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lurkio
30-01-2010, 09:10 AM
HI, I live on the top floor of a 4 storey residential apartment block. July last year after a flash flood the lift shaft was flooded and since then we are still waiting for it to be repaired. I have been on and on at the landlords (private company) to have it fixed. They keep saying it will be done soon and that it is a complicated matter with their insurance company. But as I have said to them, regardless of any problems the lift still needs fixing. We are finding it difficult getting our shopping up 3 flights of stairs and delivery people wont bring anything up to us. Also, both me and my partner have elderly relatives who we would love to come and stay but cant manage the stairs. Does anyone know our legal rights? I was thinking of asking for money off our rent until repairs are made and also some compensation. Any advice on this would be very appreciated. Thanks

westminster
30-01-2010, 21:30 PM
I take it you are a short term tenant, not a leaseholder.

Is your landlord also the freeholder of the building, because if not, then he will have no direct control over repairs in the communal parts?

lurkio
31-01-2010, 16:24 PM
Thats correct, we are short term tenants on a 12 month contract and been here 3 and half years. The property, I'm led to believe, is owned and ran by a company called Arim (Allsop Residential Investment Management) and are responsible for the upkeep and maintenance. However, they may act as the rental management company for the landlord but there name is on the rental agreement.

jeffrey
31-01-2010, 16:28 PM
Please clarify. Does the person/company granting the letting to you own:
a. the lease of this one flat;
b. the freehold of the whole block; or
c. some other permutation?

lurkio
01-02-2010, 09:34 AM
HI Jeffrey, I can confirm that ARIM owns the freeholding of the whole block and are responsible for all repair work, renovations and up keeping of the whole property.

westminster
01-02-2010, 14:22 PM
Who owns the leasehold of the flat you rent, i.e. who is your landlord?

Is it ARIM or someone else?

jeffrey
01-02-2010, 14:44 PM
Who owns the leasehold of the flat you rent, i.e. who is your landlord?

Is it ARIM or someone else?
lurkio has told us that ARIM (the block's freeholder) let this flat; so there isn't a long-leaseholder at all.

westminster
01-02-2010, 15:00 PM
lurkio has told us that ARIM (the block's freeholder) let this flat; so there isn't a long-leaseholder at all.

All he has said is that ARIM is the freeholder, not that ARIM is also his landlord.

jeffrey
01-02-2010, 16:26 PM
All he has said is that ARIM is the freeholder, not that ARIM is also his landlord.
Post #3 says there [sic] name is on the rental agreement.

westminster
01-02-2010, 17:47 PM
However, they [ARIM] may act as the rental management company for the landlord but their name is on the rental agreement.

It's possible that ARIM are named as c/o address for serving notices in the tenancy agreement, given that lurkio suggests that "they may act...for the landlord".

lurkio
01-02-2010, 18:20 PM
Hi,

I hope I havent caused any confusion, although it looks like I may have. I have the tenancy agreement in front of me. Its states that ARIM are the Management T/A (sorry unsure what T/A is) for the landlord who is Terrace Hill Residential Plc.

On the next page, its says that "ARIM are acting as agents and are not responsible or liable for fulfilment of the Landlord's obligations under The Tenancy Agreement. You agree to pay the rent and to comply with the obligations referred to in the Tenancy Agreement in exchange for this let." Then an ARIM employee signature and then mine.

A few pages on: 4. THE LANDLORD's OBLIGATIONS FOR REPAIR AND MAINTENANCE
The Landlord will (or ensure that someone else does):
4.1 Keep the structure and exterior of the property in repair
4.2 Maintain the plumbing, electricity and heating system relating to the property.
4.3 Keep the common areas, lifts, common landings and stairs (if any) regularly cleaned.
4.4 Carry out repairs and replacements to the property at the discretion of the landlord the contents (except where you are in breach of any of the conditions of this Tenancy Agreement), and may charge you if you and/or any invitee were responsible for any of the damages or defects needing repaired or replaced.
5 INSURANCE
The landlord will or ensure that someone else does):
5.1 Insure the property and the Landlord's Contents and if the Property is, during the tenancy, incapable of use as a private dwelling (and the landlord does not then offer suitable accommodation for the period when the Property is unusable) the Rent will not be due for that period and any sums paid in advance covering the period will be refunded.
Then its basically about the Tenant insuring the property and looking after it.

Thanks again for looking at this for me

westminster
02-02-2010, 14:24 PM
Okay so ARIM is the freeholder of the block, as well as agent for the landlord. And THR plc is your landlord.

ARIM (as freeholder) is responsible for repairs in the communal areas, not THR plc (your landlord & the party with whom you have a contract), so I don't know whether you can hold THR liable for failure to carry out repairs in areas outside their control. You can certainly try asking THR for a rent reduction, but I'm not sure of the strength of your legal position.

Hopefully someone else can better advise you, so I'm commenting to bump this up to the first page.

lurkio
03-02-2010, 15:24 PM
Final Bump, does anyone have anything else to add? I am thinking of writing to ARIM and saying that I am going to seek legal advise but would like to receive money off our rent until the lift is fixed as well as money in arrears for the 6 months it hasnt worked. I thought I might try for £50 a month as I dont think that's too unreasonable

jeffrey
03-02-2010, 15:30 PM
Remember that lifts can go down as well as up.

mind the gap
03-02-2010, 15:32 PM
Look on the bright side. Having to climb four floors' worth of stairs several times a day means you could cancel your gym membership and still keep fit whilst saving money :)

jeffrey
03-02-2010, 15:42 PM
Yes, OP's taking steps to...

westminster
03-02-2010, 15:57 PM
Jeffrey, any views on lurkio's original question, now that it has been established that ARIM is the freeholder and agent, but another company is the leaseholder and landlord?

lurkio
03-02-2010, 16:00 PM
Remember that lifts can go down as well as up.

Currently its not doing either :)

jeffrey
03-02-2010, 17:01 PM
Jeffrey, any views on lurkio's original question, now that it has been established that ARIM is the freeholder and agent, but another company is the leaseholder and landlord?
Yes. An underlessee's demise is held from L, the intermediate leasehold reversioner, who in turn holds from the freehold reversioner.
Result: underlessee's rights are against L, the intermediate leasehold reversioner.

lurkio
03-02-2010, 17:54 PM
Yes. An underlessee's demise is held from L, the intermediate leasehold reversioner, who in turn holds from the freehold reversioner.
Result: underlessee's rights are against L, the intermediate leasehold reversioner.

Thanks, and in leyman's terms?

Preston
03-02-2010, 20:26 PM
I think Jeffrey is using slightly different language to express the relationship which Westminster described in post 12 and to confirm that it your direct landlord - the leaseholder of your flat - against whom you can exercise your contractual remedies.

Section 11 of the Landlord and Tenant Act imposes on landlords a duty to keep in repair the whole building in which the premises are situated as well as installations serving the premises. Unless your tenancy agreement says otherwise the lift would normally be regarded as such an "installation". It would not be a defence for your landlord - the leaseholder of your flat - to justify inaction by blaming the freeholder. He or she should be taking steps to enforce the freeholder's repairing obligations.

Once the landlord is put on notice of any disrepair he or she has a reasonable amount of time to put it right, after which the tenant can sue for damages. There is no strict definition of reasonable in the various case law on this issue, but it seems very likely that 6 months would be regarded as much too long to be reasonable in these circumstances.

lurkio
04-02-2010, 11:57 AM
Thanks Preston. I will start to draft a letter to my landlord today and look to send it off tomorrow. Thank you to all of you who have contributed to this thread, much appreciated