How to resolve disrepair which is impacting my mental health

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    #16
    Originally posted by KevinB47 View Post

    What I would like to know is: is it lawful of the landlord to be asked to do repairs and for him to reply "I'll have to raise the rent" in response. Not raising the rent periodically because of inflation, cost of living, but raising the rent purely because I've asked for repairs. This implies that if I don't accept the rent raise then he won't do the repairs.

    I really want to get a good reference from this landlord so I feel I am forced to walk on egg shells.
    Legally your landlord needs to carry out necessary repairs and ensure your home meets the requirements of the Fitness for Habitation Act. However, it is also perfectly legal for him to increase the rent. It is possible your tenancy agreement includes a clause about how much and when the rent can be increased. If it doesn't then your landlord can simply issue you a Section 13 notice during a periodic tenancy. With a Section 13 notice you do have the option of going to the First Tier Tribunal to fight the increase.

    You're between a rock and a hard place and your landlord knows it. Two dogs and presumably a low income do not make you an attractive prospects on paper to many landlords. Maybe you are a great tenant but until a landlord hands over the keys to you that is a gamble.

    Realistically what can you do? Find another landlord who will accept you and your two dogs. Use the council to force your landlord to carry out repairs but that comes with the risk of a rent increase. Keep on at your landlord until he eventually issues a Section 21 notice (although until that GSC is sorted it won't be valid) and use your impending homelessness although with your health issues to bump you up the social housing ladder. Not easy choices.


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      #17
      I wonder if there is a charity who would do the necessary repair works for free. I recall reading about a group of builders who got together on a Saturday to do work for cases such as yours. If this could be done it would stop the water coming in at least and as it is at no cost to the landlord it should be acceptable to him and there would be no immediate need to raise the rent. Perhaps social media ( such as Nextdoor) could help locate someone to help.

      I would expect that someone at the council would be able to act as go between the workers and landlord to ensure that this could be done without detriment to you - and I would expect the council to at least have your landlord on their radar which should ensure he 'plays ball'. Pragmatic councils are aware that they need to do everything possible to keep tenants in homes and landlords providing those homes.

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        #18
        I thought OP doesn't want the conservatory/greenhouse (that is leaking) anyway and was wanting it knocked down (the structure was put up by a previous tenant and sounds like some sort of temporary lean-to).

        Comment


          #19
          The OP mentioned a broken gutter which may have something to do with the bathroom mould issue as a well as a roof problem . I have found that gutter problems cause most of the damp issues and are a relatively cheap and quick fix.

          Comment


            #20
            Hello, thanks for all the advice, all of which is greatly appreciated.
            I haven't heard anything further from the landlord and I have all the text messages to prove I have reported disrepair. As the conservatory is a separate part of the house which I can lock up, then I will simply not use it. I have documented all the disrepair by taking photos and videos which are safely stored. If the landlord won't do anything, then he is simply damaging his own property. You are right that I'm not an attractive tenant to future landlords, having two dogs and being 100% in receipt of disability benefits as my only source of income. I think this is definitely a case where I will just have to remain silent. I don't plan to stay beyond April 2023 anyway so it's only 9 months. I envisage a hard task finding a landlord who will accept me and 2 dogs at a future property. Thank you for all the replies.

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              #21
              I have had some developments in my bid to have the disrepair resolved at my home.
              A solicitor has taken on my case on a No Win No Fee agreement. He says the disrepair is worth £19,000 compensation and has visited my home and taken photos and videos of the disrepair and is instructing a surveyor to prepare a report. Oddly enough, he advised me to do something i am very uncomfortable doing: he told me the tenancy agreement I signed was an old one and it has a clause stating I may suspend payment of rent if the landlord is in genuine breach of contract with regard to repairing obligations which renders the house uninhabitable. I don't think the house is uninhabitable, just has disrepair. However the solicitor insisted it is and told me to keep the rent money (housing benefit) in an account and not to pay it to landlord. He also explained to me that if the landlord were to counter-sue me for rent arrears then I am what is deemed "judgment proof" and that no enforcement action or debt collection procedures would work and I can run up as much arrearages as possible. This all seems very unprofessional to be told this TBH as it was not the route I was looking at. The solicitor is based in a small rundown office himself and was quite pushy and argumentative with me saying he will get a good outcome from the landlord, ordering him to do the repairs and pay me £19,000 compensation. I think I'm going to get 2nd advice from Citizens Advice but am worried now having signed the CFA agreement.

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                #22
                If you keep the rent, you can always pay it to the landlord when the issue(s) are resolved.
                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


                  #23
                  Originally posted by KevinB47 View Post
                  I have had some developments in my bid to have the disrepair resolved at my home.
                  A solicitor has taken on my case on a No Win No Fee agreement. He says the disrepair is worth £19,000 compensation and has visited my home and taken photos and videos of the disrepair and is instructing a surveyor to prepare a report. Oddly enough, he advised me to do something i am very uncomfortable doing: he told me the tenancy agreement I signed was an old one and it has a clause stating I may suspend payment of rent if the landlord is in genuine breach of contract with regard to repairing obligations which renders the house uninhabitable. I don't think the house is uninhabitable, just has disrepair. However the solicitor insisted it is and told me to keep the rent money (housing benefit) in an account and not to pay it to landlord. He also explained to me that if the landlord were to counter-sue me for rent arrears then I am what is deemed "judgment proof" and that no enforcement action or debt collection procedures would work and I can run up as much arrearages as possible. This all seems very unprofessional to be told this TBH as it was not the route I was looking at. The solicitor is based in a small rundown office himself and was quite pushy and argumentative with me saying he will get a good outcome from the landlord, ordering him to do the repairs and pay me £19,000 compensation. I think I'm going to get 2nd advice from Citizens Advice but am worried now having signed the CFA agreement.
                  And how much of this £19,000 is Saul Goodman going to keep if successful?

                  It is true that tenants can take their landlord to court and be awarded compensation due to disrepair but court is usually a last resort. If it is something you are considering that as someone on a low income you are probably eligible for legal aid rather than having to resort to using a no-win-no-fee ambulance chaser.

                  https://england.shelter.org.uk/housi...ont_do_repairs

                  I think that involving the council's private rental team before going down the legal route might yield better results for you.

                  Comment


                    #24
                    If the OP has signed the CFA agreement, that ship has probably sailed.
                    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


                      #25
                      Originally posted by jpkeates View Post
                      If the OP has signed the CFA agreement, that ship has probably sailed.
                      Maybe the OP can claim he was pushed into signing it…I don’t know.

                      Comment


                        #26
                        I legal dispute with a CFA solicitor isn't likely to help anyone's mental health.
                        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


                          #27
                          Originally posted by DoricPixie View Post

                          And how much of this £19,000 is Saul Goodman going to keep if successful?

                          It is true that tenants can take their landlord to court and be awarded compensation due to disrepair but court is usually a last resort. If it is something you are considering that as someone on a low income you are probably eligible for legal aid rather than having to resort to using a no-win-no-fee ambulance chaser.

                          https://england.shelter.org.uk/housi...ont_do_repairs

                          I think that involving the council's private rental team before going down the legal route might yield better results for you.
                          Who is Saul Goodman?

                          Comment


                            #28
                            I deeply regret signing the CFA now as the landlord has been round and given me 24 hours to vacate and said he'll be back with some of his builder friends to remove me from the premises. The solicitor is not answering calls or emails. I have taken a screenshot of the landlord's message saying about this s8 eviction and how I must leave in 24 hours or will be ejected. I haven't spoken to the police as I was told it was a civil matter and the police aren't interested.

                            I still have the rent in my bank account. Should I pay it over to the landlord? The leaks and problems are still present.

                            Thank you for any help.

                            Comment


                              #29
                              Originally posted by KevinB47 View Post

                              Who is Saul Goodman?
                              Dodgy Solicitor from TV programme 'Breaking Bad'

                              Comment


                                #30
                                Originally posted by KevinB47 View Post
                                I haven't spoken to the police as I was told it was a civil matter and the police aren't interested.
                                https://england.shelter.org.uk/housi...rom_the_police
                                There is a fine line between irony and stupidity. If I say something absurd please assume that I am being facetious.

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