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Thomas
Thomas, Lawyer
Category: UK Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 7476
Experience:  BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
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hello im renting a house on private market (via letting agency).

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hello
i'm renting a house on private market (via letting agency). two weeks ago I reported to the agent that ceiling light in the kitchen doesn't work. I changed all bulbs and it's definitely not bulb fault. the agent sent some guy to check it, however it wasn't electrician as he did not have tools with him and couldn't really do much about it, and said he is going calla n electrician. since that time it's been 15 days now, and I contacted the agent twice (over the phone and personally), as well as I sent them two text reminders to sort things out, as our kitchen light still doesn't work so in the evening it's just dark.
so, at this occasion, can I claim any money off the agent for inconvenience of living in the dark kitchen?
Hi

Thanks for your patience.

Whist is technically possible to claim for loss of amenity in this case I rather think it would be overkill I am afraid.

The reason for this is that freestanding lights could have been obtained either by you (and invoicing the agent) or by the agent themselves. Of course, there is the minor annoyance of having slightly odd light but technically your loss of amenity in this regard would not be sufficient diminished to form the basis of a legitimate county court claim. Certainly, the agents would fancy their chances of defending a total loss of amenity and simply limiting judgement to the cost of the lights.

I would focus on repair enforcement.

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. 7 days, if you have earlier referred to required repair which has not been done_). 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.

I would also say that if alternatice free standing lights/lamps are not provided in two days then you will pay for them yourself and seek to claim the cost from them.

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).

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Kind regards,


Tom
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