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simons03
02-04-2009, 12:46 PM
Hi, I have a question regarding LL legal requirements.
I have seen them phrased differently in different places - but as an example. the one I am interested in is:

You have final responsibility for ensuring that the following areas are safe and fit for use...

* Any hot water installations, as well as the supply of water itself.
* Basins, sinks, baths and other sanitary or drainage installations.

I would like some advice on whether my situation counts under these rules.
When I moved in there was a bath with a fully functioning fitted electric shower. During the tenancy, this shower malfunctioned, and now provides no hot water.

The shower worked fine for the first year, but has been broken now for nearly two years since.

As a temporary measure we started using a hand-held attachment to the taps. This cannot be fitted to the wall due to a window being in the way. Due to no action this continues to be the only method of showering.

So my question is:
- Does a shower count as something that the LL must maintain. I assume so because it is a hot water installation, and a sanitary installation. (but showers never seem to be explicitly stated in the guidelines for LLs)
- Does having a hand-held tap attachment count as being fit for purpose? I am having to kneel in the bath in order to shower, which I frankly do not feel is appropriate! But does the law agree?
- Is the above influenced by the fact that the property was rented with a working fitted shower and on the understanding it was a continued feature of the house.

Whilst I could have since persued some action such as withholding rent or having work done myself and deducting the cost from the rent - we have not out of good faith, and no wish to be caught out and footing the cost. Plus also being consistently told by the LL that he will be getting round to it.

Would this count as a breach of contract? Or would the law say my 'temporary solution' is actually good enough?

I'm not attempting to prosecute or gain money - I simply want to clarify whether this falls under the core responsibilities of the LL.

thanks,
Simon

jeffrey
02-04-2009, 13:47 PM
See section 11(1) of LTA 1985, below, esp. the underlined wording.

11. Repairing obligations in short leases.

(1) In a lease to which this section applies (as to which, see sections 13 and 14) there is implied a covenant by the lessor:
(a) to keep in repair the structure and exterior of the dwelling-house (including drains, gutters and external pipes),
(b) to keep in repair and proper working order the installations in the dwelling-house for the supply of water, gas and electricity and for sanitation (including basins, sinks, baths and sanitary conveniences, but not other fixtures, fittings and appliances for making use of the supply of water, gas or electricity), and
(c) to keep in repair and proper working order the installations in the dwelling-house for space heating and heating water

simons03
02-04-2009, 14:35 PM
Thanks Jeffrey,

So from that I would presume that
- a separate electric shower unit, with direct water feed from pipes within the wall - would be a sanitary installation and hence covered by that clause.
- but a shower attachment, that is just a removable extension of the bath taps (fitted to the wall or not), would be an appliance for the use of water supply, and hence not covered by the same clause.

jeffrey
02-04-2009, 15:39 PM
So from that I would presume that
- a separate electric shower unit, with direct water feed from pipes within the wall - would be a sanitary installation and hence covered by that clause.
- but a shower attachment, that is just a removable extension of the bath taps (fitted to the wall or not), would be an appliance for the use of water supply, and hence not covered by the same clause.
I think so, unless there are reported High Court (or above) decisions holding otherwise.

Preston
02-04-2009, 18:39 PM
Hi

I'm not quite clear; do you have a written tenancy agreement and if so, what does it say on this issue?

Also, you seem to be saying that the landlord has accepted responsibility for the repair but just hasnt done so - is this correct and if so, has he acknowledged this in writing at all?

Preston

johnjw
02-04-2009, 19:20 PM
I think that if you accepted the accommodation with a working shower in place, then the LL has a duty to keep the shower in working order - keeping you waiting for two years is ridiculous.
I'm pretty sure that it's the case that even hot-water appliances which are less of a fixture than your shower; eg. washing machines and dish washers, must be kept in working order by the landlord; if these appliances were in place when you signed the agreement.
I'd try to have a serious talk with your LL. He must recognise that a 2 year delay in carrying out a repair is unreasonable. Try to agree a timetable for completion of the repair.

mind the gap
02-04-2009, 19:28 PM
If Ll is responsible (which I believe he is, assuming shower was functioning when OP took the property - a reasonable assumption, unless LL specifically pointed out that it was not)), then OP would at this stage be justified in telling LL that he will obtain three quotes for the work and instruct the best one, witholding rent to pay the invoice unless/until LL reimburses him.

This is a ridiculous delay.