Thanks for your reply.
The fact that your rent is placed with a third party does not preclude the landlord from apply for an order for possession following service of s8 notice under the Housing ACt 1988 for rent arrears. You would though be entitled to make representations at the hearing as to your position on repair and rent.
The heating issue is of such a length that provided you can show you have acted reasonably then they probably will not grant an order for possession. By acting reasonably you must have informed the landlord or the action you have taken in depositing it with a third party and making clear the terms of its release.
To substantiate your position I would write to the landlord stating:-
1. where the money is held
2. By who and that there status is holding as stakeholder
3. The disrepair and the works required to be carried out in order to release the rent to him.
4. that you shall provide him with a letter from the university regarding the monies
If he does issue proceedings then you will have to collate your evidence - statement from the University that they are holding the money, that they do so as stakeholder, that you have not attempted to recover the money and that they are aware of your reasons for lodging it with them. Also produce documentary evidence that you have kept the landlord informed of the status of the rent and your requirements to release it.
This should be sufficient for a Court not to make an order for possession and to compel the landlord to carry out the necessary repair.
The alternative in the beginning, which I would have advised, would have been to continue to pay rent to the landlord but writing to him specifying the disrepair and asking that he repair it within a specified period of time otherwise you will make the repairs for him and sue him for the money. This could have been done quite easily via www.moneyclaim.gov.uk
In many ways it would be best for you if he does issue proceedings so that you can make pleadings to the Court.
I would also advise calling the environmental health department to see if they will make an inspection and possibly serving an enforcement notice upon the landlord to further increase the pressure on him.
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