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Thomas, Lawyer
Category: UK Law
Satisfied Customers: 7432
Experience:  BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
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My daughter is a tenant in a house. She is a student and shares

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My daughter is a tenant in a house. She is a student and shares with 2 other students. The property is tatty and is not secure. The front door frame is rotting away and the paint is peeling off. How can I get the landlord to take action to improve the state of the house? Can we withold rent and if we do, will he have any rights to make my daughter homeless?


Thanks for your patience.

The landlord’s repairing obligations are contained in statute:-
a) to keep in repair the structure and exterior of the dwelling, including drains, gutters and external pipes,
(b) to keep in repair and proper working order the installations in the dwelling for the supply of water, gas, 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 installation in the dwelling for space heating and heating water.
(Section 11, Landlord and Tenant Act, 1985)

The front door probably forms part of the exterior of the dwelling and therefore part of the landlord’s obligation to repair

You should formally write to the the landlord (copying in the agent) specifying the disrepair, making a list of the reasonable repair required and ask that he make those repairs within a reasonable time (eg. 14 days). State that if the landlord does not make the repair within that time you will pay to have the repairs made and will seek to claim the expense from him and are prepared to make an application to court if necessary.

If the landlord does not make the repair you can pay to have it done and then write formally to him requesting the payment of the cost, again within a reasonable time). If he does not pay you can issue a claim for the money yourself through Her Majesty Courts Service's online service: Write to them first asking for the money and stating that you will issue a claim if it is not received.

Its pretty cheap and straightforward to use.

Open a file, send letters by registered post, keep copies of everything for use in any claim you may choose to issue at a later date.

I always advise against withholding rent because if the amount withheld is greater than two month rent then the landlord can serve and eviction notice on you giving 2 weeks notice and then sue you for the remaining rent.

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Kind regards,

Thomas and other UK Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Ok, thats great. We don't have contact details for the landlord, presumably the agent will be obliged to forward on any letters to him/her?


Under the requirements of section 48 of the Landlord & Tenant Act 1987 rent is not lawfully due unless the tenant has been given, in writing, an address in England and Wales at which notices can be served.

Therefore state that you will not pay further rent until this has been provided to you, send this to the agent.

Please remember to rate my answer.

Kind regards,


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