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Hello, how are you? Welcome to JustAnswer. My name is***** am a solicitor and I will be assisting you today. Please note there may be delays in responding as I am away helping other customers but I will get back to you as soon as I can. I may also need to ask you some clarifying questions to determine the legal position.
Thanks for your message, I am sorry to hear this happened. What was the cause of the flood, was it adverse weather or something the landlord did (either by act or omission)?
Ok thank you. In respect of that in itself, you would not be able to claim from the landlord unless he has failed in his duties as a landlord. What I mean is, if he failed to take steps to ensure that despite adverse weather conditions, the property was suitable and fit for purpose so as not to be affected by any adverse weather conditions. But if the landlord has complied with his obligations i.e. the roof is in working order etc then you cannot claim against him for that.
Where you claim against the landlord may be if he is taking an unreasonable period of time to rectify the situation. Your landlord is responsible for repairs if the home is affected by flooding. Your landlord is legally responsible for protecting you and your belongings during this time. You might be able to get a temporary rent reduction if you can’t use every room due to the repairs ongoing. If this is the case then you may take court action.
I hope this helps. Thank you again for visiting JustAnswer, please let me know if you need me to clarify anything or if you have any additional questions. I am happy to help.
What is reasonable is fact specific and not enshrined in law. I cannot therefore answer that conclusively, but you certainly can state what is unreasonable. From your initial post you mentioned it taking a month and a half. That in my opinion is unreasonable, but then you need to factor in issues such as from when the landlord was aware of the issues what steps/actions did he take. If he acted immediately but has had issues sourcing contractors etc then you cannot say it is unreasonable. But if he has delayed then you can say it is unreasonable.
Yes you can take court action if it has impacted your health due to the landlord being unreasonable. Under the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018 landlord’s must ensure their homes are safe, healthy and free from things that could cause serious harm. If rented houses and flats are not ‘fit for human habitation’, you can take the landlord to court. The court can make the landlord carry out repairs or put right health and safety problems. The court can also make the landlord pay compensation to you.
I do not think it is worth taking to court but another expert may have a different opinion. The basis for my conclusion is due to them taking action albeit they have negotiated and ultimately gone with a friend. His defence is he has taken action. However, if you wished to proceed, you can find a solicitor here https://solicitors.lawsociety.org.uk/ but you would not need one and can take court action yourself if you wanted.
In that case, what you need to do is write them a formal “Letter Before Action”. In this letter you will need to state the amount you are seeking to recover and the reasons why. You will also need to give them a deadline to raise the payment by, usually it is 14 days in which to receive payment.
If payment is not received within 14 days, then you will need to issue a claim against them in the small claims court. You can do this by visiting this site https://www.gov.uk/make-money-claim
Or you can do it by post by using form N1 which you can find here https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/form-n1-claim-form-cpr-part-7 and posting it to:
County Court Money Claims Centre
PO Box 527
I attach a template letter you can use if you want. You will need to edit it to tailor it to your situation.
I cannot say whether you would win or not, as unfortunately litigation is not that predictable. But I can say you have grounds to bring a claim if it has impacted your health and it can be directly attributable to the conduct of the landlord. You would have prospects.