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Joy Nicholas
Joy Nicholas, Lawyer
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 2679
Experience:  Lawyer
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Stuart, I’m having issues with our property that we rent the

This answer was rated:

Hi Stuart,
JA: Hi. How can I help?
Customer: Hey Pearl, I’m having issues with our property that we rent the landlord is not doing anything to sort it out, for months now, and at this point we don’t know what to do.
JA: Because laws vary from place to place, can you tell me where the property is located?
Customer: Streatham
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: No, we got proof only our conversations on email about the shower problems and numerous other problems in the flat.
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: we just need help on what’s the next step. And if we need to stop paying rent, put it on hold. Since it’s been 6 months now we are in the property and nothing is done. We do have an appointment with the council on 7 July.
Hello 

Welcome to JA.

Please note that this is not a chat service therefore you may experience delays.

Why is the landlord not doing anything about the issues mentioned?

What is the length of your tenancy agreement?

Customer: replied 18 days ago.
He just seems to be blaming everyone else or anything else rather then addressing the issues, not caring, in responsible. We pay our rent always on time, we emailed him with the issue literally few weeks from when we moved in, our shower regulators are not working at all it’s either boiling hot or freezing cold water, and there is no pressure at all. The landlord he told us to get in touch with the Thames water, which we did, and the engineer from their side told us straight away, that it’s not a problem from their side at all. And that it seems like the landlord just needs to fix the showers/ temperature handles.
Customer: replied 18 days ago.
Our contract is for 15 months.

Hello

Thanks for the further information.

I will review and return to you today.

You will receive an email when I send a response.

Thanks

Customer: replied 18 days ago.
When we mentioned to our Landlord that it’s been 6 Months and the issues are not being dealt with, and that at this point we are going to seek help elsewhere. He rudely replied saying he will be asking the agent to serve notice so that he could recover the property within 2 months rather then waiting for another 6 months, so it feels like he is threatening us rather then fixing our problems in the flat.
Customer: replied 18 days ago.
My question I guess would be, what do we do now from here? At the end of the day we are looking after the property like it’s ours, and some things are just not in our hands to do/fix. Do you think it would be an option to hold the rent, till he sorts the issues out for us? Or that’s something I shouldn’t even consider.
Customer: replied 18 days ago.
Shall we be reporting this somewhere else as well as council?
Hi

Thanks for the further information and your patience.

Is your query for an expert called Stuart?

Customer: replied 18 days ago.
I don’t mind, I just need legal answers/advice, Thanks.

I assume yes then am afraid I will have to opt out so Stuart can deal with the matter.

Thanks

Hello, this is Jim and welcome to JustAnswer.

I am one of the legal experts on the site and I am a dual-qualified solicitor (UK & Republic of Ireland)

Thank you for the question, I am reviewing the details now and I will aim to resolve it as quickly as possible for you.

Sorry to hear of the issue.

No, it's only the council who deals with housing disrepair issues. But you should use a law firm (we are not a law firm, we are an internet forum) to sue for specific performance (ie. force the landlord to carry out the repairs) and also to claim compensation.

The council's housing department should be notified of the issues you have - I note you say you are speaking to them on 7th July which is fine. They will want to inspect the property. They may serve an improvement notice on the landlord to force them to carry out the works.

My view however is you use a law firm to pursue a disrepair claim. You may well be offered no win no fee terms - meaning you pay nothing up front. The lawyer pays the court costs and you are also protected from having to pay legal costs if you lose.

With a disrepair claim you can also claim compensation for loss of enjoyment.

I would not recommend you withhold rent because this then gives the landlord a reason to evict you. Far better to use a lawyer to sue the landlord and claim some rent back, with compensation on top.

As for the law, in UK law, landlords must ensure the property is in good repair under Section 11 to 16 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985. Further, a recent law came in to force to provide more protection to tenants, which is the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018 is now in force - the house or flat needs to be healthy, safe and fit for human habitation (free from things that could cause serious harm).

If they do not, they face prosecution by the local council and can be fined. It would also be a breach of contract on their part. The only situations where a tenancy can be ended are, you finish the tenancy term or there is a break clause meaning you can end the tenancy part way through. Or the landlord agrees to you leaving early - usually if another tenant can be found. You could terminate but you would need evidence of repeated requests to the landlord to fix and they do nothing. If you terminate then they could sue and you may have to defend the claim in a civil court.

The Local Authority Environmental Health Officers have powers under the Housing Act 2004. They have a duty to ensure that properties in their area are in a habitable condition, and will serve improvement notices on landlords of properties which are assessed, under the new Housing Health and Safety Rating System as having ‘category 1 hazards’.

If those notices are ignored, the council has the option to prosecure the landlord in the magistrates court - which can lead to a criminal conviction.

Similar powers are available to Local Authorities under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 if the property is considered a threat to public health.

If you have to sue the landlord, you may want to use a no win no fee lawyer - there is nothing to pay up front and you are also protected from legal costs if you lose.

Here are a few choices for you if you would like to use a lawyer (if you ask for the housing team):

1. Brown Turner Ross, tel: 01704 542002 (housing department)

2. Stephensons Solicitors, tel: 0161(###) ###-####/p>

3. Duncan Lewis, tel: 0333(###) ###-####/p>

Apologies, I hadn't realised you requested a particular expert - I will need to opt out for them to pick this up for you.

Customer: replied 18 days ago.
Jim, this is a lot of helpful advice and information you provided me, I’m really grateful. I didn’t request no one in particular! I’m more then happy to continue speaking to you. Apologies if Im not being clear this is my first time using this.
Customer: replied 18 days ago.
you would recommend me to getting a no win no fee lawyer I understand? if the council won’t help us with this matter..
Customer: replied 18 days ago.
Once again I’m really grateful for your time and advice, as it’s my first time renting with few other friends, so not really sure how to act regarding the situation, we have been very patient it’s just been a very long time that nothing has been done. And it’s sad, as it’s the basic of human needs. Electricity, water, heating.
Hi, thank you for your message. Can I confirm what further steps have you taken?
Customer: replied 17 days ago.
Hi, Well as advised by Jim, we will be going for no win no fee option and go from there.
Hi, ok. Glad to hear. You can use the law society find a solicitor site to find a lawyer. Best wishes
Joy Nicholas, Lawyer
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 2679
Experience: Lawyer
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