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Jamie-Law
Jamie-Law, Solicitor
Category: UK Law
Satisfied Customers: 1333
Experience:  Solicitor
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We viewed and agreed to rent a 2 bed flat on an assured

Customer Question

We viewed and agreed to rent a 2 bed flat on an assured shorthold tenancy for £2,100pcm, exclusive. The flat was occupied when we viewed but when we moved in it was apparent that the carpet had been badly eaten by moths. The landlord said, via his agent, that he had noticed the "worn areas" but was unaware of the cause. Moving forward 8 months we tried, and the landlord paid for 3 visits by a moth expert, but were unsuccessful in solving the problem. The flat was infested, our clothes were being eaten, we had a thoroughly miserable time there with our 8 year old daughter. We suggested the landlord allowed us to leave and pay for our moving expenses and our wardrobes (clothes) to be dry cleaned, they were apologetic and agreed. At that time I asked to move out I had some sympathy for their problem despite the upset and upheaval it caused ourselves. However when we met the check out inventory clerk she told us that she had made the landlord aware from her report on the check from the previous tenant that the carpet had been eaten by moths. My question is this:- if the landlord was made aware of a moth problem before we took possession and through ignorance or any other reason opted not to investigate further and take action to sort out that problem before a new tenant moved in are they responsible for any kind of compensation due to the tenant against a flat that, because of the infestation, was not fit for habitation? We paid some £16k plus in rent over 8 months and we endured a thoroughly miserable time plus the upheaval of moving.
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: UK Law
Expert:  Jamie-Law replied 2 months ago.

Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this.

What is it you want to achieve please?

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
I want to know whether I should be asking for compensation against the £16k in rent I paid in good faith against a flat that should not have been rented out in the condition it was, the moth infestation being known about and not dealt with before we took possession. If there is reasonable cause for making a claim against him then what percentage of the rent could I reasonably expect to ask for in return? I understand this is subjective, I don't want to go to town on it but feel I have been badly let down and have paid a great deal of money for a great deal of inconvenience. I would like to say to the landlord I have taken advice and it has been suggested that I may be entitled to look for X sum in compensation and do you Mr Landlord have a comment on the advice I have been given. If I have a valid point it is one that will be a negotiated settlement, again I stress I'm not going to go to town on it but I feel agrieved and feel I have paid a lot for an item/ service that was not as it should have been. From you I am looking for some sort of guide, do I have a point, yes/no and if yes what is reasonable to ask as a percentage of rent paid?
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Hi, can I assume you have received my response and you are giving this consideration?
Expert:  Jamie-Law replied 2 months ago.

Yes I have been. How much are you seeking to claim?

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
That's what I'm asking you?
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
If you are not in a position to answer or do not have any experience of similar please do let me know and I can to move onto another person?
Expert:  Jamie-Law replied 2 months ago.

Sorry for the delay I was in court. You have paid considerable sums for a sub standard property. I don't think you can claim all it back in terms of rent.

But you could claim I think half plus full cost of clothes etc.

I think if you can keep it a small claim that would be wise which the limit is £10,000. Above this it's what is called fast track and then costs start to increase.

You need to write and set out your losses and request a refund within 14 days or say you will go to Court within 14 days. You should make sure you send this signed delivery and keep a copy.
If they do not refund you then you can issue proceedings in the County Court. You can either do this online at: www.moneyclaim.gov.uk or by completing form N1 http://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/hmctsformfinder/n1-eng.pdf and take it to your local County Court.
The Court will then issue a claim which a copy will be sent to the Defendant who will have a limited time to defend it, if not you can enter Judgment and enforce.
If the claim is for £10,000 or less it will be a small claim so you will not need legal representation. Over this value you would need representation for trial.
Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Re clarification, half seems a lot, surely if this was a court room discussion it could be argued that I had a roof over my head and running water etc. As unpleasant as the problem was it was not a health issue, perhaps some mental health maybe but not serious.From what you have said if I went in with a request for 20-25% of the rent paid plus damages to replace ruined cloths do you think that would be reasonable? If you were acting for a landlord and you received that offer would you recommend they accept that any pay to avoid further problems?Regards,RichardCan you therefore comment on
Expert:  Jamie-Law replied 2 months ago.

Sorry for the delay, I am still in court.

You can always come down in value for a claim, you can never increase it.

So if you are happy with 20-25% then you can keep it at that.

If I had this offer from my client I would ask them to carefully consider it.

Can I clairfy anything for you about this today please?

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
No thank you. I'm not sure I've learnt a great deal as I hoped to hear that the going rate for this type of problem is x or y.
I didn't think your advice that I could claim half of the rent paid was very realistic. Obviously I'll pay or have pay as agreed but I'm sorry to say I don't think I'm any the wiser for this enquiry. It's feedback, I'm sorry it's not better.
Expert:  Jamie-Law replied 2 months ago.

thanks for the feedback. I said half because you were paying considerable rent of £2100 a month exclusive, which is very high rent.

You should expect property to be of a good standard and it was not. The landlord couldn't fix the problem. If you had a 3 month injury you could expect circa £2500 in relation to that.

This is why I said claim half but be prepared to negotiate lower settlement. If you issue proceedings you can always come down for any award not up.

Keep it a small claim at £10,000 ceiling to avoid legal fees.

That is the reasoning behind my valuation.

Can I clairfy anything for you?

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