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Thomas
Thomas, Lawyer
Category: UK Law
Satisfied Customers: 6296
Experience:  BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
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In a property where the heating is not working at all and the

Customer Question

In a property where the heating is not working at all and the landlord has known this since shortly after the tenancy began, and where the tenant has placed rent with a third party to be released on resolution, (3 months unpaid and still no heating as the landlord refuses to pay to get it fixed)....if the landlord takes us to court for rent arrears - do you think we have acted correctly and would you suggest we do anything else please?

We can't afford to take the landlord to court but will if necessary attend to plead our case if the landlord takes us to court for possession.

We have a 6 month assured shorthold tenancy. Many thanks in advance.
Submitted: 3 years ago via InBrief.
Category: UK Law
Expert:  Thomas replied 3 years ago.

Hi,

 

Who advised you to place rent with a third party?

 

Who is the third party?

 

Did the landlord take a deposit and have you received details of the tenancy deposit scheme in to which this has been placed?

 

Kind regards,

 

Tom

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Hi Tom

A solicitor advised us to place the rent with a third party. As we can't afford a solicitor, I asked at work and now the legal team for my place of work (a major University with a lot of commercial and residential land and property) is holding it. They are not solicitors as such but are unbiased and reputable.

Yes we paid a month's rent in advance and also 6 weeks deposit which is held under the TDS, we have the certificate.

Thanks, Judie
Expert:  Thomas replied 3 years ago.

Hi Judie,

 

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.

 

If this is useful please kindly click accept so that I may be rewarded for my time. It will be gratefully received and you will be free to ask follow up questions.


Kind regards,

 

Tom

Thomas, Lawyer
Category: UK Law
Satisfied Customers: 6296
Experience: BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
Thomas and 3 other UK Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Hi Tom, how much would you charge if you were able to represent us? We are in Reading too. I can provide lots more information and documentation.

Judie
Expert:  Thomas replied 3 years ago.

Hi Judie,


I'm afraid that JustAnswer prohibits private contact between customers and experts so I will have to respectfully XXXXX XXXXX you but not thank you.

 

If the landlord issues proceedings then providing you collate your evidence sensibly and ensure that both the court and landlord receives copies of that which you will seek to rely on at the hearing then you can act on your own behalf. Judges are fair-minded and appreciate that not everyone wishes to instruct solicitors for every legal proceedings. They will be sympathetic to you and your position and you should not be at all scared about acting on your own.

 

Thank you for your very kind accept.

Kind regards,


Tom

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