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John
John, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 2130
Experience:  10 years legal experience
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Our flat was flooded and it has taken a month and a half for

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Our flat was flooded and it has taken a month and a half for our landlord to fix the flooring. There has been an impact to our health and disruption to our living situation during the whole of August but the landlord isn't willing to offer compensation for that period.
JA: What steps have you taken so far? Have you prepared or filed any paperwork?
Customer: We have just been trying to negotiate with the landlord but are considering taking them to court
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: They have only offered 50% reduction of the days when the repair was happening

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.

Customer: replied 15 days ago.
Hi John, thank you

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)?

Customer: replied 15 days ago.
adverse weather
Customer: replied 15 days ago.
The flat was damp, there was mould on the walls and the heating and dishwasher haven't been working since it happened. We asked for a 50% reduction to rent to cover the general disruption and the electricity costs of having a dehumidifier running but they have declined this.

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.

Customer: replied 15 days ago.
what is considered an unreasonable period of time to rectify in this case? and could i also take them to court if there was an impact on our health during the time in which the problem wasn't solved?

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.

Customer: replied 15 days ago.
ok thank you. I know they had different contractors that were offered by the agency but they didn't want to go with them and instead got a friend to do it, who by the way turned up in our house unannounced on a bank holiday to start the works. With this in mind do you think it's worth taking them to court? And would i need to hire a lawyer for this?

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

Salford

Greater Manchester

M5 0BY

I attach a template letter you can use if you want. You will need to edit it to tailor it to your situation.

Customer: replied 15 days ago.
Thank you, ***** ***** helpful. One last thing - would we be likely to win the case if during a month there was an impact to our health (asthma problems) ?

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.

John and other Property Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 15 days ago.
ok, thanks for your help