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Stuart J
Stuart J, Solicitor
Category: UK Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 19578
Experience:  PGD Law. 20 years legal profession, 6 as partner in High Street practice
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I was wondering if, in the case of repairs needing to be carried

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I was wondering if, in the case of repairs needing to be carried out, it is the tenant's right to request a selection of quotes before the work is undertaken, to make sure that the repair work is being done at market value? Kind regards, XXXXX XXXXX
Submitted: 9 months ago via Tenancy Agreement Service.
Category: UK Property Law
Expert:  Stuart J replied 9 months ago.
is this in relation to section 20 notice served by a landlord or managing agent?
can we have the full background detail please?
Customer: replied 9 months ago.

The inventory upon leaving the house commented on three holes drilled into a wall-papered wall to support a cupboard in a bedroom. It is in the agreement for a tenant to fix this sort of damage. I am happy to pay for it to be fixed, but the agents have advised they have a single contractor. I do not want to pay above market value for the cost of this repair. The agents have let us down in a number of ways and I am concerned that they will over charge us as a result of my complaint. The ways that they have mis-managed our tenancy include:


- arriving for a property viewing without the keys


- saying that the garden will be 'fixed' before we moved in, they didn't provide us with a garden, they simply flattened the weeds.


- saying the property would be professionally cleaned before we moved in - it wasn't


- saying that the faulty hot water tap was due to a problem with pressure - one of their own maintenance people came over and advised that this is not the case and that they should have it fixed


- suggesting that a moth infestation that became apparent within 2 weeks after our arrival date (at the end of winter) was due to our tenancy, when the life cycle of a moth clearly involves a period of chrysalis formation during which they are usually dormant


- providing us with vast mistakes on our leaving inventory, including requesting bulbs be replaced in the kitchen lights, despite the fact that the photo they provided us with clearly demonstrates all bulbs working, requesting replacement kitchen hood vents, yet the photo they provided us with clearly shows all vents in place, requesting removal of a bag of sundry items, yet the first inventory has a photo of this same bag being in the house prior to our arrival.


- have a damp inspector come over and find the walls 80% damp and I know the healthy acceptable limit is only 35% and both tenants in this house at the time suffer from asthma, the mould and the damp in the walls making this worse


- not fixing the front door lock despite our requests and waiting for me to get locked out of the house before they deigned to call a locksmith


- suggesting a 'sticky' back door lock is a result of our tenancy when the first time the house was visited their own agent couldn't open the door


There are other things to discuss as well, however I would be happy to pay the cost of the repairs to the wall if there are quotes provided and if they provide photographic proof that the wall is actually fixed prior to us having to reimburse them for the cost.


 


Thank you very much for your help.

Expert:  Stuart J replied 9 months ago.


Thank you.

This is obviously a checkout inventory at the end of a Assured
Short hold Tenancy.



There is no duty on the landlord to obtain various quotes
particularly if any of the work would be deemed to be needed in an emergency.



They are not under a duty to provide photographs and they are
actually not under a duty to actually have the work done but the landlord is
entitled to compensation in respect of the damage whether he has the work done
or not..



In the absence of anything else, the cost has to be reasonable
and if the landlord wants more than a reasonable cost, then he has faced with
suing you in county court and you are faced with defending it.



If there are three holes drilled in the wall which would need a
bit of Polyfilla and a bit of redecoration, and depending on when the room was
last decorated, it could well need the whole wall decorating.



All the things that you complain of the agent are actually
matters for the landlord.



With regard to the infestation, the landlord is responsible for
the cost of getting rid of any infestation which is caused before you move in.
You are responsible for anything which happens after you move in.



If this ends up in court I think you can use the photographs and
the mistakes to cast doubts upon the whole of the landlord's claim.



 



 

Customer: replied 9 months ago.

Thank you very much for your time, I thought that may be the case regarding the decoration, so I will wear that cost, if, as you say, it is reasonable.


 


I have complained about the agent because (and I may be wrong) I thought they were a representative of the landlord and if any problems are not dealt with, surely that is their job, to talk to the landlord and, essentially, argue the case for the tenant. I would be happy to talk to the landlord directly, but I don't know who he/she is.


 


There have been several areas where I could pass doubt upon their claim. I simply hope it doesn't come to that. Thank you again for your replies, they were very informative.

Expert:  Stuart J replied 9 months ago.

If you don't agree with what the landlord is charging, pay what
you do agree and do not withhold the lot. If this ever goes to court, that will
work in your favour.



If you are doing that, In cases like this, I never suggest making an offer. I
suggest sending a cheque. Armed with a cheque in the hand for some of the
amount that a person wants, compared to an argument over the whole of the
amount, (and arguments that the person may win or lose) the cheque in the hand
is a pretty powerful incentive to accept it.



So
consider deciding how much you would like to pay the claimant (you need to make
it attractive enough) and send it with a covering letter headed "without
prejudice save as to costs". That means that the person cannot produce the
letter in court as any proof that you admit owing any money at all.



Tell
the claimant in the letter that you are offering this money in full and final
settlement of all claims against you, past, present and future including legal
costs, and that by cashing it they accept it as such. Tell the person that if he/she
does not accept it, they should return the cheque to you and if they issue
legal proceedings, you will defend them on the basis of A, B, C, whatever.



Do tell the claimant that this is not
your money (because you do not have it) and that it has come from someone else
who has agreed to discharge the debt for you.



Tell
the claimant that if he/she does not understand the significance of the letter,
he/she should take independent legal advice.



I
can tell you this approach works nine times out of 10, provided the offer is
reasonable and not derisory.





For legal reasons which I will not bore you with but which
go back several hundred years, the cheque must not come from you, but most come
from a third party, friend, relative, solicitor, our accountant, neighbour,
girlfriend, wife, husband, whoever, just not from you.



Here is some rather heavy reading http://www.voltimum.co.uk/news/2312/cm/the-law----full-and-final-settlement-.html





with regard to the agent, this is a common misconception. The
agent is the agent of the landlord not the tenant and he is to argue the
landlord's position not the tenants although any good agent will usually tread
the middle ground and try to mediate in the event of disagreement.



You can get the deeds to the house here for just 3 pounds https://eservices.landregistry.gov.uk/www/wps/portal/!ut/p/b1/04_SjzS0tDQwMTIxMjLXj9CPykssy0xPLMnMz0vMAfGjzOKNjSxMDA1NjDwsjM3MDTxN3dyNDUNMjQ1MjPWDU_P0c6McFQH3SLFU/



but be aware that the landlord noted in the deeds may have his
address down for correspondence as the actual address of the property which
will not help you.



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Regards.



PS Experts on here are online and off-line all day each day and
weekends so please bear with me if I do not get back to you immediately.



PS. I use voice type, voice recognition typing because I only
type with two fingers and it would take me ages. Sometimes, a computer does not
hear me correctly and you will get an incoherent word. I do try to but
sometimes they slip through. I apologise therefore if anything doesn't make
sense. It is me losing it, not you. Just ask if anything is not clear please.

Stuart J, Solicitor
Category: UK Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 19578
Experience: PGD Law. 20 years legal profession, 6 as partner in High Street practice
Stuart J and 2 other UK Property Law Specialists are ready to help you

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