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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: UK Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 69369
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice.
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My husband, two daughters aged 9 and 13 are in a rental

Customer Question

My husband, two daughters aged 9 and 13 are in a rental home. We have had several major leaks and have had holes in our ceiling for almost 3 months we feel strongly that there is mold. We also have a gas fire place that failed safety inspection but is still connected and working. Today we hired our own inspector and he said levels of carbon monoxide were lethal. He also said we have mold but has sent off for testing. I called the housing inspector and 2 days later received a notice they were making us leave in 2 months. We have all suffered from sickness and I have spent days and days waiting for workmen to come out. Today alone I hade to wait for 3 different people. Is there anything we can do?
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: UK Property Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 11 months ago.

What type of contract are you on?

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
We had a 6 month lease.
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
With plans to extend an additional 18 months after I arranged my visa
Expert:  Jo C. replied 11 months ago.

Is this an assured shorthold tenancy agreement ?

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
we don't want to stay because the house is in such a state and we feel it is dangerous. But we also feel the landlord was not correct in renting the property with the illegal fireplace and has done nothing to hurry repairs
Expert:  Jo C. replied 11 months ago.

No, that is a disrepair issue.

But he can end the AST using S21 if it was due to come to an end anyway.

The plain fact is that landlords do tend to do this when you make a report to Environmental Health. It might be that they serve an improvement notice upon him anyway but either way makes no difference because they are relying on S21.

You could still bring a claim for disrepair. The awards are not high but equally it isn't that expensive to sue.

The gas should have been tested yearly and if it was not then you could make a report to Health and Safety.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Jo

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Is it illegal for him to rent with a certificate that says the fire has failed the safety tests? Do we not have any rights to live in an enjoyable way with out disruption? Basically we would like the money we have paid and our full deposit back plus the fees for the environmental engineer. I was under the understanding it is illegal for him to rent knowing the fire place is unsafe? Is there any action we can take to do that and what are the chances we could win?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 11 months ago.

Well, as I said really. The gas test should have been done and you would have a disrepair claim.

There is no prospect of recovering rent I'm afraid or really the fees for the engineer. A report to EH would have achieved the same end for free and the landlord is not liable for that. If that is what you seek you would not win.

But you could make a report to H & S or bring a disrepair claim. H & S would probably issue a fixed penalty fine. The higher penalties arise when there are incidents. The disrepair claim would not be high but it is cheap to bring.

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