Ceiling collapse

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    Ceiling collapse

    Hi All.
    I am a 23 yo student sharing a house with 3 other girls. One of my housemates came home today to find the ceiling in her room had collapsed. It is of a large area (bonnet of a medium sized car) and is still falling. I is due to a leak that was reported about a month and a half ago.

    We pay rent separately to the landlord but the contract refers to all members as the occupants. The housemate who room it is is understandably upset by the whole affair but is currently looking to rip the landlord a new one although we haven't even seen him. I just have a few questions as I know this could all end in tears as iv lived in quite a few dives.

    This girl has obviously not lived in rented accommodation before as she seems to think none of us should have to pay rent and wishes to report the landlord to the council. (I don't know why i moved in with these drama queens) The only thing that worries me is that we are seen as a single entity under the contract so if she starts throwing insults around the room its gonna get us all evicted (is this true?)

    From my knowledge of being a single tennent in the past the landlord should fix the leak, refund any damages to property caused by the accident, repair the roof and make a reduction in the rent by how many days the room has been unhabbitable.

    Like i said this a house share so how can the housemate claim her rent back when we all pay as a whole. Is there any way she can get anything back of the landlord, just to shut her up rather than the landlord. I am having to sit in the meeting and I am dreading the treats that I cannot agree with as I dont have anywhere else to go unlike the other members f the house who have tons of money (rich) and boyfriends and girlfriends to stay with.

    Thanks guys and girls.

    Regards
    Joe Cummins

    #2
    Originally posted by Jezarel View Post
    One of my housemates came home today to find the ceiling in her room had collapsed. It is of a large area (bonnet of a medium sized car) and is still falling. I is due to a leak that was reported about a month and a half ago.
    Just to be clear, are you saying that when you reported the leak 1.5 months ago, nothing at all was done and the ceiling has now collapsed in consequence?

    Or was the leak repaired promptly, but because the ceiling was so weakened it eventually succumbed anyway?

    You'll appreciate that these two scenarios are somewhat different in how much to blame the landlord is for the consequences.

    The only thing that worries me is that we are seen as a single entity under the contract so if she starts throwing insults around the room its gonna get us all evicted (is this true?)
    Well, assuming you have a normal AST agreement, then essentially your landlord can seek to repossess the property at the end of the fixed term or with 2 months' notice, without needing to give any reason - so you're probably right that if any landlord has a tenant who is giving them problems for whatever reason (which might be your co-tenant shooting her mouth off), then there's a chance that it may result ultimately in a notice to quit. And if it's a joint tenancy, that would have to be all of you not just her.

    Just an off-the-wall but maybe practical thought - you shouldn't have to do so, but would it be an option for you to swap rooms with her? That way the negotiations with the LL would be more under your control.

    Comment


      #3
      Read-up about s.11 of LTA 1985, under which L is inescapably responsible for structure.
      JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
      1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
      2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
      3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
      4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by jeffrey View Post
        Read-up about s.11 of LTA 1985, under which L is inescapably responsible for structure.
        Sure, of course he is (if your comment was aimed at my last post!) I wasn't suggesting anything otherwise, merely commenting on how reasonably and timely the landlord has acted, and therefore how justifed the affected tenant is in wanting to 'rip the landlord a new one'.

        Comment


          #5
          The only thing that worries me is that we are seen as a single entity under the contract.

          Yes, because OP stated that

          We pay rent separately to the landlord but the contract refers to all members as the occupants.
          JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
          1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
          2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
          3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
          4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

          Comment


            #6
            It follows that there is a single contractual relationship between L and the collective tenants (or at least the first four-named of them).
            JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
            1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
            2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
            3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
            4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

            Comment


              #7
              Jezarel, you are right in assuming the LL should fix the leak. Inform him immediately in writing as well as orally what has happened and ask him to provide you with a repair time schedule withing 3 days, as this could be classified as an emergency. You may also consider politely requesting a partial rent refund for the time it takes to fix (perhaps one quarter of the total rent) to compensate the girl who has had to move out of the room.

              Serving you notice: it may be that you are still within the fixed term of your AST (usually 12 months for students), so LL would not be able to ask you to leave before the fixed term expires anyway. How long have you been there?
              'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

              Comment

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