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View Full Version : Can T claim rent reduction re leak to bath/shower?



tenant_london
03-11-2009, 17:00 PM
Hi All,

We got a long pending maintenance issue and the Landlord/Agent says that they are waiting on insurance to approve it before they can proceed. To give more details, we had a leak on the bath shower which caused water to drip through the carpets in the bath room and bed room. We got a temporary solution, where in they got the plumber to stop the water flow in the bath tub. It's been more than 3 months now, no action and the only response I get is that the insurance is holding it up. Clearly I am at loss as I was not able to use the bath shower.

We have notified the agent/landlord, even before it leaked, as we observed similar pattern in other flats. And kept following up with the agent regularly via email, phone. Last week, I have asked Landlord/Agent to agree for a rent reduction until this is fixed, and I get no response from them and been following up with them for more than 2 weeks.

Can anyone please advice the best course of action.

Many Thanks
London Tenant

westminster
03-11-2009, 17:24 PM
You can organize the repairs yourself and deduct the cost from the rent, but you must follow a procedure precisely, or you risk eviction for rent arrears.

The following quoted from http://www.bilberrybloom.com/citizens-advice/11/11081805.HTM. You've already completed step one.


A case (Lee-Parker v Izzet (1971) 1 WLR 1688) has established that, to use rent to pay for repairs, or to offset the cost of repairs against arrears, the tenant must carefully follow (in order) the steps below:-


give the landlord notice of the disrepair and a reasonable time to remedy it; then
inform the landlord (preferably in writing) that s/he will do the repair her/himself unless the landlord complies with her/his obligations; then
allow a further reasonable period for the landlord to do the work; then
obtain three estimates for the cost of the work from reputable builders; then
write to the landlord again, enclosing copies of the estimates and reminding her/him of her/his obligation to do the work, giving a further reasonable period to carry it out. The letter should warn that, otherwise, the tenant will do the work her/himself and deduct the cost from rent; then, if there is no response
arrange for the contractor who gave the lowest estimate to do the work, and obtain (and send to the landlord) receipts, with a request for payment; then
if the landlord does not pay, the tenant may deduct the cost from the rent (but not other charges such as service charges), then send the landlord a breakdown of the amount and period of the rent to be withheld.


See also
http://england.shelter.org.uk/get_advice/repairs_and_bad_conditions/repairs_in_private_lets
for more advice on dealing with disrepair.