Rent which includes maintenance - what are the obligations??

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    Rent which includes maintenance - what are the obligations??

    Hello there,

    I am a private tenant who currently has a tenancy agreement for 6 months, with a view to longer (although it was never actually signed in the end!)

    My question is this: do I have to continue to pay for maintenance costs of the property if no maintenance is being done? I live in a flat and all the tenants pay an amount (I don't know how much) for the cleaning of the communal areas in the block. However, for the past 7 weeks or so, there has been no cleaner and it is now very evident. I checked on the main noticeboard who to contact in the event of maintenance queries and I have phoned them 3 times now, yet still nobody knows what the situation is and still there is no cleaner for our block!

    A couple of days ago, I contacted my private landlord to explain the situation to him. He said he would also contact the managing agents to find out what is happening about the cleaning. Today I asked if he had heard anything and I reminded him that I am due to pay the next rent tomorrow, yet neither of us know where the maintenance money is going. He became very ratty with me and said I should not use this as an excuse not to pay my rent!!! I replied that was not what I was doing - I would never suddenly stop paying any of the rent without agreeing it first! The fact is, he told me that the "maintenance is covered in the rent", so therefore don't I have a right to know just where that part of the rent is going, considering that no maintenance is being carried out??

    Answers on a postcard please!!

    violin_lizzy

    #2
    He will know exactly how much of the rent is for maintenance and where it goes.

    Don't be fobbed off - contact the freeholder and complain?
    '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


      #3
      Oh, ok! Thanks! Can I be dumb and ask what a freeholder is? This is the first time I have ever rented: (a) Privately & (b) in England. Previously, I had 2 Council house rents up in Scotland, so that was a bit different.

      Comment


        #4
        It is not clear here whether you are paying (a) a fixed rent and no more (b) a fixed rent with a fixed contribution to maintenance (c) a fixed rent and reimbursing the landlord what he pays in maintenance. What does the agreement you never signed say?

        Comment


          #5
          If OP is renting property from LL and also paying a 3rd party maintenance charge to cover cleaning then I think T has a right to get upset and chase it up. If OP is renting property from LL but LL paying maintenance charge (which I imagine is in with service charge) then that charge per se is nothing to do with T but only to tell LL that the cleaning that he is paying for is not being conducted and up to him to chase up (I doubt leaseholder would communicate with a private T anyway ?).
          I'm a good tenant with great landlords
          I'm also a living, breathing, fully cooked female.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by Lawcruncher View Post
            It is not clear here whether you are paying (a) a fixed rent and no more (b) a fixed rent with a fixed contribution to maintenance (c) a fixed rent and reimbursing the landlord what he pays in maintenance. What does the agreement you never signed say?
            Hi there, I have just read through my tenancy agreement and there is not one mention of the maintenance charge. It was only discussed when I asked him about the maintenance before I moved in; his reply was "The maintenance is included in the rent". My rent is fixed at £600 per calendar month, so I do not know how much goes towards the maintenance. My only way of finding that out might be to ask a neighbour.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by Brb View Post
              If OP is renting property from LL and also paying a 3rd party maintenance charge to cover cleaning then I think T has a right to get upset and chase it up. If OP is renting property from LL but LL paying maintenance charge (which I imagine is in with service charge) then that charge per se is nothing to do with T but only to tell LL that the cleaning that he is paying for is not being conducted and up to him to chase up (I doubt leaseholder would communicate with a private T anyway ?).
              Hi. Sorry, but I do not know what OP stands for. To answer your question: I am the private tenant of a property which seemingly belongs to a Housing Association (I only found this out by chance - the landlord never told me who owned the property; I just assumed it was his son, on whose behalf he is acting). I was only told by the landlord that the rent is £600 per calendar month and that that includes the maintenance cost, although I do not know how much that is in itself. Seeing that no maintenance has been done for around 2 months now, I wondered for both our sakes just where this money is going

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by violin_lizzy View Post
                Hi there, I have just read through my tenancy agreement and there is not one mention of the maintenance charge. It was only discussed when I asked him about the maintenance before I moved in; his reply was "The maintenance is included in the rent". My rent is fixed at £600 per calendar month, so I do not know how much goes towards the maintenance. My only way of finding that out might be to ask a neighbour.
                In that case then you are not really paying any maintenance. I cannot see that you have any standing to complain unless it involves a lack of repair to the flat or common parts.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by Lawcruncher View Post
                  In that case then you are not really paying any maintenance. I cannot see that you have any standing to complain unless it involves a lack of repair to the flat or common parts.
                  But I am because it forms a part of my rent! I am ultimately paying the maintenance for the flat I rent; it certainly isn't coming from the landlord's own pocket! And as I live here, I think I do have a right to complain that the corridors and stairwells are becoming increasingly dirty and 'fousty'!

                  Comment


                    #10
                    The rent may be calculated to cover it, but that does not mean you are actually paying maintenance any more than you are directly paying anything else the rent is calculated to cover.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      If flats are owned by a HA, it is possible that your 'LL' is the named T and he is illegally sub-letting to you. Plenty of it going on of you believe Fake Britain.
                      Obvious place to complain about lack of communal cleaning is HA IMO

                      Comment


                        #12
                        If there is no mention of a separate portion of the rent being actually allocated to the maintenance/repairs of communal areas of the property, I think you may have misunderstood the LL's comment.

                        I let out a flat which is in a block of 8. My tenant pays me rent, and I pay the ground rent and maintenance charges to the freeholder, out of the rent the tenant pays me. To me, the LL saying "maintenance is included" means the same thing.

                        If there is no cleaning/maintenance being done, complain to the LL and ask him to raise it with the freeholder (ie the ultimate owner of the building). Your LL is the Leaseholder of your flat (ie "owns" the flat by on a lease as if it part of a larger building), and the Freeholder provides a service the leaseholder (not direct to you as a tenant if you see what I mean), so the LL is the one who has to chase up the maintenance.

                        By the way, OP is an abbreviation for Original Poster - saves typing your username each time a reply wishes to refer to you.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by mariner View Post
                          If flats are owned by a HA, it is possible that your 'LL' is the named T and he is illegally sub-letting to you. Plenty of it going on of you believe Fake Britain.
                          Obvious place to complain about lack of communal cleaning is HA IMO
                          Hi Mariner, this is exactly what I have been thinking and it worries me because I do not know what rights I have in such a situation. It wouldn't overly bother me if I were living here alone, but I have a baby and a toddler to consider. I only found out by chance about the block belonging to a Housing Association because I phoned the main number on the communal noticeboard a few months ago to ask some questions which my landlord had failed to answer. The guy on the phone asked my name and flat number and when I told him my name, he sounded surprised and said "Oh, we don't have you on the tenancy" ! So I don't know what to think. If I inform the HA that I am renting this flat, it may work against me

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by LesleyAnne View Post
                            If there is no mention of a separate portion of the rent being actually allocated to the maintenance/repairs of communal areas of the property, I think you may have misunderstood the LL's comment.

                            I let out a flat which is in a block of 8. My tenant pays me rent, and I pay the ground rent and maintenance charges to the freeholder, out of the rent the tenant pays me. To me, the LL saying "maintenance is included" means the same thing.

                            If there is no cleaning/maintenance being done, complain to the LL and ask him to raise it with the freeholder (ie the ultimate owner of the building). Your LL is the Leaseholder of your flat (ie "owns" the flat by on a lease as if it part of a larger building), and the Freeholder provides a service the leaseholder (not direct to you as a tenant if you see what I mean), so the LL is the one who has to chase up the maintenance.

                            By the way, OP is an abbreviation for Original Poster - saves typing your username each time a reply wishes to refer to you.
                            Hi LesleyAnne, thanks very much for clarifying the abbreviation OP

                            As for complaining about the lack of maintenance, I have now complained to both the HA and the LL, so that is all I can do - save getting the hoover out myself, ha ha! I will just wait now to see what transpires.

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