rent reduction for loss of amenities

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    rent reduction for loss of amenities

    Hi

    help would be much appreciated!

    i live in a rented house which has an ensuite bathroom in the attic with a maceator. Whether this has been fitted incorrectly or what i dont know but it appears to keep blocking even though only 'normal' waste is put in it. After the most recent trouble (when the blocking caused waste to back up the pipe outside and actually backed up in to the boiler overflow and stopped the boiler from working) the landlord has said that i am no longer to use the ensuite bathroom. Apparently its been there for 10 years and there had never been a problem. they said a similar thing about the knackered boiler that they finally replaced after 3 months of having no heating over winter.

    I pay a premium for this bathroom and specifically chose this house for this benefit. Given that the room was advertised as ensuite and was taken out this way can i make the landlord continue to fix the toilet so that i still get to use it? if not, can i claim a rent reduction for the loss of this amenity? and if worst comes to worst can we move out before the contract expires given that i'd consider the loss of amenities as a breach of the contract that i signed?

    To further help matters i suspect that the letting agent was instrumental in this toilet ban. she is obtructive and condescending and has the uncanny knack of leading you to believe that something is being done about things when theyre not. It turned out that the landlord had no idea we were living without heating and when he found out he replaced the boiler immediately. the letting agent appears to have some sort of misguided loyalty to the landlord even though he hasnt asked for it (as far as we're aware!). We dont have the landlords contact details and the letting agent refuses to give them to us. by law are we entitled to contact details and most importantly, how do i get my toilet back?

    thankyou anyone that can help

    Laura

    as a secondary (or is it tertiary, ive lost count now im ranting)point, we were without 'adequate provision of hot water' for 5 days as a result of the boiler outlet problem (their plumber wasnt available and they wouldnt get a different one). can we claim a rent reduction for this time?

    #2
    Not sure I can help on the legal questions regarding rent deductions for loss of amenities .. but just a point aboout the saniflow toilet - my daughter had similar problems with the same type of ensuite toilet and shower in a rented property.

    When the guy eventually came to fix it, it turned out she had been using the "thick" type bleach to clean and disinfect and apparently this was the cause of the problem. It seems that the thick / perfumed bleach causes "foamng"and the engineer/plumber told her this was enough to cause a blockage because of the narrowed pipework.

    After that she used tordinary thin bleach and voila ! no more blocking ! He said that any product that causes foaming should be avoided so make sure that isn't the problem first before requesting any sort of deduction in rent or even an engineers callout on this particular issue.

    Personally, I would have thought that loss of heating during the winter would be cause for a rent reduction especially if you had to buy heating appliances and had increased heating costs as a result (and have receipts and bills to prove it), but more exerienced members on here may beg to differ.

    As for the letting agent, I would personally make sure all future requests (unless it is a dire emergency) are in writing and sent by recorded delivery to her and give her a reasonable time (say 14 days) in which to reply in writing advising what instructions (if any) she has received from the Landlord. Should she not respond to that, send another stating that unless you hear from her within a further (e.g.) 7 days, then you will have no option but to get quotes yourself and employ an independent contractor and any costs involved you will deduct from your rent. That should keep her on her toes !! From reading similar posts and their replies on here I understand you are enitled to deduct reasonable costs from the rent if you cannot get any joy from the landlord but it goes without saying that this recourse should be limited to major problems and not minor ones !

    Hope this helps but please see if there are any more definitive replies about rent deductions and don't rely on my knowledge alone.

    Originally posted by laura
    Hi

    help would be much appreciated!

    i live in a rented house which has an ensuite bathroom in the attic with a maceator. Whether this has been fitted incorrectly or what i dont know but it appears to keep blocking even though only 'normal' waste is put in it. After the most recent trouble (when the blocking caused waste to back up the pipe outside and actually backed up in to the boiler overflow and stopped the boiler from working) the landlord has said that i am no longer to use the ensuite bathroom. Apparently its been there for 10 years and there had never been a problem. they said a similar thing about the knackered boiler that they finally replaced after 3 months of having no heating over winter.

    I pay a premium for this bathroom and specifically chose this house for this benefit. Given that the room was advertised as ensuite and was taken out this way can i make the landlord continue to fix the toilet so that i still get to use it? if not, can i claim a rent reduction for the loss of this amenity? and if worst comes to worst can we move out before the contract expires given that i'd consider the loss of amenities as a breach of the contract that i signed?

    To further help matters i suspect that the letting agent was instrumental in this toilet ban. she is obtructive and condescending and has the uncanny knack of leading you to believe that something is being done about things when theyre not. It turned out that the landlord had no idea we were living without heating and when he found out he replaced the boiler immediately. the letting agent appears to have some sort of misguided loyalty to the landlord even though he hasnt asked for it (as far as we're aware!). We dont have the landlords contact details and the letting agent refuses to give them to us. by law are we entitled to contact details and most importantly, how do i get my toilet back?

    thankyou anyone that can help

    Laura

    as a secondary (or is it tertiary, ive lost count now im ranting)point, we were without 'adequate provision of hot water' for 5 days as a result of the boiler outlet problem (their plumber wasnt available and they wouldnt get a different one). can we claim a rent reduction for this time?
    Last edited by pippay; 08-06-2006, 22:25 PM. Reason: typo
    Any information or opinion given in this post is based only on my personal experience, what I have learned from this, other boards and elsewhere. It is not to be relied on. Definitive advice is only available from a Solicitor or other appropriately qualified person. E&OE

    Comment


      #3
      Hi Laura,

      It might be that the maceator is faulty or it might be that you don't know how to use it (not being funny, they can get blocked with toilet paper if it's the extra thick cushiony one used in larger quantities).
      To be sure you could ask a second/third opinion from a plumber, or whoever specialises in these things, to have a look at it.

      If it appears that it is faulty, get the plumber to write a report and send a copy to the agent and landlord (see my point below) requesting that it is fixed or replaced within 7 days or you will get it repaired by your plumber and deduct the money from the rent.
      If it appears that it isn't faulty, learn how to use it.

      Regarding reduced rent over the 5 days because of problems with hot water, I would advise letting it go for the sake of the relationship with your landlord. Had you been the house owner you might not have been able to get a plumber in in time either and wouldn't get compensation.
      To give you an idea, the boiler in the last house I rented was faulty for 6 months over winter meaning no hot water or heating for days at random.

      Finally when it comes to the landlord's contact details, the agent MUST by law give you the landlord's address within 28 days of your written request. The don't however have to give you a phone number.

      Comment


        #4
        Probably doesn't help you much I'm afraid but see here for why you should never fit one of these appalling contraptions:
        http://www.diyfaq.org.uk/humour.html#saniflo

        Comment

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