thinking of witholding rent at end of tenancy due to poor conditions in the property

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    thinking of witholding rent at end of tenancy due to poor conditions in the property

    Basically we took the property at full rent on the basis that it was in good condition when we moved in. However for the last 3-4 months we have not been able to use our en suite bathroom because of a leak.

    The agents have been sending contractors to repair it, but everytime they just come around and leave a sign on the shower, "do not use shower" before coming back a week or two later to fix it.

    When they do fix it, we can't use it for another couple of weeks because of the very strong smelling chemicals they use in there. This also affects our enjoyment of our bedroom and I have a runny nose/sore throat as a result of sleeping next to this smell.

    After several long attempts at fixing the shower, it transpired that actually there is a leak somewhere else, I suspect the toilet.

    Anyway to cut a long story short, the leak did not stop, there has been a lot of damage to the floor and ceiling below, and they have not fixed the hole that now exists in the wall and ceiling/floor. The last couple of weeks we have had a huge hole in our ensuite bathroom wall and the downstairs toilet ceiling.

    You can actually see through the ceiling/floor to the other side with the internal wall pipes etc exposed. I suspect this is a health and safety issue, specially when you consider we have a two year old boy.

    Do you think it would be reasonable to withold a couple of weeks worth of rent based on this?

    It is now time for us to move out and we want to keep things straight as possible and leave the property in as good a condition as we can, but we do feel it is unfair we have been paying full price rent all this time.

    Much appreciate your advice with how to proceed.

    Can supply pics if you want to see the damage...

    Cheers,

    David

    #2
    For compensation of this nature you would need to apply to the court for an award. I assume you have served the correct notice on your LL? Obviously if it is the literal expiration of the fixed term then you have to give no notice.
    [I]The opinions I give are simply my opinions and interpretations of what I have learnt, in numerous years as a property professional, I would not rely upon them without consulting with a paid advisor and providing them with all the relevant facts[I]

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      #3
      Thanks for the quick response. I have served noticed, it's basically an AST that has gone past it's initial 6 months and is now continuing on a month by month basis.

      Is there no way to do this without going to court? Also if I did go to court:

      1. how likely would it be that I won?
      2. how much would be awarded?

      Would the courts not look on us more favourably if we had made an attempt to settle it directly with the agents/LL?

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        #4
        Originally posted by slyrubies View Post
        Do you think it would be reasonable to withold a couple of weeks worth of rent based on this?
        There is no automatic entitlement to a rent reduction. If you withhold the rent the LL would have no difficulty claiming it via deposit scheme adjudication. It'd be different if the LL claimed via the county court - you could then counterclaim for the disrepair.

        You can, alternatively, either negotiate compensation with the LL, or pay the rent and then bring a county court claim yourself for the disrepair. If there are alternative bathing facilities, the award is unlikely to be very high. You will need evidence of the disrepair to support a claim or counterclaim.

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          #5
          sounds like a bit of a dead end then... Thanks for the advice, I guess that will teach me for paying full rent! next time I'll negotiate harder at the outset

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