Section 21 - witholding rent

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    Section 21 - witholding rent

    Hi - i need a bit of advice please, my Landlord has been issued improvement notices by the local council with regard the property i live in (excess damp, kitchen too small, outhouse roof collapse etc). He has decided to give me a section 21 notice - he initially filled this in incorrectly and has now issued a new one giving at least 2 months notice. (which i fully intend to vacate before it has expired)

    I have sent him a letter detailing the specific issues of the improvement notice and stated that i am witholding rent due to these issues. I have also asked him to sure up the roof on the outhouse so i can get some things out of it which may be damaged due to the roof collapse. I have also stated that once i have my things out of it, i will persue him for damages to those things once i can quantify them.

    Today he has sent me a letter stating the amount i now owe him and also stating that he can't do the work to the kitchen while i am still in it.

    In the past he has been very abusive - both verbally and physically threatening when i was ill and on housing benefit.

    So the questions are - if he went to court to pursue me for the withheld rent, would he win ?

    and at what point are his letters classed as harrassment ?

    many thanks in advance

    #2
    Hi

    Sounds like a bit of a mess. Could you give a bit more information on the issues that you are witholding rent for? You probably know already that the landlord's obligations towards you are to carry out repairs; I guess its quite likely that the items in the improvement notice will arise from disrepair, but this isnt necessarily the case.

    I'm sure you will get a bit more advice when you have been able to give a little more detail.

    Preston

    Comment


      #3
      Take (external and if/when safely possible internal) photographs of the collapsed structure with your possessions. If the landlord is stupid enough to take you to court, you can produce the photographs.

      How much rent are you withholding?

      What are you doing to find yourself a better, more appropriate home?

      In what way is this landlord harassing you with letters? Excessive quantity? Abusive content? What?

      Comment


        #4
        Preston - Many thanks for the reply

        i am witholding rent due to the LL's breach of contract by not doing the repairs and the fact that i have been living in these conditions for the past five years

        Yes the improvement notices are due to disrepair.

        and are:

        CAT 1
        Excess cold
        Stairs (falling to bits on the bits i didn't repair)

        Cat 2
        Damp and Mould Growth (The damp meter went off the scale in every downstairs room below the dado)
        Kitchen (It is not possible to stand in front of the cooker and safely remove food from the oven)
        Outhouse collapse


        The house is so cold i've been putting up to £60 in the gas meter a week (and it's only a 2 bedroom with 3 radiators turned on)

        I fell down the stairs once because they gave way (i repaired them myself afterwards) - yes i know i should have got the LL to do it

        The kitchen tap has been leaking since i moved in 5 years ago - i was told "put some tape on it" - it fires up down the back of the worktop as it's the spout thats corroded.

        The washing machine outlet enters the U bend of the sink - if you let the water out of the sink it back tracks to the washing machine and in the summer goes stagnent - i was told "put another outlet on then"

        I could go on, but i think the thing that is bugging me most is the outhouse - the roof has caved in as 2 beams have rotted - there is only an airline pipe holding it up which one of them is jammed against. I daren't go in it and get my things out as i'm sure it will fall on me. I still have some things in there of value and i know for a fact some are damaged due to the cave in - i suspect it is because i said i would be claiming from him or the insurance company that he doesn't want to do it.

        I have now moved out of the house but still have some furniture in it.

        The solicitor advised me to let him take me to court but i'm pretty sure i can't afford it.

        Hope this elaborates a little.

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by Poppy View Post
          Take (external and if/when safely possible internal) photographs of the collapsed structure with your possessions. If the landlord is stupid enough to take you to court, you can produce the photographs.

          How much rent are you withholding?

          What are you doing to find yourself a better, more appropriate home?

          In what way is this landlord harassing you with letters? Excessive quantity? Abusive content? What?
          Hi Poppy - thanks for th reply

          1 - i've stopped paying rent altogether (as from when the inprovement notices were issued)

          2 - I've moved out already - but still have some furniture in the house (which i intend to move in the next week or 2)

          3 - He got his daughter to phone me - putting pressure on me to say to when i would be moving out and saying "we want to make it nice for the new people"

          I wrote him a letter stating any further communication should be done via post and he should also give me 24 hours notice if he comes round.

          He has sent a letter through his solicitor stating when he wants posession.

          His solicitor sent another section 21 (as when i told him about withholding rent i also pointed out the s21 date was incorrect)

          I have had a hand written letter from him stating what i owe and that he can't do work while i'm in it.

          As the house is actually a large farmhouse divided up into four he has been round to the other houses four times. (2 are vacant as he gave them s21 as well)

          In the past he has come round unannounced and shouted and screamed at me - once instance was when i was off sick and waiting for housing benefit to come through (they sent it backdated) - at the time i was suffering very badly with nerves and had had to quit my job as a college lecturer.


          Many thanks - Hope this helps a bit further

          Comment


            #6
            Suggest that you completely remove all of your belongings right now. The landlord will expect you to pay rent until you have removed these belongings.

            Hopefully there won't be a next time, but don’t wait five years living in sub-standard conditions again.

            Draw a line under this and continue your life in a happier state of mind in your new home.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by Poppy View Post
              Suggest that you completely remove all of your belongings right now. The landlord will expect you to pay rent until you have removed these belongings.

              Hopefully there won't be a next time, but don’t wait five years living in sub-standard conditions again.

              Draw a line under this and continue your life in a happier state of mind in your new home.
              Thanks for the advice

              it was actually reported to the local council 3 years ago - the guy that was dealing with it was an old friend of the LL but had not been in contact for a number of years (or so he said) - things dragged along for over 2.5 years with next to nothing being done (no notices issued) - turns out that guy got asked to leave - i got in touch with the new person in charge and notice was issued within 2 weeks.

              as i said i'm wanting to remove rest of belongings from house but cant from outhouse.

              many thanks

              Comment

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