continuing to wait for an answer. If you are, please let me know and I will continue my search. If not, feel free to let me know and I will cancel this question for you.

Thank you!
Expert:  Jeremy Aldermartin replied 14 days ago.

Hi thank you for your message, please note that I will look to provide an accurate but nevertheless speedy reply to your inquiry. I am sorry to hear about your situation but I will endeavour to help you today.

Expert:  Jeremy Aldermartin replied 14 days ago.

So in essence you have continued to withhold rent due to the lack of repairs and are now in rent arrears?

Customer: replied 14 days ago.
Expert:  Jeremy Aldermartin replied 14 days ago.

I see, well in terms of the arrears you do owe this money and cannot refuse to pay rent because of the lack of repairs. In term of a claim you may have against the landlord you do have that, clearly the flat has not been occupiable and as such the landlord should have provided alternative accommodation. Therefore, you can speak to the landlord/agent and say if he pursues you for rent arrears you will counter claim for a breach of contract on the basis the flat was not habitable for most of the lease term and therefore, alternative accommodation should have been provided or offered. I trust this assists you in understanding your position however, should you have any supplementary inquiries, do not hesitate to ask and I will look to clarify or expand on my previous response.

Expert:  Jeremy Aldermartin replied 14 days ago.

I thank you for visiting the website and for the opportunity to assist you with your inquiry. If you have further questions, inquiries or queries let me know post haste and I will attempt to answer them. Otherwise I bid you a good day