tenant deducting from rent without prior agreement

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    tenant deducting from rent without prior agreement

    My tenant contacted my letting agent last week as the power shower was
    broken. I arranged for it to be fixed and today have received an email from the agent to say that the tenant has emailed complaining that the water is cold. The tenant stayed in a hotel at the weekend (he says he tried to
    contact the letting agent but the office was closed). The tenant has
    stated that he will deduct the cost of the hotel from next month's rent as
    advised by his lawyer.

    I cannot believe that this is legally permitted? Is the tenant required to
    give us reasonable opportunity to resolve the cold water before taking it
    upon himself to stay elsewhere? Is cold water classed as an urgent issue - i.e is it reasonable for him to have done this?

    I'm not an experienced landlord and would appreciate any advice re the
    legal position. many thanks!

    #2
    No the tenant cannot legally do deduct hotel or other costs from the rent - what next!

    It is unfortunate when hot water ceases at a weekend but it is reasonable for the tenant to report the matter on Monday with a view to getting a repair in the following week. No doubt you are doing this?

    What does the agent say on this matter? Could be you need a new agent and issue tenant with a Section 21 to start the process of him/her going.



    Freedom at the point of zero............

    Comment


      #3
      The question to ask I think is: Would an owner-occupier in the same situation book into a hotel? The answer is clearly "no". Lack of hot water is insufficient justification for moving into a hotel.

      Comment


        #4
        Many thanks to you both for replying. The letting agent has been useless and despite the legal position the tenant is holding his resolve. I have a feeling that despite the legal position I will have limited recourse and am concerned that even if I begin proceedings to terminate the contract he'll simply withold rent in order to regain his deposit. Wish me luck!

        Comment


          #5
          Ask for a copy of his letter from his "lawyer" and go from there.
          Allow tenants to protect their own deposits. I want free money when they do it wrong

          Comment


            #6
            Lack of hot water does not make property uninhabitable - I assume tenant has a kettle/hob to boil a small amount to wash etc.

            I lived in my property whilst renovating it and did not have hot water for 2 months! Showered at parents house and boiled kettle for everything else.

            If the tenant does with-hold the amount of rent, request a copy of the bill for the hotel, start eviction process and with-hold a similar amount from his deposit at the end. If tenant stops paying to recover their deposit, sue them!

            For future reference, if using an agent who does not provide tenant with a 24 hour emergency line, give them your contact details for weekend repairs.

            Comment


              #7
              You're to have reasonable time to remedy any breaches of repairing covenants. What is reasonable depends upon the nature of the repair. If it is the only source of cleaning ones self then plainly it should be dealt with as a matter of urgency.

              Originally posted by LesleyAnne View Post
              Lack of hot water does not make property uninhabitable - I assume tenant has a kettle/hob to boil a small amount to wash etc.

              I lived in my property whilst renovating it and did not have hot water for 2 months! Showered at parents house and boiled kettle for everything else.
              I disagree... lack of Hot water does make a property uninhabitable which is why Landlords have a legal requirement to repair.
              [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]

              Comment


                #8
                LL is not shirking their legal requirements to repair here. Tenant is taking the P!

                Comment


                  #9
                  a) Fire useless agent..

                  b) Give notice to tenant then evict..

                  c) re-advertise (when he's gone..) and get new tenant, either managing it yourself or through a new, more competent, agent...

                  Cheers!
                  I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by LesleyAnne View Post
                    LL is not shirking their legal requirements to repair here. Tenant is taking the P!
                    I agree in this instance it could be considered a reasonable time period, but I did not want your comments being taken out of context and some other landlord reading it and thinking hot water wasn't a necessity! I have had a cold shower in the winter on a couple of occasions and it was not pleasant.
                    [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]

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by MrJohnnyB View Post
                      I disagree... lack of Hot water does make a property uninhabitable which is why Landlords have a legal requirement to repair.
                      So, a blocked gutter would also render the property uninhabitable according to your logic.
                      Allow tenants to protect their own deposits. I want free money when they do it wrong

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by MrJohnnyB View Post
                        I disagree... lack of Hot water does make a property uninhabitable which is why Landlords have a legal requirement to repair.
                        Uninhabitable means that no one could live in the property in its present condition. Not having hot water on tap would hardly do that; it would be uncomfortable, impractical and no doubt very annoying but it wouldn't render a property uninhabitable.

                        Lawcruncher hit the nail on the head.
                        My advice is not based on formal legal training but experience gained in 20+ years in the letting industry.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          I agree. The post was very loosely written and easily interpreted the 'wrong' way.

                          An electric shower not working doesn't render a house uninhabitable. I assume the shower was not the only source of hot water in the property.

                          Deduct shortfall from deposit at end of tenancy (assuming one was taken and the tenancy agreement allows for this).
                          There is always scope for misinterpretation.

                          If my posts can be interpreted in two ways, one that makes you feel angry and one that doesn't, I meant the latter.

                          Everyday is an opportunity to learn something new.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by oaktree View Post
                            Uninhabitable means that no one could live in the property in its present condition. Not having hot water on tap would hardly do that; it would be uncomfortable, impractical and no doubt very annoying but it wouldn't render a property uninhabitable.

                            Lawcruncher hit the nail on the head.
                            I think an environmental housing officer would state that a house without provision for water heating would be considered uninhabitable. I am sure that you can find much information in relation to this. I still would contend that a house without Reasonable provision for hot water, is not habitable. When I submitted recent reports accepted by my local authority (I'm a surveyor) in relation to an exemption request for council tax was the lack of hot water heating, along with other slightly lesser (but still significant defects). It was accepted in this instance that the property was uninhabitable.

                            I do not think that you can say definitively what is uninhabitable and what is habitable because it depends upon the individual and the specifics of the property. What one may reasonably live in another may consider completely unreasonable.

                            I at no point, however, said that this was the case in this example.

                            Originally posted by thesaint View Post
                            So, a blocked gutter would also render the property uninhabitable according to your logic.
                            I believe a blocked gutter may fall onto the tenant along with cleaning windows. A broken gutter that leads to damp is a different story. There are a couple of landmark cases in relation to damp and tenant health. Where tenants health is at risk it maybe uninhabitable.
                            [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]

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by MrJohnnyB View Post
                              I believe a blocked gutter may fall onto the tenant along with cleaning windows. A broken gutter that leads to damp is a different story. There are a couple of landmark cases in relation to damp and tenant health. Where tenants health is at risk it maybe uninhabitable.
                              You said that landlords have a legal requirement to repair because it would be uninhabitable(without the repoair).
                              Let's say a gutter was broken, and it led to damp, would it be uninhabitable? After all, the landlord has a legal obligation to repair it.

                              Originally posted by MrJohnnyB View Post
                              I disagree... lack of Hot water does make a property uninhabitable which is why Landlords have a legal requirement to repair.
                              Allow tenants to protect their own deposits. I want free money when they do it wrong

                              Comment

                              Latest Activity

                              Collapse

                              Working...
                              X