Tenant holding a month's rent and she is on hb or uc.

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    Tenant holding a month's rent and she is on hb or uc.

    I rented a property to a HB/UC tenant in August 2019. We have had ongoing issues with the water heating and pressure in the shower (there is no gas supply, only electrical supply to all the flat) and her comment is that you should have checked it before you gave me the flat. Now she will not pay one month rent as deduction due to the immersion taking long to be fixed. we had several different trades some fully qualified some not. In the end it took a mixture of age and experience and not qualified and fully qualified to fix all the problems. I have sent her .gov and CAB advice off the net that states that a HB or UC tenant cannot adopt the same law of withholding rent and obtaining 3 quotes and getting the work done themselves, she has completely ignored this and then the council inspector went round and said she is ok, no problems.

    I have guarantor for her and the contract states he must pay if the tenant fails to but does not give any guideline to withholding rent due to repairs. She paid last week one month rent, the date she went in was on the 5th Augusts, so 5/09 did not come in (' I am withholding it until you get the work done') and then 5/10 no rent and then one month in 14/10. Now she is saying the bedroom is full of mould after 2 months. I got to this very quickly within 3 days and cleaned all of it off, now we are drying the room on Monday and then sealing the room with anti-mould paint. She is very difficult and almost every small detail in the flat is an issue, why she didn't check it before she paid the money is beyond me or am I as landlord responsible for all issues like this as and when she finds them from month 0-12?

    #2
    I'm not aware of any basis on which rent could be withheld, even for a tenant not on means tested benefits.

    There is a suggested protocol for a tenant to arrange their own repairs, and charge them, but again there is benefits distinction. I don't think that is actually law. I think it is more a case of a situation where the courts are likely to respond favourably. However, in your case, they appear not to have had the work done themselves.

    Even for council tenants, the amount that can be charged for late repairs would be unlikely to reach a month's rent.

    She may have a right to compensation, but not right to offset that against the rent.

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      #3
      She is clearly trouble, how long is the AST ? I would be looking to get gone at the first opportunity. I don't rent to HB/UC and it maybe just pure luck but up to now i have had zero issues and i have been a landlord a while now, hope it works out and she can be happy in the near future....... but i have my doubts.

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        #4
        Compensation has to have a basis. I have kept her up to date and she had no hot water for few days. She had heating and everything else. I made best endeavours and did the work in a reasonable time. The only thing she can say is about the fuse-box, nothing wrong with it, it was just old, all new now with a certificate. She is very fussy.

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          #5
          I only took her as her guarantor is very strong. My contract is very straightforward, if the tenant doesn't pay, you pay, it has 3 clauses to that section only. No reference to the guarantor being able to sue for the repairs etc not to pay.

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            #6
            12 months AST

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              #7
              from the AST:

              Agent.

              8 Guarantor

              8.1 In consideration for the Landlord granting the Tenant a tenancy of the Property, the Guarantor agrees to pay the Landlord and the Landlord's Agent for any reasonable losses suffered as a result of the Tenant failing to fulfil any of his obligations under this agreement or failing to pay Rents or other monies lawfully due.

              8.2 The Guarantor agrees to pay, on demand and in full, any overdue Rent or other monies lawfully due under this agreement for the full Term and until vacant possession is given to the Landlord.

              8.3 The Guarantor agrees to make payments lawfully due under clause 8.1 or 8.2 even after the Tenant has returned possession of the Property to the Landlord.

              8.4 Each guarantor's maximum liability is equal to the amount of the debt due under clause 8.2 divided equally amongst the guarantors named in clause 1.1.5.


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                #8
                The general feeling here seems to be that guarantor agreements must be constructed as deeds; must indicate that the guarantor has had time to study the tenancy agreement; must warn the guarantor that the agreement is onerous and must advise them to take legal advice before signing. Simply adding this as a clause in then tenancy agreement is unlikely to work..

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