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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: UK Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 70118
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice.
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I lease a property for £950 per calendar month recently

Customer Question

Hi I lease a property for £950 per calendar month recently we have had an escape of black water (waste) from a toilet that has caused damage to 3 rooms initially the landlords insurance company told us to move out of the property so we stayed in a hotel for four nights which I still haven't been reimbursed for I have requested a rent abatement whilst works are being carried out in the damaged rooms but been refused my landlady is elderly and very naive and has not dealt with the insurance company well her policy covers loss of rent upto the value of the rent and rehousing of tennants is also tied in with this figure one of the rooms is still usable but is going to be going through some redecoration so will be unusable the other rooms have ceilings down/ toilets removed and are unusable am I entitled to a rent abatement?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: UK Property Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
Has the landlord agreed to pay for the hotel?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Not yet think she expects me to claim off her insurance
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The insurance company said the home was uninhabitable initially then the surveyor came out 3 days later who was flood trained and said he felt it was inhabitable so we moved back the following day t I sent her this email ....Hi Angela,
The accommodation charge from Guys was £274.00 with £169.95 for food. As the food (and drinks) bill was at our discretion we are willing to fund this ourselves so request only a refund for the accommodation charge. We’re now safely back in Homelands.
Considering our discussion earlier on the next steps, I just want to thank you for looking into alternative properties and recommending the property in Great Eccleston. As discussed, moving into an alternative property isn’t a viable option for us a family right now. The additional costs associated with the new tenancy agreement, tenancy bond, removal fees, storage costs, additional transportation costs to work and college for my daughter and, of course, the time required to make all the arrangements during a period of significant structural changes going on within my business means that we’re just not able to consider this option at this time.
I’ve put some further thought into the ‘half rent’ idea I briefly mentioned earlier and I think you might like it. We are willing to stay in Homelands during the ongoing works, keep the property safe, heated and accessible to the various tradespeople. We also understand and accept that there will be noise and service interruptions during the works and that we’ll need to vacate the lounge and family bathroom completely. We’d like to propose paying you £475 per month as a temporary measure until the works are completed to your satisfaction.
I trust that you will find this option satisfactory. As we have already paid in full for this month, I suggest we start next month with the first reduced payment as usual by the 22nd.
Looking forward to hearing from you with your agreement.
Warmest regards,
Lee Payne and Family
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
Yes, that might be right. The difficulty with this is that you are only entitled to one or the other. If the property was not habitable then there should be a reduction of 100% to cover those days. However, she is not liable for the cost of the hotel. If she is offering to pay for the hotel then, since that would probably be more than the reduction, that is worth pursuing. In terms of the remedial work, it depends whether or not you can live there while it is going on. Although it is disruptive that doesn't give rise to a claim per se. The issue is whether the facilities are unavailable to you. If there is only one toilet and that is not usable then the house is not inhabitable and there should be a reduction. If there is more than one and they are usable then the fact that this isn't will not give rise to a claim. Can I clarify anything for you? Jo
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
My thoughts are that she is still requesting the full £950 pcm throughout the works which may take upto 6 weeks I have lost the use of part of the property and therefore am not getting the same value as agreed in the original tenancy agreement
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
It is not a value test I'm afraid. If you are not able to live there at all then the reduction should be 100%. If you are able to live there but there is some loss of amenity then the court reduces the payment in accordance with the amenity. One spare room usually attracts between 10-25%. Bathrooms and kitchens much more.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
We have lost the master bathroom although we have r suite facilities and we have also lost use of the main lounge and the will lose use of the dining room hence why I requested 50% I think she has put this to her insurance company but they have refused to pay her loss of rent under these conditions
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
The views of the insurance company are not your problem. You have a claim against her. 50% may be a little ambitious though. It would probably range between 25% - 50%. If there is another bedroom you can use then that would mitigate her breach.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok thanks Jo you have been great
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
No problem and all the best. Remember that I am always available to help with your questions. Even if I am in Court I will usually pick up a question within 12 hours. For future information, please start your question with ‘For Jo C’. You can also bookmark my profile http://www.justanswer.co.uk/law/expert-remus2004/