An elderly landlord’s failure to carry out roof repairs has resulted in a £5,000 win for his long-standing tenant.
A First Tier Property Tribunal heard that Edmund Dias had not increased the rent on the house in Bremilham Rise, Malmesbury, for 20 years, but had largely relied on tenant Andrew Dawson carrying out repairs.
After suffering issues with the roof for 10 years, masonry started coming away from the wall but, instead of fixing it, the landlord suggested the tenant and his family should leave – which Dawson considered harassment.
Wiltshire Council served an improvement notice in October 2022, but the works weren’t completed. A follow-up notice had not been acted on by September 2023. Dias explained he had struggled to get people to do the works but had now found a contractor from out of the area.
"The Tribunal would have expected a landlord to have made greater efforts to find contractors"
The tribunal ruled that Dias had not harassed his tenant but said the property had fallen into disrepair which would have had an adverse effect on the tenant, his partner and child.
It added that it would have expected a landlord to have made greater efforts to find contractors to undertake works and to be able to evidence those attempts.
It said: “What is plain from the notice is that the respondent in managing the property himself has failed to keep abreast of changes in the law relating to landlord and tenant matters.
"Further it appears he has failed to take steps to ensure the repair and maintenance of the property is properly undertaken. His attempts in respect of the roof were woefully inadequate. We acknowledge that the respondent tells us he will be 80 next year.”
Dias was handed a Rent Repayment Order for £5,000.