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Thomas
Thomas, Lawyer
Category: UK Property Law
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Experience:  BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
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my landlord is not keeping up with maintenance on my house

Resolved Question:

my landlord is not keeping up with maintenance on my house im in a fixed tenancy for another year but have given notice and leaving the end of this month, they are not agreeing to this. where does that leave me on the legal side?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: UK Property Law
Expert:  Thomas replied 1 year ago.
Hi

What maintenance issues are we talking about here?

Tom
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

hello


 


all my double glazed windows need fixing the seals have all gone and the condensation is unbelievable. my front door is very wobbly that someone could lean on it to hard.. it would just pop open, I have no heating in the living room they took the one that broke out =


(night storage) but have never replaced it. the shower in the bathroom has broke when you turn Iit on water comes from the electrical element that is attached to the wall. thats the most important ones,


thank you


Melanie

Expert:  Thomas replied 1 year ago.
Hi Melanie,

Okay.

What have you done to attempt to get the landlord to remedy the disrepair?

Tom
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

they have come round for the 6 monthly checks but have failed to on thelast one so that is over due. when they came round the were made aware of the problems and sent an electrician to take the broke heater away since then I have had telephone calls between myself and the landlords but nothing has been resolved. I have therefore found another property and moving in at the end of July but obviously needed know.where I stood on being liable for the rent till aug 2014 as that is when the fixed tenancy ends.


many thanks

Expert:  Thomas replied 1 year ago.
Hi

Thanks for your patience.

I'm afraid you will be bound by the full term of the tenancy agreement unless there is a break clause in it entitling you terminate at a certain point during the term or the property is unfit for human habitation (which would also entitle you to terminate as it would be what is called a repudiatory breach of contract).

I would not be confident on a court finding that the disrepair matters that you have referred to reach the standard of uninhabitablility which is required for a repudiatory breach of contract, so they will be able to hold you to the term of the tenancy agreement.

If you simply leave the property and cease paying the rent then it will be for the landlord to decide whether or not to sue you for the rent owing under the new tenancy agreement. If successful, they would probably get judgement on 2-3 months rent, any other damages, expenses and legal fees so it’s not a small sum that we are talking about. It’s quite easy for them to sue you, you should be mindful of that.

However, you have a right to enforce the disrepair against the landlord.

You should formally write to the the landlord 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: www.moneyclaim.gov.uk

Its pretty cheap and straightforward to use. I always advise this way foward rather than withholding rent because of the reason outlined above (putting your continuing occupation in jeopardy).

If you still wish to get out of the tenancy then landlords are generally under a duty not to unreasonably refuse a suitable tenant and your focus now should be on finding one to replace you in the new tenancy. If the landlord acted on his own then you should speak to him to check that he would be amenable to your finding a replacement tenant. You can then use www.gumtree.co.uk to find a tenant (private landlords frequently use this service.

I am sorry that I could not have better news for you.

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Kind regards,


Tom
Thomas, Lawyer
Category: UK Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 6287
Experience: BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
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