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Thomas
Thomas, Lawyer
Category: UK Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 6261
Experience:  BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
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My daughter is studying at Leeds University and this year has

Resolved Question:

My daughter is studying at Leeds University and this year has gone into private residential accommodation which she is sharing with 4 other girls. The room she has is damp and mouldy. she has been complaining to the Landlord since 6th September. There has been some plastering work carried out but the walls are still damp and the mould is growing back. She has had to pay for this room since June in order to reserve it. she has not been sleeping in the room since going up to Leeds in September. I feel some compensation is due from the Landlord. He has offered her only 2 weeks (£73 per week). How should I proceed since I feel the problem should be fixed asap and a real level of compensation paid to her for the inconvenience. The next 3 months payment is due in December. I have signed as guarantor.
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: UK Property Law
Expert:  Thomas replied 8 months ago.
Hi,

Has she/you spoken to the local authority's environmental department about this?

Tom
Customer: replied 8 months ago.


not yet

Expert:  Thomas replied 8 months ago.
Hi,

Thanks

I am afraid that you have caught me just before a meeting. I will be able to answer in full in about 35mins.

Tom
Customer: replied 8 months ago.

ok - that's not a problem


 


thanks


 

Expert:  Thomas replied 8 months ago.
Hi,

Sorry.

Are you please able to confirm if any of the other rooms suffer from the same damp problem?

Does your daughter have her own tenancy agreement that she executed with the landlord OR did your daughter and her friends execute one tenancy agreement in which they were all named as joint tenants?

Kind regards,


Tom
Customer: replied 8 months ago.

Hi Tom,


 


the other 4 rooms seem to be ok. my daughter is on the very top floor (attic room) and hence seems to be more problematic.


 


I believe it is a joint tenancy agreement , however the guarantee was made out by me to the landlord via the Leeds student property shop. I haven't seen the tenancy agreement, but can track it down if needed.

Expert:  Thomas replied 8 months ago.
Hi

Thanks for your patience.

In the first instance I would focus on enforcing the disrepair (damp is a repair issue).

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.
I would explain in the letter that the damp is effectively a breach of contract by the landlord because they are under an obligation to provide accommodation that is fit for human habitation, for which you would be entitled to claim damages.

I would propose further settlement figure that you would consider appropriate in the circumstances that you would be happy with. State that if the landlord is not able to agree a settlement sum then you shall consider taking legal action for the breach of contract to claim a sum of money representing the direct financial loss that you have suffered. You should further state that if the landlord does not make the repair and agree a settlement sum then you will contact the environmental department of the local authority to get them to make an inspection of the room. They can issue a declaration of uninhabitability which effectively confirms the breach and require him to carryout remedial works to repair the damp.

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: http://www.moneyclaim.gov.uk/. 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.




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Kind regards,


Tom

Thomas, Lawyer
Category: UK Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 6261
Experience: BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
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