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View Full Version : Flat (damp) is unfit for habitation; can I withhold rent?



johny
25-02-2008, 08:07 AM
The flat I'm living in is in seriously bad conditions, e.g. bad damp, overwhelming mold, which is lying under the carpet (so impossible to notice during the viewing) and of which I was not informed prior to moving into the flat. I'm considering withholding rent until the conditions are repaired, which I otherwise wouldn't expect to happen soon, as the landlord is rarely in the country and he doesn't seem too bothered, claiming it'll take him a lot of time b/c he needs to consult many parties. The agency, which I rented through and which still collects rent, advised I could not withhold rent unless the property is deemed "unfit for habitation." Generally, they seem to stand on the landlord's side, which is probably not that surprising, as they get more money from landlords.
However, how is the "unfit for habitation" exactly defined? Looking at various housing acts, I found that the term was once defined, but then replaced by the vaious degrees of health and safety grades in Housing Act 2004. Still, it doesn't say which degrees replace the previous term.
Can anybody point out the precise definitions or common interpretations? And generally, under which conditions and what legal acts can I withhold paying rent? Any comments appreciated.

Colincbayley
25-02-2008, 08:26 AM
Contact your local Environmental Heath via your Council, get them to visit the property and THEY will then contact your LL for you. ( Should put a bullet up his rear )

johny
25-02-2008, 10:44 AM
Yes, I think it should. However, do you think I'm still legally entitled to withholding the rent? I'm furious I have paid for living in such a place without being informed, and I think it'd be unfair to still keep paying while having to put up with all this crap.

Colincbayley
25-02-2008, 10:47 AM
Yes, I think it should. However, do you think I'm still legally entitled to withholding the rent? I'm furious I have paid for living in such a place without being informed, and I think it'd be unfair to still keep paying while having to put up with all this crap.

Agreed it's not good. But I dare say there is a clause in your AST saying you can not withhold the rent.
Contact the EHO first for advice on the problems. Then speak to your LL.

stressedtennant
25-01-2010, 02:11 AM
Sorry to awake such an old 3ad
Please I'm on your identical situation in this post. Could please tell me the outcome?
Regards

jta
25-01-2010, 02:40 AM
Sorry to awake such an old 3ad
Please I'm on your identical situation in this post. Could please tell me the outcome?
Regards

Just follow the same advice, however, even if you do withold the rent it will still be due when the situation is put right.

NOTE TO EDITOR
Can you please remove the abusive rubbish in colincbayley's siggy line. You do ask us to report abusive posts and this has been around for far too long.