What is considered adequate "reporting" of repairs?

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    What is considered adequate "reporting" of repairs?

    I have a tenant who wrote an email to me on 1 September: "I got back from holiday and the boiler wouldn't work. The plumber spent three hours in the attic sorting out the boiler. He said it has been caused by a roof leak. He's fixed the boiler but not the roof. Can you organise the gas safety test as I think it's due next month".

    My tenant has started withholding rent, saying she advised me of the roof leak in this statement, but to me it doesn't read like that. The semantics are that it's about a roof leak and she doesn't say anything about getting me to fix the roof leak. She's now in 3 months rent arrears and says the tenancy says she can stop paying rent if the house is unfit for habitation, and she says it is due to the roof leak. She says I have been negligent as a landlord and breached the tenancy by not repairing the roof when it was reported on 1 Sept. I did admittedly respond on that day saying I would arrange the gas safety test, but didn't think from reading her exact words that she wanted the roof leak repaired.

    She says she's instructed a No Win No Fee housing disrepair solicitor too who are sending a Letter of Claim. I really don't know what to do and am very upset as I had given her chocolates and wine at Christmas 2021 and we previously had a good relationship and I am very hurt indeed by her attitude and rent arrears.

    #2
    I think the email is pretty clear that there was a leak and that it needed fixing. I do not think the tenant had to spell it out that she wanted the leak fixing. She would quite rightly assume that you would want to repair the leak. In any event, the leak was reported and it is your obligation to fix it. I have to ask why you did not follow the email up at the very least getting someone to investigate.

    The first and obvious thing to do has to be to get the leak repaired with a report on any damage resulting from the leak. With the report you can assess whether the tenant had the right to an abatement of rent according to what the tenancy agreement says.

    I mention in passing that you are lucky that the tenant had the boiler repaired as it is your responsibility.

    Comment


      #3
      Landlord's implied obligation on keeping the property in repair arise not when the tenant report the problem to you but rather when you become or should have become aware of the issue. "XXX has been caused by a roof leak" seems pretty clear to me to be a point where you become aware of the issue. Trying to pick apart whether it was a formal report of the leak by the tenant to the landlord is not going to help you.
      I am not a lawyer, nor am I licensed to provide any regulated advice. None of my posts should be treated as legal or financial advice.

      I do not answer questions through private messages which should be posted publicly on the forum.

      Comment


        #4
        Are you not inspecting the property? Forget being nice to T's it's never remembered when things go sour, also your celebrating xmas sooner than most..... fix the roof, and see if your rent resumes, if not time to serve notice, as the T seems clued up and ready to sue any LL not meeting their obligations, hence why you need to do the same by serving notice for rent arrears.

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by MrsWest View Post
          I have a tenant who wrote an email to me on 1 September: "I got back from holiday and the boiler wouldn't work. The plumber spent three hours in the attic sorting out the boiler. He said it has been caused by a roof leak. He's fixed the boiler but not the roof. Can you organise the gas safety test as I think it's due next month".

          My tenant has started withholding rent, saying she advised me of the roof leak in this statement, but to me it doesn't read like that. The semantics are that it's about a roof leak and she doesn't say anything about getting me to fix the roof leak. She's now in 3 months rent arrears and says the tenancy says she can stop paying rent if the house is unfit for habitation, and she says it is due to the roof leak. She says I have been negligent as a landlord and breached the tenancy by not repairing the roof when it was reported on 1 Sept. I did admittedly respond on that day saying I would arrange the gas safety test, but didn't think from reading her exact words that she wanted the roof leak repaired.

          She says she's instructed a No Win No Fee housing disrepair solicitor too who are sending a Letter of Claim. I really don't know what to do and am very upset as I had given her chocolates and wine at Christmas 2021 and we previously had a good relationship and I am very hurt indeed by her attitude and rent arrears.
          GOSH

          You are the LL and you aren't communicating with your tenant very well.

          YOU need to do a site visit / inspection of said roof with a roofer ASAP

          I suspect they have a plan to save money at your expense.

          Comment


            #6
            Are you serious? How can you be happy that your property has a roof leak. You should have had it repaired at your earliest convenience not ignored it for as long as possible. You are the type of landlord that gives us all a bad name.

            Comment


              #7
              If you did not pick up on the fact that the roof leak was serious from what the tenant said to you, then maybe being a LL is not for you. The boiler would of been my last worry, the water coming in through the roof would of been my very first concern.

              Comment


                #8
                The tenant might be bluffing to try and get something done, but if the problem is big enough that a no win no fee solicitor is prepared to take the case on, it must be pretty serious.
                They only take on cases that they're very confident that they'll win and win big.

                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

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