Various defects; can tenant suspend rent/ walk away?

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    Various defects; can tenant suspend rent/ walk away?

    Have posted here before with regards to my situation, ceiling collapsing, repair, moved back into the property and there is still outstadning maintenance.

    My main areas of concern are

    a) They have not replaced the light in the living room. I have a wire hanging down from the ceiling, and some substandard makeshift flourescent lighting on the mezzamine.

    b) The radiator in the living room does not work properly. The system apprently needs to be flushed an the radiator replaced. (According to a maintenance man that they sent to assess it).

    c) The coving (about 2,5 m) where the ceiling collapsed has still not been replace.

    Since the work was "completed" and we moved back in its been over a month, lots of vague commitments from the letting agent that it will be sorted out but no action as of yet. I think the letting agent is giving us the runaround

    We have an AST, 18 months, no break clauses with 3 payments at six month intervals.

    Our next payment is in January and I am thinking of breaking contract and leaving owing to lack of maintenance. These seem to be very simple maintenance issues which are just not getting attended too.

    I realise that I am breaking contract, but at face value do I have grounds to do this?

    I dont really want to be a bad tenant but it seems like I am left with little choice than to play the same game.

    These seem like very minor jobs to complete, and while I appreciate you must be a bit hacked off by now with it, its probably not grounds enough for breaking your tenancy agreement.

    Write to the letting agent by recorded delivery telling them that you are prepared to give them 7 days to get the work completed. Quote S11 LTA 1985

    If they fail to do the work as requested, tell them that you will get 3 quotes to get the work completed and then you will instruct the most reasonable quote and have the work done and the bill sent to the agents for payment. If they fail to pay the bill then you will deduct the cost from your next rent payment.
    My advice is not based on formal legal training but experience gained in 20+ years in the letting industry.




      Thanks for response.

      Assuming the goal is to get the repairwork done, is this the only thing I can do?

      It sounds reasonable, but then again they are the managment agents and THEY should be running aroung getting quotes etc, not me.


        If you follow Oaktree's advice, the aim is to "encourage" the agents to do their job and hopefully, you won't have to do the running around.
        Mrs Jones
        I am not an expert - my posts are my opinion and should not be taken as fact!!


          Originally posted by sunnysan View Post

          Assuming the goal is to get the repairwork done, is this the only thing I can do?

          It sounds reasonable, but then again they are the managment agents and THEY should be running aroung getting quotes etc, not me.
          But thats the reason why you've posted on here in the first place surely?, because they're not doing anything!
          My advice is not based on formal legal training but experience gained in 20+ years in the letting industry.



            I have sent emails, interspersed with phone calls and they have said yes yes yes, and always either need to "speak to a contractor" or "contact the landlord" etc etc ie fobbing me off

            I am talking a month and a half of emailing every day so as far as "encouragement" goes I am not sure what else I can do other than sort it out myself.

            But my point being why shoudl I? The "managing agents" will just pass the costs onto the landlord, and still take their commission and then I have do what the mgt agents are supposed to be doing. So in the end I do the work, the landlord gets lumped with the bill and the agent is laughing. Morally unacceptable situation for me.

            So to rephrase, other than doing the work myself and short of witholding rent and notwithsatnding the fact that I am emailing them every day....

            Is there anythign else as a tenant, I can do?


              I'm not sure what you are saying. Do you believe the landlord has authorised the work and the agents are just not doing anything about getting it completed?

              If thats the case then you could try writing to the landlord if you have his address; if not you could ask the agent for it but he is only obliged to give you the landlords name and address that the landlord wants you to have i.e. the address could be c/o the agent themselves.

              As for the landlord being 'lumped' with the bill, I think its fair to say this would happen in any event as, unless the agent has got a very unusual management agreement, the landlord is responsible for repairs anyway.

              Your contract is with the landlord not the agent, so I don't see there is much else you can do. The remedy already suggested, usually referred to as 'setting off', is the one most people would refer you to but you are the only one who can decide whether you want to do anything about it.
              My advice is not based on formal legal training but experience gained in 20+ years in the letting industry.


                Cut out the Middle man, write to the agents requesting the address of the LL and send ALL paperwork to the LL it may well be he is being ripped off by the agents... who knows?
                GOVERNMENT HEALTH WARNING: I am a woman and am therefore prone to episodes of PMT... if you don't like what I have to say you can jolly well put it in your pipe and SMOKE IT!!

                Oh and on a serious note... I am NOT a Legal person and therefore anything I post could be complete and utter drivel... but its what I have learned in the University called Life!



                  I have never met the landlord but I believe he has indicated that the work will be done.

                  As far as I understand it, the agents contract covers maintenance up to a certian amount and anything out of the ordinary has to be authorised by the landlord.

                  I suspect the agent (They are known to be the worst of a bad bunch), are either lost in a beaurocratic quagmire or are just plain incompetent(I have heard this accusation levelled at them as well)

                  To answer you question, I believe from previous correcpondence that the intent was there to do the work and I am not sure how much the landlord knows about what has been done, hasnt been done etc etc

                  They may be pulling the wool over his eyes as well(Apparently when the chips are down , this agent likes to rip off landlords as well).

                  I think the next best thing is to request the landlords address from the agents and write to him personally. I suspect he has no idea what going on.


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