rent reductions, withholding rent

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    rent reductions, withholding rent

    Hello,

    When can a tenant withhold (part of the) rent?

    Assume e.g. fences not repaired, long promised but ever since the beginning missing extractor fan in the bathroom, cracks in walls/ceilings, broken/stuffed rain pipes, fallen-over trees, decoration becoming undone, always avoided inspections so they (landlord/agency) 'do not know' what needs to be done (even though they got many emails about it, which they ignore), rotten gate falling apart slowly, one of the two brick gate posts slowly falling to one side (danger), water pipes making loud disturbing cracking sounds, gas checks done several times months later, etc.

    In civilized countries, there are rent reduction tables, but on holiday islands/rogue states, landlords seem to be allowed to 'legally rape' tenants anyway they like, especially, when cities do not care and leave things to 'the market'.

    How can one deal with this mess, as landlord, to avoid cost and not do more than is required by law, and as a tenant, who should not have to suffer from any of the above?

    Thank you.

    #2
    Shelter believe that there is a process that can be followed in order for a tenant to get work done and then deduct the amount from the rent.
    It is quite detailed and has to be followed exactly (it's on their web site).

    Some of what you describe is probably required by law (the gas check for example), but it isn't realistic to expect a landlord who obviously doesn't give a monkeys to do more than is required by law.

    Strictly speaking, what the tenancy agreement (and the law) agrees to are all that the landlord has to provide in exchange for the rent agreed (other than something that they have agreed to separately, like the promised fan).

    You can move to a property managed by a landlord who offers a better service.

    I would suggest writing (old fashioned letter and envelope) to the landlord outlining everything that you believe needs to be done and asking for their proposed solutions and a timescale for each one.
    If they don't respond in a satisfactory manner, contact your local authority and speak to their environmental health department.

    Your landlord may respond by serving notice.
    When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
    Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

    Comment


      #3
      Tenants cannot withhold part of their rent.

      Their are situations where it may be reasonably safe to offset compensation for work actually done against rent payments, but that high risk. https://england.shelter.org.uk/housi..._landlord_wont

      I suspect this is not a statutory right but simply reflects circumstances in which a court would always, in practice, accept a counter claim.

      Comment


        #4
        Tenant can withhold rent but Shelter advise against it & can be used to evict.

        Follow Shelter's process and draft letter for reporting repair needs to landlord, including involving council.

        Or move
        I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

        Comment


          #5

          Originally posted by jpkeates View Post
          Shelter believe that there is a process that can be followed in order for a tenant to get work done and then deduct the amount from the rent.
          It is quite detailed and has to be followed exactly (it's on their web site).

          Some of what you describe is probably required by law (the gas check for example), but it isn't realistic to expect a landlord who obviously doesn't give a monkeys to do more than is required by law.

          Strictly speaking, what the tenancy agreement (and the law) agrees to are all that the landlord has to provide in exchange for the rent agreed (other than something that they have agreed to separately, like the promised fan).

          You can move to a property managed by a landlord who offers a better service.

          I would suggest writing (old fashioned letter and envelope) to the landlord outlining everything that you believe needs to be done and asking for their proposed solutions and a timescale for each one.
          If they don't respond in a satisfactory manner, contact your local authority and speak to their environmental health department.

          Your landlord may respond by serving notice.




          Originally posted by leaseholder64 View Post
          Tenants cannot withhold part of their rent.

          Their are situations where it may be reasonably safe to offset compensation for work actually done against rent payments, but that high risk. https://england.shelter.org.uk/housi..._landlord_wont

          I suspect this is not a statutory right but simply reflects circumstances in which a court would always, in practice, accept a counter claim.




          Originally posted by theartfullodger View Post
          Tenant can withhold rent but Shelter advise against it & can be used to evict.

          Follow Shelter's process and draft letter for reporting repair needs to landlord, including involving council.

          Or move


          Thank you all for your replies.

          Will try to bundle all issues, and see if the whole weight can be used to negotiate e.g. rent. Moving costs in such case should be the rogue landlord's responsibility. One should not have to suffer because of the other side's failure to perform.

          My experience with small claims court is, that even if one is doing things very well according to even pre-court procdure, they do not read the papers submitted properly, and the arbitration negotiators are easily swayed and do not adhere to the fair time to be given to each side, hence, both heavily destroy the chance of fairness.

          I think it should be impossible for the LL to dismiss the gas check failures, so simply LL giving notice will not clear any issues, incl the next six years. For the whole time when the conditions caused suffereing, rent reductions are due. It is more than strange that there seems to be no clear procedure re rent reductions and related tables which ought to be public but are hard to find.

          Thank you for the ideas, background, and strategies!

          Comment


            #6
            The small claims court is going to be a bit of a cul de sac.
            You can only claim loss or recover a debt.

            The landlord doesn't owe you anything and the loss is relatively small and ongoing.
            Most of the issues are outside the main living space (fence, gate, gate posts and broken downpipe), so the proportion of the rent pertaining to them would be low.
            The stuffed rain pipes and trees are probably your responsibility.
            Cracks and decoration are cosmetic (although they need to be addressed at some point).
            The water pipes may just be noisy.
            And while the gas checks are a legal issue, as long as the appliances are safe, again you're not really experiencing a loss. The small claims court has no jurisdiction otherwise.

            That's a long list of fairly minor defects and describing that as "legal rape" is inflammatory.

            You have a bad landlord and you should move to a nicer property.
            You're basically returning the same terrible cafe and insisting the cook does a better job, instead of going somewhere else.\
            Crappy service never improves.
            When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
            Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

            Comment


              #7
              The only compensation, to the tenant, in law, for this sort of thing is that it can invalidate eviction proceeding.

              To get monetary compensation, you have to demonstrate that, even when you kept your cost to a minimum, the problem cost you real money.

              E.g. for the gas failure, there would have to be an incident that harmed yourself or your property, before you could get any money back, but the landlord might be unable to issue a no fault (section 21) eviction.

              Comment


                #8
                T cannot withhold Stat Rent, but soon T will be able to sue LL for minor disrepair in CC.

                Comment


                  #9
                  IMHO if you aren't happy with the property you live in vote with your feet and move out . You are not a prisoner , presumably if you could get a better property for the same rent you would have done. To withhold rent will simply lead to you being evicted with a poor if any reference. In your position I'd move out leave the awful landlord with a property he won't be able to rent to anyone else

                  Comment

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