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View Full Version : Seven years' res. let ended- dispute with L re wear/tear



DaveSmith2020
05-03-2010, 11:08 AM
I have been a tenant for about 7 years and recently left. For many reasons, they are keeping my entire deposit. For example, my landlords are saying that all floor areas require replacement, except for the bathroom which is vinyl. They state various reasons, mostly dirt, stains or burns.

The carpets were not brand new when I first moved in, although they were mostly in good condition.

Is 7 years long enough for them to be deemed beyond their normal life? I am a sole tenant who worked from home.

Also, they are claiming the hallway and kitchen laminate flooring were left in a filthy, engrained state. I have tried cleaning them but whatever you use, you just cannot get the engrained dirt out no matter how hard you try. They are 7 years old. Is this considered fair wear and tear?

The property has not been painted in 7 years. There is two parts of a wall with stains from where smoke from a candle has been. Is this fair wear and tear?

Thanks,

Dave

DaveSmith2020
05-03-2010, 11:20 AM
Having vacated my property recently, my landlord is keeping my deposit. One claim is that there is water damage to the roof of part of the property, where there has been a dripping overflow pipe.

I was completely unaware of the dripping or the roof damage.

Am I responsible for this and can they keep money from my deposit to make good?

Thanks,

Dave

mind the gap
05-03-2010, 11:32 AM
I think they are being extremely unreasonable by the sound of it. Unless the carpets were brand new Axminsters I would expect them to be worth no more than 20% of their original value by the end of a 7 year tenancy.

Same goes for laminate.

Plus, unless LL has a detailed check-in inventory and/or receipts to prove how old all items are whcih he is claiming deductions for, then he will struggle to prove you owe him anything at all.

It sounds from what you say as though you could have a strong case for claiming your deposit back through the courts. How much is the deposit?

Candle smoke stains : not fair wear and tear, but easily remedied with damp-proof paint applied to area then over-emulsioned. Otherwise, if property has not been redecorated for 7 years he cannot claim the cost of that from you - it's fair wear and tear.

mind the gap
05-03-2010, 11:37 AM
Having vacated my property recently, my landlord is keeping my deposit. One claim is that there is water damage to the roof of part of the property, where there has been a dripping overflow pipe.

I was completely unaware of the dripping or the roof damage.

Am I responsible for this and can they keep money from my deposit to make good?

Thanks,

Dave


It is reasonable for the T to inform the LL of any problems such as a permanently dripping overflow, so that he can effect repairs. However the LL is supposed to carry out inspections himself periodically (usually every three or six months) - did he do that?

Was the dripping overflow clearly visible from the outside of the house?

Whether it is deemed reasonable or not for LL to take money from your deposit for repairs will depend on how reasonable (or otherwise) a judge (assuming this ends up in court), thinks your LL's claim (that you did not inform him of the problem), is.

DaveSmith2020
05-03-2010, 11:45 AM
The landlord never made an official inspection in 7 years, although they may have been around plenty of times to fix other things.

There is a pipe visible above the affected roof but I have not seen water dripping from it before. I suspect it might be a gutter that gets cleared out from time to time, but I cannot be sure. If I don't see a problem while there, am I still responsible?

DaveSmith2020
05-03-2010, 11:48 AM
The deposit is for £1,000, but they are claiming all sorts of things. That is just a sample!

Also, the carpets were not new when I moved in. They were from the previous owners.

westminster
05-03-2010, 11:52 AM
LL claims appear to be unjustified. Write to LL demanding return of the deposit, give a deadline to pay (2 weeks is plenty), and say that if you do not receive payment you will issue a claim in the county court. Keep copy letter and get a free certificate of posting to prove delivery.

After two weeks, issue a claim using Money Claim Online.

DaveSmith2020
05-03-2010, 11:55 AM
You guys are just great - giving me hope! I was so depressed when I read their nasty letter the other day. I just thought I have lost everything. There were multiple pages of bulleted points for all sorts of things. I've only stated a couple of things here. The awful thing is I got on really well with them too. All that goodwill down the drain.

westminster
05-03-2010, 12:09 PM
Another thought, assuming you had an assured shorthold tenancy, in England/Wales, with rent less than £2,083.33 pcm, and a non-resident landlord, did you ever renew the tenancy (i.e. a new fixed term agreement) after 6th April 2007? If so, did the landlord protect the deposit?

Because, if the above situation applies, and the deposit is protected, then you could instead raise a dispute with the deposit scheme.

DaveSmith2020
05-03-2010, 12:11 PM
It went into a periodic tenancy around 2003 I believe.

westminster
05-03-2010, 12:21 PM
Okay, so you'd have to use the court to settle the dispute. Court fees are added to the claim, BTW.

Also remember that the onus is on the landlord to prove he is entitled to make deductions from your money. As MTG says above, LL would firstly need evidence of the original condition of the property, usually in the form of a check-in inventory signed by you.

It is a very straightforward claim from your POV, but you may find it helpful to buy a book on the small claims procedure. Look on Amazon. I have one by Patricia Pearl, but no doubt there are others just as useful.

DaveSmith2020
05-03-2010, 12:36 PM
There is an inventory which I signed, which just lists the items. It does not state the condition of them.

The claim is made more complex because of the numerous other things they are claiming for. Should I list them here? Or start another thread due to them not necessarily being fair wear and tear?

westminster
05-03-2010, 12:41 PM
The claim isn't complex from your POV. You would just be claiming for return of the deposit. It's the landlord who would have to explain and provide proof of the numerous deductions.

And no, don't start another thread. If you want to know whether any of the other deductions might be fair/reasonable, post in this thread.

jeffrey
05-03-2010, 12:55 PM
Another thought, assuming you had an assured shorthold tenancy, in England/Wales, with rent less than £2,083.33 pcm, and a non-resident landlord, did you ever renew the tenancy (i.e. a new fixed term agreement) after 6th April 2007? If so, did the landlord protect the deposit?

Because, if the above situation applies, and the deposit is protected, then you could instead raise a dispute with the deposit scheme.


It went into a periodic tenancy around 2003 I believe.
So deposit protection is not applicable.

DaveSmith2020
05-03-2010, 13:01 PM
Ok, here are a few more items!

1. Mains socket was left broken and needs replacing with electrician - I have no knowledge of this and dispute it.

2. Cost of dry cleaning of two long curtains

3. Burnt in food on ovens which is impossible to remove. I had a cleaner attempt to remove the stubborn stuff but it just wouldn't come off. Oven is probably 2 or 3 years old.

4. Rear gate lock would not open. Key left broken in the lock. We tried hard to turn it but the key must have been fatigued and broke off. We needed the gate open to get the large sofa out during removal time. The gate door has been a problem that was repair twice by the landlord. I rarely used the door and had no idea the lock would not work.

5. The hallway light had to be removed in an attempt to get the sofa out the front door, but it would not fit. I could not reconnect since I am colour blind. This problem was caused by the stuck back gate, that would not unlock.

6. Water leaking from shower room into hallway ceiling has caused water damage. I was not aware of this until a few days before I moved. I noticed some swelling and pushed the plaster and some came away.

7. They claim I have failed to maintain the shower cubicle. The tray was not level and water used to settle, leading to lime-scale build up. My cleaner spent ages trying to remove it. They are claiming they will consequently need to replace the shower tray.

8. They claim the carpet in the en-suite is stained and unfit for use and so needs replacing.

9. They state I left the garage full of rubbish and in a filthy state. Can't have been full of my rubbish since my car was in there taking up nearly all the room!

And other things.

They are claiming that there is extensive damage and associated costs. And there was me thinking I left the place in good condition! :S

fletchj
05-03-2010, 13:11 PM
First off - you have been there for 7 years.

Was this one original tenancy or were new contracts issued at any point? The reason that this is important is that if a new contract was issued after 2007 then the deposit would need to have been protected (assumes tenancy is in England or Wales with annual rent <25K) this could make getting the money back easier.

Regardless if you think his deductions unfair or just unprovable e.g. there was no initial inventory just send a letter before action and sue him for whatever part of the deposit you think should be returned. Its your money its up to the LL to prove his entitlment not the other way round.

DaveSmith2020
05-03-2010, 13:18 PM
I had a periodic tenancy from 2003. This was after my first 6 months AST.

There was an inventory, which just listed the items in the property.

My question is, if as a tenant you are unaware of a problem, can that be deemed negligence? To my mind, how can it be negligence if you had no idea? Damage to a low roof...I don't climb onto the lower level roof, which was about 8 foot from the ground. Since I can't see it, I had no reason to know it was damaged. Or am I supposed to go around checking the property roof and so on?

ram
05-03-2010, 13:39 PM
Having vacated my property recently, my landlord is keeping my deposit. One claim is that there is water damage to the roof of part of the property,

Assume you were not on a full repair and maintenence contract

You just paid the rent ?

If so, Anything that is hidden and damage caused by old pipes / unmaintained ball cocks in hidden rooves, is the responsiblity of the landlord.

Is he now going to say you did not inspect the roof timbers at the other end, and now more need replaceing because of dry rot that you did not inform him of ?

Fair wear and tear is the landlords responsibility, and his responsibility to fix the concequences of hidden faults that don't show up untill it's to late.
And you did not go into the roof to maliciously to reset the ball cock so it would leak. - - nothing lasts for ever, and your landlrd is making you pay ( is trying to make you pay ) for worn out items.

mind the gap
05-03-2010, 15:01 PM
Ok, here are a few more items!

1. Mains socket was left broken and needs replacing with electrician - I have no knowledge of this and dispute it.

2. Cost of dry cleaning of two long curtains

3. Burnt in food on ovens which is impossible to remove. I had a cleaner attempt to remove the stubborn stuff but it just wouldn't come off. Oven is probably 2 or 3 years old.

4. Rear gate lock would not open. Key left broken in the lock. We tried hard to turn it but the key must have been fatigued and broke off. We needed the gate open to get the large sofa out during removal time. The gate door has been a problem that was repair twice by the landlord. I rarely used the door and had no idea the lock would not work.

5. The hallway light had to be removed in an attempt to get the sofa out the front door, but it would not fit. I could not reconnect since I am colour blind. This problem was caused by the stuck back gate, that would not unlock.

6. Water leaking from shower room into hallway ceiling has caused water damage. I was not aware of this until a few days before I moved. I noticed some swelling and pushed the plaster and some came away.

7. They claim I have failed to maintain the shower cubicle. The tray was not level and water used to settle, leading to lime-scale build up. My cleaner spent ages trying to remove it. They are claiming they will consequently need to replace the shower tray.

8. They claim the carpet in the en-suite is stained and unfit for use and so needs replacing.

9. They state I left the garage full of rubbish and in a filthy state. Can't have been full of my rubbish since my car was in there taking up nearly all the room!

And other things.

They are claiming that there is extensive damage and associated costs. And there was me thinking I left the place in good condition! :S

1 Food burnt on to oven is probably your repsonsibility, assuming oven was not in that state to begin with and -even more crucially - that LL can prove this. If he cannot, then you have a good case for resisisting any deduction for having it cleaned.

2. Cleaning of curtains - possibly.
6. Depending on how long the water has been leaking LL may have a case for arguing that you should have reported it to him earlier.


The rest of the points : I think he will struggle to prove much of it, although if you have dmaaged anything removing your sofa, it is your responsibility to pay for the repair.

DaveSmith2020
05-03-2010, 16:13 PM
Regarding the food burnt issue - I have no problem paying the correct amount for this. However, the LL is claiming that the whole oven needs replacing at estimate cost of £440.

Cleaning of curtains - what is deemed the lifespan of them? Should the lifespan be greater than 7 years?

The leaking water issue - more debatable, I agree. But I did not know it was leaking until the damage was done. As soons as I discovered this, I told them.

My reasoning regarding the sofa issue: if the removal of my sofa was not possible due to the gate being locked shut, we had to do something to get them out since it was the last day of the tenancy. a) more effort than normal was required and so the key snapped. b) it was due to the gate problem that the light in the hallway had to be removed. So I suppose the question is, am I negligent in not checking the functioning of the back gate before the removal men arrived? Or since there has twice been a problem with the back gate sticking, is it the LL's problem?

DaveSmith2020
05-03-2010, 16:17 PM
To be clear, the pipe concerned is on an outside wall going out of the property onto a low level roof. The pipe is visible from the patio. The pipe is not hidden inside a loft. However, I have never noticed this pipe drip before. And I have not seen any roof damage as I have not been up on the low level roof to view it.

mind the gap
05-03-2010, 17:17 PM
Regarding the food burnt issue - I have no problem paying the correct amount for this. However, the LL is claiming that the whole oven needs replacing at estimate cost of £440.This is not OK - it amounts to betterment. Find out how much it costs to have an oven steam cleaned (£60?) and agree to that.


Cleaning of curtains - what is deemed the lifespan of them? Should the lifespan be greater than 7 years?Depends on the quality of the curtins, but it does not seem unreasonable to ask you to have them cleaned after 7 years' use, does it? Allow £20.


The leaking water issue - more debatable, I agree. But I did not know it was leaking until the damage was done. As soons as I discovered this, I told them.In that case I do not think you can be held liable.


My reasoning regarding the sofa issue: if the removal of my sofa was not possible due to the gate being locked shut, we had to do something to get them out since it was the last day of the tenancy. a) more effort than normal was required and so the key snapped. b) it was due to the gate problem that the light in the hallway had to be removed. So I suppose the question is, am I negligent in not checking the functioning of the back gate before the removal men arrived? Or since there has twice been a problem with the back gate sticking, is it the LL's problem?Yes, it would have been sensible to think about the logistics of moving your sofa before the day itself. Did you report the problem of the back gate sticking as soon as you noticed it? If not, then it could be argued you could have done. In any case, if you have damaged the gate and the light by bringing/forcing the sofa through, I do think you should pay for those things.

DaveSmith2020
05-03-2010, 18:51 PM
They said they have already done the curtains and it cost £80 to dry clean. They were long curtains for the living room.

I have reported the back gate in the past when you could not open it. It was fixed twice. However, the last time I used the gate it opened fine, but this time (probably due to the weather) it didn't. I rarely need to use the gate - perhaps once every 6 months?

So, it seems unclear who is liable for a problem with the property which was a) not known about by the tenant at that time, and b) led to problems getting my sofa out, resulting in a snapped key and light fitting removal. If I was not liable for the door, then surely I had no choice?

mind the gap
05-03-2010, 19:09 PM
They said they have already done the curtains and it cost £80 to dry clean. They were long curtains for the living room.Ask to see the dry cleaning receipt. Sounds excessive. Are they top quality fully lined velvet, or what? You could probably buy new curtains for that.


I have reported the back gate in the past when you could not open it. It was fixed twice. However, the last time I used the gate it opened fine, but this time (probably due to the weather) it didn't. I rarely need to use the gate - perhaps once every 6 months? Then it sounds like it could be fair wear and tear - difficult to say.


So, it seems unclear who is liable for a problem with the property which was a) not known about by the tenant at that time, and b) led to problems getting my sofa out, resulting in a snapped key and light fitting removal. If I was not liable for the door, then surely I had no choice? It's a bit murky, but I suggest that you do as advised and claim back everything but the items like the oven cleaning which you accept are your responsibility. Then let the judge decide. Without an inventory showing condition at check-in, your LL will struggle.

DaveSmith2020
07-03-2010, 10:01 AM
My landlord never did an official inspection of the property during my 7 years of tenancy. Now that he won't return my deposit due to claims of disrepair, does this lack of inspection leave him liable in any way? For example, he is claiming there is damage to the wooden door frame at the front of the house, due to me allowing the plant to grow too close to it.

I understand it is normal for landlords to do official inspections, so is this considered negligent on their part and can it void their claims against wood rot, damage to shed roof etc?

A couple of times, while they were around doing repairs, they asked if they could have a quick look around. Took less than 5 minutes each time. Would this be considered a standard inspection? Or when you inspect, are you supposed to look at things like the roofing etc?

Thanks,

Dave

tom999
07-03-2010, 10:19 AM
My landlord never did an official inspection of the property during my 7 years of tenancy. Now that he won't return my deposit due to claims of disrepair, does this lack of inspection leave him liable in any way? For example, he is claiming there is damage to the wooden door frame at the front of the house, due to me allowing the plant to grow too close to it.Unless an inventory was completed at check-in (e.g. written, photo's, videos), the LL would find it difficult to claim for deposit deductions when making a claim, as there would be no proof of condition of property at tenancy start.

Lawcruncher
07-03-2010, 10:36 AM
A failure to inspect does not prejudice the landlord's case. What may prejudice his case is the lack of any record of the condition of the property at the start of the tenancy.

DaveSmith2020
07-03-2010, 11:20 AM
Interesting comments. There was an inventory but it just listed the items. Maybe they have taken photos but I am not aware of this.

Is it not the landlords obligation to keep the property safe (e.g. electrics, gas) and structurally sound and so forth? If so, how can they ascertain this is so without regular inspection?

DaveSmith2020
07-03-2010, 11:56 AM
I am in dispute with my landlord over my deposit, so for part of my defence I want to claim compensation for failure to promptly fix a leaking roof.

It took them 9 months to fix a problem where water would drip through my en suite ceiling onto the carpet. There were lights up there too. Water and electrics don't mix!

It happened a couple of years ago and I have a record of the emails showing how slow they sorted it.

Is it too late to claim compensation? How much can you claim for such a thing? Or do you just state you want compensation and leave it to the courts to decide? Do I have a case?

Thanks!

Dave

islandgirl
07-03-2010, 12:28 PM
Gas inspections MUST be done by law. However nothing else must be inspected. I did an inspection of my property after 6 months and it was fine - I now leave the tenants alone and belive that a lack of this inspection works for both of us. To try to blame the landlord for not inspecting the property is a very negative attitude in my book. As others have said, no inventory, no decuctions. I have an inventory and do annual gas checks - that is enough for me (my tenants have been with me over 3 years)

mind the gap
07-03-2010, 12:39 PM
Gas inspections MUST be done by law. However nothing else must be inspected. I did an inspection of my property after 6 months and it was fine - I now leave the tenants alone and belive that a lack of this inspection works for both of us. To try to blame the landlord for not inspecting the property is a very negative attitude in my book. As others have said, no inventory, no decuctions. I have an inventory and do annual gas checks - that is enough for me (my tenants have been with me over 3 years)
I agree. It all depends on the tenants you have. Wiith student tenants in licensable HMOs, LLs can be required as a condition of the HMO licence to inspect every 3 months. With some tenants this is indeed a good idea. However if the Ts are sensible and thoughtful human beings, with the initiative to inform the LL if there is a problem to do with the property which he would want to know about, then regular inspections should not really be necessary. six students who party hard and play football indoors are a different proposition from a single occupant or a family hoping to stay long-term with two responsible adults and well-behaved children.

Horses for courses!

(islandgirl, that was not an invitation to eat them, by the way:D)

DaveSmith2020
07-03-2010, 12:48 PM
I understand the logic behind this perfectly and I am not trying to be negative. This problem is only arising because the landlord is throwing the book at me and not returning my deposit.

Regarding the wooden frame of the door...is it not the responsibility of the landlord to keep the exterior of the property in repair? They are claiming that I caused the damage due to the plant being too close. But if they are responsible for the upkeep of the exterior of the property, how can this be my issue? Is it not their negligence to inspect the property that has led to the wood rotting? i.e. they should have ensured proper upkeep and painting of the door frame to prevent such a problem?

thevaliant
07-03-2010, 12:57 PM
You already have your answer.

If the check in inventory wasn't sufficient, then any claims are likely to fail.

However, you're asking the wrong people. Write to your landlord and dispute the deduction and ask for the deposit return. Be prepared to take it all the way to court if necessary.

mind the gap
07-03-2010, 13:00 PM
I understand the logic behind this perfectly and I am not trying to be negative. This problem is only arising because the landlord is throwing the book at me and not returning my deposit.

Regarding the wooden frame of the door...is it not the responsibility of the landlord to keep the exterior of the property in repair? They are claiming that I caused the damage due to the plant being too close. But if they are responsible for the upkeep of the exterior of the property, how can this be my issue? Is it not their negligence to inspect the property that has led to the wood rotting? i.e. they should have ensured proper upkeep and painting of the door frame to prevent such a problem?

I think you are clutching at straws, somewhat.

The assumption is that if you live in a rented property, you should behave in a tenant-like manner, which means taking reasonable care of the property during the time you live in it as though you were the owner, even though it does not belong to you. If you have caused a door frame to rot by putting a large plant next to it so the wood got damp, I cannot see how that is the LLs fault. If the wood was exposed ie untreated/unpainted when you moved in, then it would have been sensible not to put the plant near it as there is a good chance it would rot if exposed to damp.

westminster
07-03-2010, 13:07 PM
Is it not the landlords obligation to keep the property safe (e.g. electrics, gas) and structurally sound and so forth? If so, how can they ascertain this is so without regular inspection?
Although the LL has certain statutory obligations relating to safety and maintenance, the tenant also has an obligation to report disrepair to the landlord, and behave in a 'tenant-like' manner. Mostly, the LL's repairing obligations do not arise until the disrepair is reported.

For example, if the boiler broke down, it's the landlord's responsibility to repair it, but he is not obliged to continually check it is working, or anticipate when it might have broken down.

Or, if the roof was leaking, causing damage to the interior decor, it is the tenant's responsibility to report it immediately, failing which, T may be liable for the damage caused (if, say, T allowed the leak to continue for several weeks before telling LL about it).

With regard to the question about the door frame - if you did not maintain the plant (in a tenant-like manner) and as a result the plant damaged the door frame, then you are liable for the damage.

DaveSmith2020
07-03-2010, 13:09 PM
The plant in question is in fact a bush that was there when I moved in. It was close to the woodwork before (from memory) and I used to periodically prune it back, in what I believe was a tenant like manner.

Since this was outside anyway, it is exposed to the elements, including rain. I was there for 7 years. Could this not be fair wear and tear?

mind the gap
07-03-2010, 13:35 PM
The plant in question is in fact a bush that was there when I moved in. It was close to the woodwork before (from memory) and I used to periodically prune it back, in what I believe was a tenant like manner.

Since this was outside anyway, it is exposed to the elements, including rain. I was there for 7 years. Could this not be fair wear and tear?

I think it would be helpful if you kept all your questions together on the same thread!

After 7 years then yes, I would expect the LL to have repainted externally.

In view of what you have said in your other thread it seems that your LL is going to struggle to justify the deductions anyway. Stop fretting. Just send him a short Letter Before Action disputing his proposed deductions and attach a print out of your MCOL. Such letters often serve to focus a rogue LL's minds wonderfully.

mind the gap
07-03-2010, 13:41 PM
Haha snap!

Yes...although I must confess I have never been entirely comfortable with the phrase! If doing something in 'a tenant-like manner' means doing it in the way a householder/OO would do, why doesn't it say so?

If actually behaving 'like a tenant' were the criterion, it is arguably meaningless, since tenants behaviour is not homogenous and lots of tenants don't in fact behave like a property owner, do they?

Behaving in 'a tenant-like manner' in our student house seems to mean sitting around in one's pyjamas all day eating toast and chocolate spread, watching The Fresh Prince of Bel Air and not noticing that the gate has been lifted off its hinges by hoodlums and deposited further down the street, or or that the washing machine is leaking.

Ericthelobster
07-03-2010, 14:30 PM
It took them 9 months to fix a problem where water would drip through my en suite ceiling onto the carpet. There were lights up there too. Water and electrics don't mix!I think you'll find that this is one of those instances where you can't claim damages for what 'might' have happened. If you'd been electrocuted as a result of your LL's failure to respond to your reports of the problem then you could have thrown the book at him.

If you want to pursue you this, you need to consider what actual incovenience/damage etc you personally suffered as a result, and put a monetary sum on that. And then consider whether that figure is really worth going to court over?

DaveSmith2020
07-03-2010, 14:36 PM
I would find it so hard to put a monetary value on the inconvenience. Regarding the risk, I thought it was a criminal offense.


If you let property you must ensure that the electrical system and all appliances supplied are safe - failure to comply with the Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994 and the The Consumer Protection Act 1987 is a criminal offence and may result in:

* A fine of £5,000 per item not complying
* Six month's imprisonment
* Possible manslaughter charges in the even of deaths
* The Tenant may also sue you for civil damages
* Your property insurance may be invalidated

These regulations are enforced by the Health & Safety Executive.

Water dripping through a ceiling when it rains, is a danger surely - especially when there are mains powered lights on the ceiling?

karenlisam
07-03-2010, 15:08 PM
I think perhaps that you would have needed to have taken action while there (based on advice I have been given being in a similar situation now)

ie once your written requests to fix it weren't responded to in good time then involving the environmental health

Sadly it seems that there doesn't seem to be any rent compensation or deductions in place for disgraceful landlords letting people live in awful conditions while they drag out essential repairs as long as possible

If thats wrong would love to know as my LL is now saying that as he has agreed to end my contract early he will not be fixing anything due to being about to go bankrupt and sell up ( have no downstairs electrics at all as the ceiling leaked and blew them up)

Just throwing my situation over to the EHO but I don't expect to see any rent back which isn't right IMHO but I could have taken action sooner if I knew the law.

westminster
07-03-2010, 17:39 PM
I would find it so hard to put a monetary value on the inconvenience. Regarding the risk, I thought it was a criminal offense.
Even if there was a risk at the time of the leak, firstly, you can't prove it, secondly, you suffered no injury - therefore no 'compensation' due for non-injury.

As for a civil claim for general compensation for disrepair, see this article:
http://nearlylegal.co.uk/blog/2007/09/quantum-in-disrepair/

You'd probably need more than a few emails as evidence to support your claim.

BTW, bad idea to claim for an unspecified amount as the court fee would be £1,530.

Moderator1
07-03-2010, 20:34 PM
Four separate threads by same member have been merged here. Do not cause problems by starting continuation threads; use the same one.

DaveSmith2020
09-03-2010, 16:12 PM
My AST contract states a rather large paragraph that says I am liable for all solicitors costs in the event of legal action. It starts like this:

"To pay to the Landlord or his Agents on demand all legal and other costs, including but without limitation all solicitor's, barrister's fees" blah blah for any action out of breach of the contract, or words to that effect.

Would this be classed as an unfair clause in the tenancy agreement?

jeffrey
10-03-2010, 10:11 AM
Only a Court could hold a clause to be unfair; and, no, I doubt that it would.
Why should L have to pay own costs of suing a defaulting T, anyway?

DaveSmith2020
10-03-2010, 14:59 PM
I thought courts decided who was liable for the costs and so they make the decision. Or am I wrong on that?

What about if a Tenant is bringing a claim against a Landlord. Why should the Tenant be liable for the Landlords legal bill?

jeffrey
10-03-2010, 15:09 PM
I thought courts decided who was liable for the costs and so they make the decision. Or am I wrong on that?

What about if a Tenant is bringing a claim against a Landlord. Why should the Tenant be liable for the Landlords legal bill?
You're right. The Court will be able (but not obliged) to make one party pay the other's costs. Usually, it leans towards the winner- whether claimant/plaintiff or defendant- being indemnified by the loser. The clause simply reaffirms that; it cannot oust the Court's jurisdiction, of course.