IF the damps problem were solved would she like to stay under a new tenancy?
Yes, if she could be satisfied the damp problem were solved, she is happy with the flat.
A tenant has a right to a property in repair, this includes a property free from damp. Usually a tenant could write to the landlord specifying the disrepair and asking for remedial works to be carried out by the landlord within a reasonable time (eg. 14 days) stating that she will otherwise pay for the works to be carried out and seek to claim the expense from him. If the landlord does not carry out the works she can pay for them herself and then claim the expense from him via www.moneyclaim.gov.uk. It is very easier to use and quite cheap.
Given her position it is obviously quite difficult to arrange this before the tenancy expires and she goes in to labour.
If she executes a renewal tenancy agreement now then she will obviously have the right to remain in the property. She could then enforce her repair rights, but in my view the issue of the damp is one that is better addressed with the landlord/agent now in anticipation of her executing a renewal tenancy. Damp can be fixed and I suspect the landlord just does not wish to spend the money.
The difficulty is that they may be reluctant to grant a renewal tenancy if they believe she will seek to enforce he rights of repair. If the damp is particularly bad after renewing the tenancy then she could invite the environmental health dept. of the local authority to make an inspecting. They may serve an enforcement notice upon the landlord requiring him to carry out the works or they may declare the property unfit for human habitation in which case she could terminate the tenancy agreement and the landlord would not be able to sue her for the rent. She could keep quite on the damp now and then contact the enviro health department once the renewal tenancy has been granted.
If she just stays there beyond the fixed term then the landlord will/may apply for an order for possession from the Court. Once the order is granted she will have to leave. If there is written tenancy agreement then he could use the accelerated possession procedure and get an order within a matter of two weeks.
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Thanks for your advice re the damp. The immediate query is: What does she need to do (and when) about the notice she received? Does it matter that the notice she received is to expire on 15th Nov, when the tenancy expires on 14th Nov? The last month's rent is due on this Friday 15th Nov. Should she refuse to pay it if she decides she does not wish to stay, as she feels she has had to put up with a lot of discomfort and inconvenience due to the damp?
Hi Tony, The expiry date of the notice is what I would expect, it if she received the requisite notice (ie. she got it before the notice period commenced) then it will probably be valid and that a court would likely make an order for possession based on that notice.
I'm afraid rent and repair are separate issues - one is not reliant on the other generally. She could have enforced her right to repair if she was aware of that right. If she does not pay then the landllord will sue her to recover the rent I'm afraid or deduct it from her deposit.
Sorry it could not be better news. It sounds like she is in a difficult position, she should try appealing to their compassionate side and ask to remain in the property past the fixed term on an statutory periodic tenancy. Their rights are not prejudiced in her doing so and they may listen.
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You're welcome, thank you for your kind accept.Tom
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