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Someone please end my nightmare RE: landlord / property woes

(2 Posts)
EverySingleStar Tue 06-Oct-09 20:52:00

Okay - this might be long so brace yourselves!

We moved into a new build property in September 2008, signed a 12-month agreement (shorthold tenancy). In October we developed a leak through the lounge ceiling coming from directly below the bath. We had various people come and look at it (although it took 3 months!) and it seemed to be finished. We went away over Christmas so it sat unused for quite awhile.

In March it began leaking again, we contacted the same maintenance man's number we were given before and he didn't respond for 8 weeks after being prompted through various channels. We complained to the estate agency who gave us the number of the head of the company who built the property and managed it.

He sent out various people in May 2009 who tried to fix it 3 times. Nothing worked. We kept complaining, and withheld rent for May, June, and July. We went away in July and were told that the property would need extensive building work when we returned (ripping out the bathroom and replacing everything) by one of the (helpful) builders. When we returned, the head of the company changed his mind and said it just needed to be plastered over...hmm

So they came back in August 09 to replace the bath panel, regrout tiles, and plaster over the pipes. All fine until a week ago when it started to leak AGAIN. angry

Are we within our rights to leave this property with no notice? We owe £550 in past rent that we never came to an agreement over as far as compensation goes, as well as this month's rent (£900). Our security deposit is £900. We want to leave the property without notice this week or next due to this horrendous experience, pay the £550 owed and say 'take the deposit as further payment for owed rent.' Are we able to do this? We feel due to the problem we could ask for compensation, but we just want to be short of all of this now - the company has been dreadful as far as customer service goes, and I've had to take EXTENSIVE time off work and loss of earnings to be in when the maintenance guys come round.

Can't go to CAB within 2 weeks (I am leaving the country in 2 weeks and want to get this sorted before leaving) - they gave us an appointment for November.

Please if anyone has any advice or has been in this situation before HELP!!!! sad

LIZS Tue 06-Oct-09 21:14:08

By not paying you are, and in fact have been since May, in breach of the tenancy agreement and weaken your argument for repairs and legal standpoint should the landlord pursue you for the arrears and payment in lieu of notice. tbh it should have been dealt with by the agent and their representative been present during repairs if needs be. The deposit cannot be used against unpaid rent as it is held in a secure account for damages etc. You could try to speak to Shelter but you are on very shaky ground unless you settle up.

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