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To ask for money off my rent (long)

(36 Posts)
Blueemeraldagain Wed 15-Feb-17 11:28:04

I was wondering if you guys could help me decide if I am justified in asking for a discount on my rent, and if so how to go about asking.

My DP and I moved into our new flat in September.

On January 24th (Tuesday) the shower (no bath) broke. He replied on Wednesday and said he could get someone to look at it tomorrow. My DP and I were not available so we asked for Friday.

A guy came with the landlord on Friday and had a look. He said he would get the part and try to come back the next day.

We did not hear from him or the landlord again until we contacted the landlord on February 6th (13 days after the fault was reported). He asked for the serial and model number as the shower was still under guarantee.

The next day he messaged to say the engineer was coming on Friday. The repair company contacted us to say they would arrive between 12-3. My DP left work early and was home at 11:45. At 3:10 we rang the office and the woman on the phone said the engineer had arrived at 11:15 and left. We arranged for him to come back on Tueaday (yesterday).

He came and fixed the shower. He got the electronics wet while fixing it (didn't turn off the stopcock) so said to leave it a while before turning it on.

I left the shower for 7 hours, turned it on and it worked! Tried again an hour or so after that and it is broken again.

Spoke to the landlord and then the repair company again and the engineer can't come back until Tuesday 21st.

Phew.

Right, so we will have had no in house washing facilities for A MONTH! Luckily we both have gym membership and showers at work (we live very close to both) but that's not the point. My DP will also need to take another morning off work (we both work in schools so we're home yesterday).

I also realise the landlord doesn't control the repair company but he has engaged them to carry out this work and they are lacking.

Landlords are legally obliged to provide washing facilities according to The Landlord and Tenant Act from 1985 which overrules any tennancy agreements made.

AIBU to ask for a rent discount and, if not, how do I go about it?

Sorry for the (boring) essay.

Whatthefreakinwhatnow Wed 15-Feb-17 11:32:18

www.citizensadvice.org.uk/housing/repairs-in-rented-housing/disrepair-what-are-your-options-if-you-are-a-private-rented-tenant/withholding-rent-because-of-disrepair/

Don't withold rent, the above link explains why. Do you have an agent?

LIZS Wed 15-Feb-17 11:33:01

Presumably you do have hot water in the basin even if you cannot shower. It is unfortunate but if he is claiming under the guarantee it may limit who he can get to come back to repair it. You could speak to Shelter but don't just withhold money as that could lead to eviction.

PleasantPhesant Wed 15-Feb-17 11:33:14

I would say yabu to ask for a discount.

Landlords seem to be a bit of a red flag to many on here so I may be in the minority.

But, LL has tried to get the company to get on with the work. It's not the LL's fault really. You or the LL could have suggested getting some other company to sort the shower earlier imo.

MrsHathaway Wed 15-Feb-17 11:33:41

I don't have experience in this area (haven't rented for a long time).

I think though that you approach it as a rebate on your rent for the affected period in consideration of the additional costs you are incurring as a result of the fault. So that would be eg the value of a half-day's leave twice plus travelling time to the gym for showers when you wouldn't have gone otherwise, perhaps.

I would say, though, that every time you delay it - even though you are doing so completely fairly - you can't claim that day. So it will be a total of 28 days minus the day you delayed by = 27 days, plus any days they continue to delay. Why did you wait a week and a half to chase it up, by the way?

Good luck. What a massive ball ache!

MrsHathaway Wed 15-Feb-17 11:34:29

Oh yes, don't just not pay it! Contact him asking if you can have a rebate or reduction!

Blueemeraldagain Wed 15-Feb-17 11:43:16

Oh no, I would never just withhold money from him! I meant how would I go about phrasing my request.

There is hot water in the sink but that's not enough surely?! Legally we need a shower/bath.

We waited a week and a half because we wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt having initially responded so quickly.

I understand why he is using this company but they are a bit shit and should we bear the brunt of that?

Good idea about asking Shelter.

LIZS Wed 15-Feb-17 11:51:03

No I think legally he only has to provide hot running water, not necessarily a bath or shower.

RebootYourEngine Wed 15-Feb-17 11:57:44

So you have a sink and hot water? Then the Landlord is providing you with washing facilities.

harderandharder2breathe Wed 15-Feb-17 12:02:21

I rent and I really wouldn't have left so long without chasing it up! I would've been on to them every day until a date was set for the repair.

user892 Wed 15-Feb-17 12:04:01

He's trying to fix the shower. You have a sink and hot running water. It's unreasonable to ask for a discount.

thethoughtfox Wed 15-Feb-17 12:13:03

It's never OK to ask for a discount.

anonbecauseiwanna Wed 15-Feb-17 12:17:58

Usually I'm on the side of the landlord but in this case I bet if it was his shower it would have been fixed a damn site quicker than a month!

foodtime Wed 15-Feb-17 12:32:48

What the hell are people smoking here. The landlord is absolutely in the wrong.

In any other Industry where a business is providing such a shockingly bad service to a client/customer they would be shot down.

To the People saying the OP has a sink and hot water so should be happy. Wow

PigletWasPoohsFriend Wed 15-Feb-17 12:35:27

To the People saying the OP has a sink and hot water so should be happy.

Where have people said they should be happy?

People have pointed out that legally he may have done nothing wrong.

Blueemeraldagain Wed 15-Feb-17 13:01:46

Ok. So IABU to ask for a discount. Fair. But people really think a sink and hot water is enough?!

This (my bold):

"The landlord has to provide you with running water and sanitation facilities to use it. You need to have a working toilet and a shower or a bathroom. You need to have at least one sink where you can do dishes and wash up. These facilities can come in unconventional interior layout, but they must be present or your landlord breaks the law."

is taken from www.thetenantsvoice.co.uk/advice_from_us/landlord-repairs-basins-sinks-bath-and-other-sanitary-fittings/

MatildaTheCat Wed 15-Feb-17 13:05:34

When the boiler in my Btl flat died and took ten days to get replaced I voluntarily gave them £100 back for their trouble. I think it's very reasonable to ask.

specialsubject Wed 15-Feb-17 13:05:56

you can ask. A landlord should have home emergency cover for this kind of thing, as you have no backup (which is a daft set up in a house, rented or owned).

It can take far too long to get things fixed, especially with the kind of messing about that you have had. Your landlord should have chased it up , 'owned the problem' as the manager babble says. You also certainly need to tell him that you want a competent person back, not a monkey who doesn't know that you turn the water off first.

Blueemeraldagain Wed 15-Feb-17 13:10:33

Thanks for all the advice so far.

I know, specialsubject. It's an electric power shower! At least he turned the fuse off first.

Apparently (according to Shelter) a landlord must provide a bath or a shower and must keep things outlined in Inventory in "good working order".

She also said there is a process by which a tenant, after a written request and a certain amount of time, can have the shower fixed and deduct the amount from the rent.

namechange20050 Wed 15-Feb-17 13:18:16

Hello op. Former letting agent here. A month without a shower is totally unacceptable & the landlord should, as a good will gesture, be offering you a rent reduction for this period. I'd say 10% is fair.

expatinscotland Wed 15-Feb-17 13:22:17

I'd ask. Can't believe people think hot water and a sink are acceptable.

Blueemeraldagain Wed 15-Feb-17 13:24:21

Those who would ask for a discount can I ask how you would phrase it?

I don't want to piss him off so he gives us notice.

MrsHathaway Wed 15-Feb-17 13:31:50

It's a tricky one. What are the terms of your lease? You can't usually end a contract early because the other party complains you aren't sticking to its terms!

I think you ought to be a bit noisier about the inconvenience first. Do you have his e-mail address? Drop an e-mail confirming that you're taking time off work to wait in for the engineer on Tuesday 21st and point out how much it's putting you out. You can be sympathetic about the problems with the guarantee/supplier etc, you don't need to be aggressive or anything. Just be firm that this is a massive PITA and you're doing everything you can at your end to get it sorted ASAP.

Hastalapasta Wed 15-Feb-17 13:31:58

I am a LL, and have given a discount before (house was infested with fleas, tenants had to stay in a b&b whilst it was sorted, now no pets are allowed)! An email saying that as the shower was out of use for so long, you had to find alternatives which was inconvenient. A suggestion of 10% rental discount as a gesture of good faith would be appreciated.

Hastalapasta Wed 15-Feb-17 13:32:59

Oh, and mention the loss of income too!

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