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MikeG
31-05-2007, 20:15 PM
Hi,

I have a complicated landlord-tenant-council situation. Please help.

I am a tenant in a privately owned flat, but most other units in the building are predominantly council flats.

There is a structural leak in my flat and the leak is apparently penetrating the flat below mine (who is a council tenant). Hence, the council tenant complained to the council and the council has since written to me to get the leak fixed. The council has claimed that if I don't get the leak fixed, they have the authority to force entry into my flat and bill the repairs to me.

The problem is my landlord insists that a structural fault is the council's responsibility and has refused to fix it (I was told otherwise by the council). On my side, tenancy ends in 2 month's time and I don't really mind if it is fixed or not. Hence my question is:

1) Can the council force entry into my flat and fix the leak? If yes, who pays the bill...the landlord?

2) What should I do, I feel trapped. LL doesn't want to fix it and Council is forcing me to fix it.

3) If it were to get fixed, it is a major job which needs ~1 week's work. I work full-time and don't have enough leave. Furthermore, since my tenancy is ending, I really don't want to end up wasting leave on such an issue.

Thank you for your time.

jeffrey
01-06-2007, 14:14 PM
Hi,

I have a complicated landlord-tenant-council situation. Please help.

I am a tenant in a privately owned flat, but most other units in the building are predominantly council flats.

There is a structural leak in my flat and the leak is apparently penetrating the flat below mine (who is a council tenant). Hence, the council tenant complained to the council and the council has since written to me to get the leak fixed. The council has claimed that if I don't get the leak fixed, they have the authority to force entry into my flat and bill the repairs to me.

The problem is my landlord insists that a structural fault is the council's responsibility and has refused to fix it (I was told otherwise by the council). On my side, tenancy ends in 2 month's time and I don't really mind if it is fixed or not. Hence my question is:

1) Can the council force entry into my flat and fix the leak? If yes, who pays the bill...the landlord?

2) What should I do, I feel trapped. LL doesn't want to fix it and Council is forcing me to fix it.

3) If it were to get fixed, it is a major job which needs ~1 week's work. I work full-time and don't have enough leave. Furthermore, since my tenancy is ending, I really don't want to end up wasting leave on such an issue.

Thank you for your time.

Your L is a leaseholder of the Council, I think. He (not you) will have to comply with his leasehold covenants.
Moreover, he is probably also in breach of a landlord's duties to a tenant: see s.11 of LTA 1985.

Bel
01-06-2007, 14:18 PM
They possibly regard you as the person 'in control of the property'. First off , it is important to read the notice carefully that they have given you regarding the repair. There may be an appeals procedure where you can state your case that you, personally are not liable to pay for any repair as you are only the tenant, and all structural repairs are the responsibility of the Landlord (Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 Secton 11.) It is important that you follow procedure to pass the buck to the LL.

Your landlord is liable for the repair if it is his fault. He must arrange access to the property; he cannot expect you to be present for one week; by the same token, you may have to let people in whilst you are not there.

Regarding them forcing entry; not sure but they would probably need a court order to do this.

Contact Shelter about your rights regarding the whole situation.

bill65
01-06-2007, 14:26 PM
Jeffrey,
I hope you don't mind if I suggest, that when you quote an act or section thereof, you post a link to the statue law base. I think the OP would appreciate this and can check the law for themselves.
Regards bill.

http://www.statutelaw.gov.uk/Home.aspx

jeffrey
01-06-2007, 14:29 PM
Jeffrey,
I hope you don't mind if I suggest, that when you quote an act or section thereof, you post a link to the statue law base. I think the OP would appreciate this and can check the law for themselves.
Regards bill.

http://www.statutelaw.gov.uk/Home.aspx

A good idea, except that I have no idea at all how to do it.
Give us the tools and we'll finish the job, as Galileo said (or was it Bob the Builder?)

MikeG
01-06-2007, 20:32 PM
Thank you very much for all the advice. Basically, I am uncomfortable about letting people in the flat whilst I am not in to do the repairs. Theft cases are quite common in the council flats. Therefore, I'm very reluctant in case I come back and find things missing.

The LL told me today that he has arranged for people to do some plastering work (I thought a plumber is needed to repair leaks) in the flat this Wednesday 6th June and wants me to stay home and attend to them. I told the LL that June is an extremely busy month for me, I am in London next week, Japan the following week and Italy the week on work purposes. Therefore, the earliest I could provide access is on the last week of June. However LL now claims that I am trying to prevent work being done on the flat. Does anybody have any suggestions on my options here?

It appears that the LL just wants to cover up the leak areas with new plasters, and when my tenancy ends, rent it to another gullible tenant. But that doesn't rectify the penetrating leak issue that the council is chasing me after. Help!! Can I just ask the council to deal with the landlord directly?

bill65
02-06-2007, 08:02 AM
A good idea, except that I have no idea at all how to do it.
Give us the tools and we'll finish the job, as Galileo said (or was it Bob the Builder?)

Jeffrey.
It is simple, just put the link into your signature: right click the link then past into your sig. Then you can refer posters to the link.

Colincbayley
02-06-2007, 09:05 AM
Help!! Can I just ask the council to deal with the landlord directly?

Yes, do that. It is not your problem, it is a matter betwwen the council and your landlord.

As for you landlord wanting access, that is also your choice, if you are leaving the property soon anyway then by all means delay put him off.

If you are concerned that he will enter the property whilst you are away, then change the locks. Keep the old locks for when you move out and then change them back again.

Don't tell your landlord that you have done this, that way if he asks you why youhave changed the locks, you can ask why he was trying to gain unlawful entry to your home.

MikeG
03-06-2007, 10:23 AM
Yes, do that. It is not your problem, it is a matter betwwen the council and your landlord.

As for you landlord wanting access, that is also your choice, if you are leaving the property soon anyway then by all means delay put him off.

If you are concerned that he will enter the property whilst you are away, then change the locks. Keep the old locks for when you move out and then change them back again.

Don't tell your landlord that you have done this, that way if he asks you why youhave changed the locks, you can ask why he was trying to gain unlawful entry to your home.

It appears that with the Council hot on the LL's heels, the LL is forced to have the repairs done a.s.a.p, i.e. before my tenancy ends. Since I would not be able to apply for leave during the repair period, it appears that I may have to let the workers in whilst I am not in. Please can anybody advice:

1) What can a tenant do in such a situation, whereby thefts cases are rampant in the council flats (I have previously been burglar-ed before, hence I have to be extremely cautious now)?
2) Can I get the landlord to assure that if things go missing, he will be held responsible? I.e. landlord doesn't want to stay in the premises during the repairs as well, as he is working full-time too.

Thanks in advance.

aranel
04-06-2007, 08:00 AM
I really reccomend you speak to your Tenancy Relations officer at your local council. (They work for private tenants, not council tenants). This sounds like a really complicated issue and these people know this stuff inside out.