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Where do we stand with landlord?

3 replies

OnZephyrstdayofXmas · 02/12/2004 12:01

Hi all! We have been in our house 2 years. We have generally been good with the rent and have looked after the house. When we moved in there were some damp patches on the walls which they promised to come and sort. They came and cut a hole in the dining room floor and stuck a vent in it. Didnt make a difference. I painted the rooms in July and the paint is peeling off again where its still damp. Also we are supposed to have a garden. It was a state when we moved in so we cleared it all out and planted stuff. Shortly after we were told there were rats in our garden because other tenants are leaving their rubbish in the alley at the end of our garden. The council came out, put poison down and we never heard anything else so now the garden is a jungle again and the rats have come back.
The landlord says that the garden is down to us and we should be looking after it but i'm not going out to clear it when there's probably dead rats in it!!
Also at the front of the house there is a hole in the pavement - which they said they'd fix. It fills up with mud and rain so we cant get in and out of the house without going through the mud - which is ruining the floors.
Can we refuse to pay rent until they sort all this out? We dont really know where we stand legally with this....
TIA! x

OP posts:
WigandRobe · 02/12/2004 13:34

Message deleted

winnie1 · 02/12/2004 13:45

OnZephyrstdayofXmas, disrepair and with holding rent has come up recently and I apologise but I've cut and paste(d) my previous response:

Firstly it depends on your tenancy agreement. Protected tenants and local authority and registered social landlords tenants have the right to carry out improvements themselves, with their landlord's written consent.
If negotiation fails the tenant could take one or more of the following courses of action:-

You can use the rent to pay for repairs. BUT remember that this is a risky course of action, unless the correct procedure is carefully followed. The tenant must not simply withhold rent

to use rent to pay for repairs, or to offset the cost of repairs against arrears, your sister must carefully follow (in order) the steps below:-

give the landlord notice of the disrepair and a reasonable time to remedy it; then

inform the landlord (preferably in writing) that she will do the repair her unless the landlord complies with her/his obligations; then

allow a further reasonable period for the landlord to do the work; then

obtain three estimates for the cost of the work from reputable builders; then

write to the landlord again, enclosing copies of the estimates and reminding him of his obligation to do the work, giving a further reasonable period to carry it out. The letter should warn that, otherwise, the tenant will do the work herself and deduct the cost from rent; then, if there is no response

arrange for the contractor who gave the lowest estimate to do the work, and obtain (and send to the landlord) receipts, with a request for payment; then

if the landlord does not pay, the tenant may deduct the cost from the rent (but not other charges such as service charges), then send the landlord a breakdown of the amount and period of the rent to be withheld.

As you can see this is a lengthy process and it may be in your sisters interest to simply start negotiating with her landlord to get the work he has agreed needs doing done sooner.

Beyond this comes

take court action

get the local authority to take action

contact the local government or independent housing ombudsman

. HTH & goodluck

OnZephyrstdayofXmas · 06/12/2004 10:30

thanks to you both for the advice.
Here's the problem with the outside pavement.... our house is an old terrace cottage of about 10 in a row on both sides of the road. THe 'pavement' is only about 1.5' and is level with the 'road' - the road being a gravel/mud track full of potholes - the reason being that our side of the street is rented houses all owned by a building company, the houses on rth e other side are private. Neither the council nor the landlords will do anything about the state of the road/pavement because they can't agree on who should pay for it!!!! How ridiculous is that? Our landlord did say to us when we moved in that they would level off the bit outside our front door to stop us having to walk threough a big muddy puddle to get in and out but never did - therefore their carpet is pretty much ruined as the front door is in the front room. We have already had the carpet cleaned twice and have now laid floorboards to stop it getting worse. Can they charge us for the carpet damage when we leave?

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