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Private Landlord Tenants Rights Your Questions

Donald asks…

Tenants rights regarding leak and blame?

Hi there,

l have taken out a tenancy agreement with a private landlord in the UK (only UK answers please) and l was notified of a serious leak. Everything was rather calm at first until my landlord tried to blame me as l could not get a hold of him due to him not answering his phone.

Now, l am unsure of my rights and would like to know what they are. Can l escape paying the rent until the property is habitable? Also l have a young child
Details of the leak: Leaking from bath and leaked into 3 flats down below myself. Causing carpets to be taken up.

Situation: Currently not living in property as l cannot have my child staying with wet concrete flooring and no carpets, so carpet grips are on the floor and really dangerous. Landlord is trying to blame myself as l couldn’t get a hold of him by phone. Can l claim two weeks money as that is how long l shall be staying away whilst works go on?
Details of the leak: Leaking from bath and leaked into 3 flats down below myself. Causing carpets to be taken up.

Situation: Currently not living in property as l cannot have my child staying with wet concrete flooring and no carpets, so carpet grips are on the floor and really dangerous. Landlord is trying to blame myself as l couldn’t get a hold of him by phone. Can l claim two weeks money as that is how long l shall be staying away whilst works go on?

Mike answers:

Hi you need to contact citizens advice.
Good Luck
ps/ Do not stop paying the rent has he might evict you.

Mandy asks…

What are my rights as a private tenant regarding repairs?

My partner lives in a studio flat, he rents it privately in surrey, he pays £600 a month for it but this does include council tax. He has had nothing but trouble since moving in with the water, firstly the taps in the kitchen refused to turn off and flooded the room, now the shower refuses to turn off so he has to leave the water supply turned off or will flood the whole place.
When he does turn it on there is no hot water. he has asked his landlord when it will be fixed but he just fobs him off saying it will be done soon, but this problem has been like this for about a month now and nothing has been done about it so far.
He has signed a contract for 6 months
What are my partners rights?
He said he would not pay rent until it has been fixed but I have told him not to do this, but what are the terms on repairs in a private rented property, I am housing association, I just ring them up and they give me a repair date, easy as that.
he went and asked his landlord on friday when it would be fixed but was told there were no plumbers in the area available, what a load of rubbish that is. Now they have gone away on holiday. Its getting to my partner and not great in the summer heat not having any water.

Any advice would be most appreciated

Mike answers:

He should never, ever, refuse to to pay the rent. Apart from providing grounds to start possession proceedings, it also weakens his hand, as a tenant, to get something done. And he does have rights.

Most importantly, he is covered by section 11 of the Landlord & Tenant Act 1985, which says -
11.
Repairing obligations in short leases.
— (1) In a lease to which this section applies there is implied a covenant by the lessor—
(a)
to keep in repair the structure and exterior of the dwelling-house (including drains, gutters and external pipes),
(b)
to keep in repair and proper working order the installations in the dwelling-house for the supply of water, gas and electricity and for sanitation (including basins, sinks, baths and sanitary conveniences, but not other fixtures, fittings and appliances for making use of the supply of water, gas or electricity), and
(c)
to keep in repair and proper working order the installations in the dwelling-house for space heating and heating water.

Now there are a few things that he can do as the landlord is quite clearly in breach of this. In particular, he can seek a court order requiring repairs to be carried out and, at the same time, he can get compensation for what has happened so far.

He can do this in one of two ways. Either he can contact Shelter (get the details of the nearest branch from the first link below) or he can contact one of the no-win-no-fee solicitors. Details of those that deal with housing law in his area can be found from the second link.

As a complete alternative, he could contact Environmental Health, who will try to get something done, but their powers are a little more long winded.

Joseph asks…

What’s my rights as a private tenant?

I moved in to a privately rented flat in summer this year and pay £800 a month, its my first time so I didn’t know what sort of things to look out for.now I notice signs of damp and it seems like an old problem which has reappeared due to winter.the damp has ruined some of my personal wooden baskets with black fungi type stuff.it’s a nightmare as the flat is always freezing cold regardless of heating and it’s only October because the windows are not double glazed. I don’t know what to do,I’m sure the landlord would do anything and what are my rights.I’m dreading the cold months.please if anyone has any word of advise.

Mike answers:

“I’m sure the landlord would do anything”…That’s great and I hope you’re right. Just tell the landlord that you have a mold problem and ask him to fix it. You might also mention the dampness and the cold while you’re at it.

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