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    To agree or not

    Any one give any comments on the following!
    I moved into a property four years ago, cheap rent, laid back landlord and in need of work but OK.
    No maintenance has been carried out since I moved in so the house has now got into a poor state of repair, floorboards decomposing (woodworm), log burning stove now defunct and only form of heating downstairs, wood cladding falling off lean-to extension housing the bathroom, back door frame no longer reaching the ground, and the final straw eight months ago the private water supply test showed e-coli , but in the landlords words "only just over the standard and it must be fine because he has been drinking it", these are just a few of the issues. I in my own way have caused a problem by getting behind with my rent (3 months). He has now said he wants to put the renting through an agent and no doubt me to sign a tennancy agreement. Should I or not? what are the advantages/disadvantages at this point. What can I demand? believe it or not I actuallly would like to stay in the house as it suits; location, garden, cost, dogs etc,

    Comments please ladies and gents

    Consult the Environmental Health Department of your local Council concerning the water supply and the other defects.

    Even if there is no written agreement you now enjoy the benefit of a periodic tenancy and if the landlord requires possession he must follow the proper procedures (see threads on Section 21) and the landlord will have to decide whether to make a separate County Court claim for arrears or include the arrears in alternative procedures for possession.

    At the moment the landlord will have to give you two month's notice of possession but if your are able to negotiate a new AST you could enjoy a six month security of tenure.

    A letting agent may well advise the landlord to effect renovations and improvements to the property so as to increase the potential rental income. It may well be that your period of cheap rental is comming to an end.

    What if any are your proposals to deal with the rent arrears?

    You should object, in writing, to any unreasonable verbal proposals to increase rent and ask for statutory notice of any proposed increase.

    Finally if the property were improved but subject of a rent increase would you want to live there or must you find something cheaper?

    These issues will need to be faced regardless of whether the property is rented directly from the landlord or via an agent.
    Vic - wicked landlord
    Any advice or suggestions given in my posts are intended for guidance only and not a substitute for completing full searches on this forum, having regard to the advice of others, or seeking appropriate professional opinion.
    Without Plain English Codes of Practice and easy to complete Prescribed Forms the current law is too complex and is thus neither fair to good tenants nor good landlords.


      Things to remember..............
      1. Rent arrears have nothing to do with the state of repair.
      2. The landlord has legal obligations under S.11 Landlord & Tenant Act 1985 to keep the property in a good state of repair, provide space heating etc.
      3. As the landlord was aware of defects he is also in breach of the Defective Premises Act 1972. Failure to repair would constitute harassment under the Protection from Eviction act 1977.
      4. You do not need to sign a new AST but you might wish to. I should point out that if an agent takes on the property in a poor state of repair he should refuse to do so until is is brought up to standard as he will be getting a lot of hassle from you perhaps?
      5. Any new tenancy agreement must not substantially alter from your current one UNLESS the landlord brings the tenancy to an end by the service of a S.21 Notice on you. If he does this AND offers you a new tenancy then it will void the Notice so you would just carry on as now. If you do this just by negotiation between yourselves then your rights that you currently enjoy cannot be prejudiced as the landlord would be taking advantage of your situation.
      I can't go on about your rights because they are fairly substantial but you could get evicted by the court if your landlord serves a S.8 Ground 8 Notice on you for two months or more arrears.
      The advice I give should not be construed as a definitive answer, and is without prejudice or liability. You are advised to consult a specialist solicitor or other person of equal legal standing.


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