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SE1 Tenant
10-11-2009, 08:39 AM
Hi all,

Another problem (and I have many) with my LL is the following:

I've rented the flat for three years. It is on the fourth floor and there are two lifts with access to the floor my flat is on.

One of them stoped working about two weeks after I moved in and the other shortly after. In other words, there have been no lift access for the last 2.5-ish years.

As I have so many other problems with my landlord, including neglect of repairs and maintanence (including severe damp/mould), failure to protect my deposit I have filed a claim against them on all the points I belive they have failed to deliver on their basic LL dutys to me as tenant.

So, this includes a retroactive rent compensation of 10% for the fact that I haven't had any lift access most of the 3 years I've been living in the flat.

Their argument is that their appointment only extends to the individual flat and not the common areas/facilities.

My argument is that they have collected full rent of which parts is clearly to cover the fees the LL pays to the property management company that is supposed to clean, repair and maintain common areas and as I have not been able to fully enjoy the common facilities due to prolonged malfunction/neglect to repair I am entitled to clam back parts of my rent during the period the lifts haven't been working.

The fact that the LL (or more correctly the LPA Receiver I've been paying my rent to) isn't themselves in charge of reparing the lifts doesn't change the fact that I have been paying full rent but have not had the enjoyment or benefit of the lifts. It is really between the LL/LPA Receiver and the property management company to sort out their own contractual obligations, but mine is with the LL/LPA Receiver, thus that is where I should direct my claim for compensation.

Any thoughts on this would be most welcome.

PaulF
10-11-2009, 08:45 AM
I'd be looking for other accommodation if possible.

SE1 Tenant
10-11-2009, 08:50 AM
Not sure what you mean with "other compensation" but I do also look for compensations for the mould/damp situation, failure to protect deposit etc. But as there are so many different failures on their part, and the fact that I don't get value for money for the rent I am paying, I am also including a component of "retroactive rent compensation" for the lift situation. To me it seems perfectly reasonable and obvious that if I pay full rent I should also be provided with a flat in good condition and with fully functioning facilities in the common areas - that is what I am paying for. And if I don't get it - as in no lift access during a very prolonged period - I should be able to claim back some of the rent I have been paying.

More thoughts, elaborations and/or experiences on this would be most welcome.

P.Pilcher
10-11-2009, 10:48 AM
The fact that he lifts have "just stopped working" is very worrisome. The management responsible for the communal arears will be charging your landlord a substantial sum in service charges which will will reflect the cost of lift maintenance. Regulations, I understand, require lifts to be serviced every six months by a qualified lift service engineer to ensure they are safe. If they have just stopped working then this clearly is not being done and probably has not for quite a time before they stopped. As suggested above, I should get out as soon as you can!

P.P.

SE1 Tenant
10-11-2009, 11:03 AM
Yes, I guess it is "worriesome" but as I can't get access to the lift, as they been idle for three years, it is not like I'm going to get stuck in them. Instead I get very good workouts in the stairs up and down multiple times each day ;-)

Well more serioiusly, I am not sure "getting out of there" is a constructive way of dealing with this. Or LL issues in general. In my experience having rented quite a few flats in central London I would have to move every six months if that would be my response to LLs failures to live up to their obligations, or just in general being professional and provide safe, enjoyable, hassle free accomodation. And that applies to "prestigous luxury accomodation" also, or perhaps particulary even. I don't know any other market really.

Anyhow, even if "getting out of there" is the ultimate last resort response as a tenant, it would just make for a very nomadic lifestyle with all the disruptions constant moving around, fighting landlords to get deposits back etc etc etc.

I guess I am a bit naive, but I was kind of thinking that renting relatively expensive flats in central London could/should provide a more stable and enjoable lifestyle. And not spending this enormous amount of time and efforts in getting what I pay for.

Now, for all Landlords on here: Am I a hellish tenant? No, I have paid all my rents on time and kept the flats I have rented in pristine condition resulting in me,ultimately, always have got 100% of my deposit back.

Unfortunately, this level of profesionalism, courtesy and decency have seldomsly/never been reciprocated from the LLs I have rented from in London. And this time I have decided to to not run, as I enjoy my area and my flat, but instead pusruse a LL that is severly mismanaging and neglecting their obligation and dutys.

So, back to the question on retroactive rent compensation for the lifts. And would welcome some more constructive info, advice and/or experiences on this.

Thnx.

westminster
10-11-2009, 12:18 PM
I have filed a claim against them on all the points I belive they have failed to deliver on their basic LL dutys to me as tenant.

So, this includes a retroactive rent compensation of 10% for the fact that I haven't had any lift access most of the 3 years I've been living in the flat.
You are claiming against the LPA Receiver, who has taken over from the original LL, yes? According to your other post

http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=23748

the LPA Receiver was appointed in July 2008 (does this mean you were informed that they were your new LL as from then?). I doubt you could successfully claim against them for the period before they took over as LL. When did you report the disrepair to LPA Receiver?


Their argument is that their appointment only extends to the individual flat and not the common areas/facilities.

What does it say in the tenancy agreement? LL may well not be liable for the failure by a third party (the freeholder) to carry out repairs to the communal areas.

SE1 Tenant
10-11-2009, 12:43 PM
You are claiming against the LPA Receiver, who has taken over from the original LL, yes? According to your other post

http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=23748

the LPA Receiver was appointed in July 2008 (does this mean you were informed that they were your new LL as from then?). I doubt you could successfully claim against them for the period before they took over as LL. When did you report the disrepair to LPA Receiver?


Yes, that's right, I am claiming against the LPA Receiver but "only" for the period from when they were appointed and informed.


What does it say in the tenancy agreement? LL may well not be liable for the failure by a third party (the freeholder) to carry out repairs to the communal areas.

This is how "The premises" are defined in the Tenancy Agreement:

"The Premises include all, or any part of the dwelling-house, gardens, paths, fences, boundaries or other outbuildings which form part of the let. Where the premises form only part of another property (e.g. in a block of flats), the letting includes the use, in common with others, of communal access ways and other similar facilities"

More:

"The LL agrees the following: To comply with the requirments of section 11 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 which imposes obligations on the landlord to repair the structure and exterior of the premises; to keep in repair and proper working order the instalations in the permiese for supply of water, gas and electricity and for sanitation; top keep in repair and proper working order the installations in the premisees for space heaating and heating water."


Is this enough to refute the LPA Receivers notion that their appointment only extends to the indvididual flat I am renting?

And more importantly, does it cover the lifts? It doesn't talk explicitly about the lifts but it talks about "the structure and exterior of the premises". Could that be argued to include the lifts? Or is it perhaps on a common sense basis that if a block of flat is built with lifts, that works upon commencment of the tenancy, and which then obviously the tenancy agreement has been based upon, well, then it is assumed to be an integral part of The Premises?

Again, many thanks for helping out with this, for a layman, tricky stuff.

SE1 Tenant
10-11-2009, 15:51 PM
Any more/further thoughts/experiences on this?

chappers2341
10-11-2009, 16:19 PM
Well more serioiusly, I am not sure "getting out of there" is a constructive way of dealing with this. .

Not sure about the rent reductions, but you are not in a normal LL/tenant situation.
I am surprised that your tenancy has lasted so long under the LPAR, I would have been expecting them to be trying to sell the property and give you notice at any point.
Personally speaking I would be finding somewhere else to live and giving notice myself, get yourself another place with a fixed term tenancy, you are already living on borrowed time IMHO.

SE1 Tenant
10-11-2009, 16:48 PM
Nah, I think I'm cool here. And good news is that as I'm, now, on a Periodic Tenancy, I have one month notice, while LL/LPAR got two. So, nicely skewed in my favour.

And also, since there is no protection on my deposit, they can not notice me at all as long as I pay the rent.

And, by experiene running away due to LL issues solves nothing in London. You just end up moving from one bad situation and incompetend/dishonest LL to another.

And, keep moving on an semi or even annual basis is just incredibly disruptive and expenseive. Not mentioning having multiple deposits hanging with LLs that do their best to avoid/delaying to pay them back.

Personally I think the whole by-to-let industry in this country, or at least London, is an incredible scam. Tenants are screwed over, over and over again and there is no effective mechanisms deal with all these scumbag LLs.

I'm really sick and tired having to devote so much of my time dealing with all crap related to tenancies and LLs. I was hoping pay top Pounds for a central London flat would affort me a (reasonably) nice lifestyle but instead I am forced to devote an enormous amount of time dealing with this type of crap constantly, and it has been the same with every single LL over the last 11 years. And only to get what I pay for or what I am legaly or contractualy entitled to. Phew.........

westminster
10-11-2009, 17:31 PM
Here's a link to s.11 of the Landlord & Tenant Act 1985 which contains the LL's statutory repairing obligations.
http://www.opsi.gov.uk/RevisedStatutes/Acts/ukpga/1985/cukpga_19850070_en_1#pb4-l1g12

s.11(3A) might be relevant to your claim:

In any case where—

(a)the lessor’s repairing covenant has effect as mentioned in subsection (1A), and
(b)in order to comply with the covenant the lessor needs to carry out works or repairs otherwise than in, or to an installation in, the dwelling-house, and
(c)the lessor does not have a sufficient right in the part of the building or the installation concerned to enable him to carry out the required works or repairs,

then, in any proceedings relating to a failure to comply with the lessor’s repairing covenant, so far as it requires the lessor to carry out the works or repairs in question, it shall be a defence for the lessor to prove that he used all reasonable endeavours to obtain, but was unable to obtain, such rights as would be adequate to enable him to carry out the works or repairs.

Wait for one of the legal bods on here to confirm, but as I understand it, the LL is unlikely to be held liable for failing to fix the lifts in the block if he does not have the authority to carry out such repairs - he would have to own the freehold to have the "rights as would be adequate etc".

(p.s. I have a nice 1-bed near Holborn/Covent Gdn tube possibly vacant as from end of Feb 2010 if you're interested :))

SE1 Tenant
10-11-2009, 18:02 PM
So, if this is the case, then the obvious logic and common sense (which apply for other goods and services) that if I as a tenant don't get what I pay for from my contractual counterpart (i.e. LL) does not apply? I can do nothing in terms of getting a retroactive rent reduction to compensate from this failure to deliver the goods/service that I have paid for? Clearly parts of my rent goes to the property management/servicing company that is supposed to service and repair common areas, with which I as a tenant has no contractual relationship with.

Basic logic of my argument: I am obliged to pay for what I buy/receive in terms of good and services. If my supplier/LL doesn't deliver agreed/correct quality/quantity/service to me I have no obligation to pay for what is missing/can seek compensation for it.

To me that is such a basic commercial tenant so I can not understand how a free market system can work if this obvious and fundamental logic doesn't apply - also in the market for rental properties. But again, it doesn't really work, does it?

jta
10-11-2009, 18:03 PM
Personally I think the whole by-to-let industry in this country, or at least London, is an incredible scam. Tenants are screwed over, over and over again and there is no effective mechanisms deal with all these scumbag LLs.



Hmm! I can see why you feel as you do but please don't lump us all into that category. I have places in outer London and bend over backwards to keep my tenants happy.

SE1 Tenant
10-11-2009, 20:15 PM
So, how about a severe mould situation in a bathroom and bedroom then? That took a year, from reported, to get fixed.

Can I successfully claim retroactive rent compensation for this?

As you can tell, I have been pushed to the limits by LLs/Agents and now I have decided to claim back what I can after 11 years of constant abuse from them. No more Mr Nice guys from me. It doesn't work.

WayneO
06-04-2013, 15:18 PM
Hi

I realise how old this thread is but am posting here for the benefit of others who may come across this thread as I did - with doubts about whether or not they can take action in relation to non functioning of lifts (in my case for over a year).

The problem with going for a retroactive rent adjustment is that it is difficult to prove the landlord is culpable, possibly rightly so since in most cases the landlord is probably a leaseholder and maintenance is via a management company employed by the freeholder.

The only effective option in my opinion is to include the landlord, building management company and freeholder in your claim - by casting such a net you can be sure that you have covered all parties who are either partially or fully responsible for the lift. You could then rely on the courts apportioning appropriate blame and remedies between these parties - and in addition you have the advantage of being able to request information from all parties with the weight of the legal system behind you.

The basis of your claim in most cases would probably come down to lack of effective preventative maintenance. You will usually find that all these parties have been well aware of maintenance being required well before the lift actually broke down - and that maintenance has been put off until absolutely necessary (i.e. where incremental minor maintenance is no longer sufficient).

Like me you may wonder if you have any case against anyone - the landlord due to them being able to claim they did all that could be reasonably expected, and the freeholder/maintenance company due to the lack of a contractual relationship. I don't believe this is necessarily so; without going into any detail you may well have a case in common law - look up 'proximate cause', 'tort' and 'delict' in Wikipedia for further details.

If the original poster is still about I'd very much like to know whether he went ahead with legal action and whether he was successful. I am just embarking on my action and will keep you posted.