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gooders2274
11-06-2005, 13:08 PM
I posted on here a few weeks ago re problems with my landlord

http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=415

Following the advice given on here i wrote to him to advise that i would be withholding a fourth of the rent until he gets repairs done, rubbish removed, gas safety certificate etc. He called me immediately the next day but i was busy and asked him to call back, HE DIDNT. 2 weeks later i sent another letter and assumed he had got it as he rang again and arranged for the owner of the property to come round here. Well he came and i showed him everything that needed doing and he was very rude and quite intimidating towards me. After 4 months of phone calls and letters he told ME to phone the burgular alarm people to find out a new code, ME to have the rubbish removed by local company and he would pay for it (!) and last night he rang again to give ME the mobile number of a plumber to arrange for the guy to come round and do a gas safety and repairs etc. Why all this couldnt have been done 4 months ago i dont know. I dont really have the time or money to keep making phone calls to mobiles and organising repairs etc I feel the landlord should do it.
Then last night he started demanding the rent (which I have withheld this month as back payment for the 4 months i have been here @ 200 pounds per month), I said i had put it all in writing and he knew i was going to do it, but he started getting quite abusive and threatened to come round and collect it himself. I told him i was only following advise i had been given and once he started getting the property sorted out i would carry on paying full rent, but he said - JUST PAY THE RENT NOW - and hung up. Then this morning I got my recorded delivery returned which I sent to him marked - Not known at this address - which is rather worrying becuase now not only do I have no contact with the person on my tenancy agreement but I have no address for him either and am now having to deal with the owner of the property who seems quite agressive. I told him i would speak to a solicitor but i really cant afford one,
anyone know where I should go from here..??
I really just want to move now, as living on my own with 2 small children I'm worried about 6ft 5' agressive men turning up on my doorstep.

lucid
11-06-2005, 13:31 PM
Sounds like you need some support and advice. Although you could go to a CAB you may be better to go see a housing specialist at your local lawcentre, all advice etc is free. Alternatively contact the tenancy relations service at yourt local council. Heres a list of local lawcentres. (Right click save as..adobe pdf file)

http://www.landlordlaw.co.uk/content/LawCentres.pdf

or go to: http://www.lawcentres.org.uk/

and on the right of the page Find a Law Centre

I hope you manage to resolve your present difficulties.

gooders2274
12-06-2005, 23:53 PM
thats great thanks, i'll give it a try.

PaulF
13-06-2005, 08:45 AM
Just to give you a little more peace of mind the law is entirely on your side, and harrassment is definitely not on. Try and record some if his calls if possible. Might be VERY useful!

Keep the returned mail as this is evidence too! Tell your landlord that you need the correct address to serve notices on him otherwise under S.48 of the Landlord & Tenant Act 1987 the rent is not lawfully due until he does!

If his address has changed then he must tell you the new one.

Gailforce
14-06-2005, 05:41 AM
If you really want to stay in the property, why don't you do the repairs and deduct from rent?

Also contact CORGI and Trading Standards as its against the law to rent without a CORGI certificate

oaktree
14-06-2005, 08:26 AM
While the landlord is undoubtedly in the wrong you can't simply withhold your rent without doing something to rectify the position. You have no legal right to withhold your rent but in certain circumstances you may off set the cost of repairs from your rent which is provided for under common law.

There is a procedure to follow however and you would be well advised to follow it. Get estimates for the work, tell the landlord you will get the work done if he doesn't get it done within say 7 days and send the bill to him for payment. If he doesn't pay then you can deduct the cost of the repairs from your rent; you can't deduct your costs or anything for damages.

I recovered money from a tenant who tried to use the rule of set off for a spurious claim against a landlord for repairs to a shower; they tried to withhold two months rent, nearly £1400, for a £100 repair.

Considering that this involves gas safety and your safety I wouldn't wait any longer

gooders2274
14-06-2005, 09:57 AM
[QUOTE=oaktree]While the landlord is undoubtedly in the wrong you can't simply withhold your rent

I am not with holding all the rent. I am doing as advised by others on this board from my previous postings. I am deducting a fourth of the rent (and have backdated it for the 4 months I have been here) until he gets the repairs, safety issues sorted out. I havent spent the money - i will keep it aside until its sorted and decide what to do then. I really dont want to sytay in the property now anyway as I dont appreciate this guy threatening me on the phone. He is the one in the wrong here surely.??

oaktree
14-06-2005, 11:26 AM
[QUOTE=oaktree]While the landlord is undoubtedly in the wrong you can't simply withhold your rent

I am not with holding all the rent. I am doing as advised by others on this board from my previous postings. I am deducting a fourth of the rent (and have backdated it for the 4 months I have been here) until he gets the repairs, safety issues sorted out. I havent spent the money - i will keep it aside until its sorted and decide what to do then. I really dont want to sytay in the property now anyway as I dont appreciate this guy threatening me on the phone. He is the one in the wrong here surely.??Yes the landlord is in the wrong but the law is applied equally i.e. 2 wrongs don't make a right and in the eyes of the law you are in breach of contract as much as the landlord regardless of which breach took place first. The landlord being in breach of his obligatons does not mean that whatever agreement you had to pay the rent (in full) is no longer in force.

Withholding rent is an effective way to focus a landlords mind but is rarely the safest way to do things legally.

While it sounds like this landlord is the type who is unlikley to rely on the courts to sort this out you do need to be seen to be sticking to your part of the agreement should it go that way.

You've withheld £800, is the work that needs to be done likely to cost £800? If not then you are withholding a disproportionate amount of rent for the work that is required. Safer to set it off against the rent by getting the work done yourself and paying the (reasonable bill) out of the rent after giving the landlord a reasonable time to sort it out (sounds like you've reached that stage). You are entitled to have the work done and paid for, not to make a profit out of the situation.

Jennifer_M
14-06-2005, 11:37 AM
Oaktree, I believed a tenant was entitled to witholding a portion of the rent if the landlord didn't repair things making "part of the house" unusable.
After all the tenant is paying full rent for the use of the whole property.

Here the tenant cannot use the garage she's renting, and cannot take showers as it's broken (amongst other things).
A house without "a bathroom" and garage wouldn't attract same rent as a house with them.
The same if water damage made one room unhabitable.

Anyway my beliefs have nothing to do with the lawful thing to do, I was just under the impression that a tenant could withold part of the rent in these cases.

gooders2274
14-06-2005, 12:49 PM
[QUOTE=Jennifer_M]Oaktree, I believed a tenant was entitled to witholding a portion of the rent if the landlord didn't repair things making "part of the house" unusable.
After all the tenant is paying full rent for the use of the whole property.

Yes Jennifer that is the exact case. I am with holding part rent as I cannot take showers, use the garage etc. and I am paying 800 pounds a month and not getting to use all these facilities. On top of those things the fact is now that there is still no gas safety (after 4 months) which is against the law AND he has moved (or has pretended to) as my letters to him are now being returned - not known at this address.

Is there anyway I could break this contract, ive had enough and just want to move now. He is aggarant, agressive and rude and is totally intimidating me.

oaktree
14-06-2005, 16:10 PM
Oaktree, I believed a tenant was entitled to witholding a portion of the rent if the landlord didn't repair things making "part of the house" unusable.
After all the tenant is paying full rent for the use of the whole property.

Here the tenant cannot use the garage she's renting, and cannot take showers as it's broken (amongst other things).
A house without "a bathroom" and garage wouldn't attract same rent as a house with them.
The same if water damage made one room unhabitable.

Anyway my beliefs have nothing to do with the lawful thing to do, I was just under the impression that a tenant could withold part of the rent in these cases.Its a common enough error to make but not quite right, the tenant can deduct the cost of rectifying the fault after giving the landlord sufficient notice of their intention to do so. I think Gooders2274 may have misread or misunderstood Paul_f's post on the original thread when he referred to deducting money from the rent using the rule of set off which is the correct way of dealing with this type of situation.

oaktree
14-06-2005, 16:15 PM
[QUOTE=Jennifer_M]Oaktree, I believed a tenant was entitled to witholding a portion of the rent if the landlord didn't repair things making "part of the house" unusable.
After all the tenant is paying full rent for the use of the whole property.

Yes Jennifer that is the exact case. I am with holding part rent as I cannot take showers, use the garage etc. and I am paying 800 pounds a month and not getting to use all these facilities. On top of those things the fact is now that there is still no gas safety (after 4 months) which is against the law AND he has moved (or has pretended to) as my letters to him are now being returned - not known at this address.

Is there anyway I could break this contract, ive had enough and just want to move now. He is aggarant, agressive and rude and is totally intimidating me.I'll try again. You have deducted money from the rent, probably more than you need to cover the cost of the work required. Use it to rectify the faults in the house and pay the landlord the balance along with a breakdown of the costs.

Refer to the original thread regarding the deduction of tax.

Whether you can get out of the agreement depends on the wording and what you accepted when you moved in.

gooders2274
15-06-2005, 20:38 PM
i am just at the end of my tether now, i dont know what to do, i called the plumber re getting the work done and he asked me to get the landlord to call him, but i felt a right idiot having to tell him i dont have the landlord number, the letting agents have nothing to do with it so i would contact the landlords agent (why am i having to do all this running around when i really dont have the time - or money), so i called the agent, he said he would get the landlords number and to call him back in a few minuteds, well i then ran out of credit so text him - twice to ask him to text or ring the number through to me and he hasnt. I had also asked him about the letters coming back as not known at this address and he denied it. So I have spoken to a solicitor who basically informed me that the money is best kept in my account as if he doesnt do any of the repairs I can use it to do them myself, but she also said write to him a(well i cant cos i dont have an address and he obvsiouly isnt goingto give me the new one).
I really dont know what to try next - i really just want to move, is there not anyway i can get out of this tenancy? I wish I could sue the bastard for the stress he is causing me.

PaulF
16-06-2005, 09:09 AM
If you really want to stay in the property, why don't you do the repairs and deduct from rent?

Also contact CORGI and Trading Standards as its against the law to rent without a CORGI certificate
It is not CORGI who police the lack of a GSC (they won't want to know!), that rests with the local Environmental Health Officer. CORGI only become involved is there is sub-standard workmanship or a gas engineer falsely claims to be CORGI Registered, when TSO also becomes involved.

Patois
16-06-2005, 09:24 AM
It is the HSE (Health and Safety Executive) who are the enforcement authority for the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations. Not the EHO.
The local EHO will advise and will probably know who he HSE contact officer is.
The EHO enforces the Housing Act 1985 (at the moment) soon to be repealed by the Housing Act 2004.

gooders2274
16-06-2005, 10:02 AM
i have reoprted him to h&s already and he has given me the number of a plumber to come round, i have called the plumber but he said he needs to speak to the landlord (who is still not returning my calls)
does anyone know if there is anyway i can get out of this tenancy agreement.?

oaktree
16-06-2005, 16:29 PM
Why does the plumber need to talk to the landlord??? all he needs to do is carry out a gas safety, give you the certificate and bill so you can show the cost from the money you have already deducted. If he won't do it get another plumber to do it for you.

Without trying to put a finer point on it, its nearly a month since you first posted with this problem and you're no further on apart from having amassed a sizeable chunk of the landlords rent; if the gas installation is in poor condition you as well as the landlord, are putting your life and those of your children in harms way by prevaricating any further. The landlord hasn't done it, his plumber won't do it without talking to him first so do it yourself, you've already deducted more than enough money to pay for this work to be done so just do it and protect your family.