Flatmate withholding rent - legalities?

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    Flatmate withholding rent - legalities?

    Hi,

    I've been living in a flat for nearly six years during which time we've experienced ceiling leaks in 2 of our bedrooms (we are on the top floor). One of which has become increasingly worse in the last two years with streams of water flowing onto the floor, especially during heavy rain.

    I have notified the landlord every time this happens and his quickness to repair has been inconsistent at best. After the last serious episode, he sent someone over to clean the roof but a week later the ceiling was visibly wet (although not yet dripping) at which point I told him I was concerned it would begin leaking again. I received no reply.

    During that time, I was sent a rent increase of £200/month (the second increase by that amount in 3 years) as we were outside of our tenancy (the landlord often will forget when the lease expires then three months later, will send me a back-dated new lease) - I again brought up the issue with the leak and was assured they would look at it. I know that the increase is based on market rate and I agreed to the new tenancy based on the understanding that he would look have another look at the ceiling but this was over a 2 weeks ago and now again after a night of rain, water is leaking onto the floor.

    The leak overall has been ongoing for nearly two years with no permanent solution as yet and the landlord is only applying what seems to be quick fixes. I have been more than patient with the landlord as I've been with them for so many years and equally I have been a very good tenant. But it seems as though he has no regard for this now and as the property (and neighbourhood) becomes more sought after, the higher he's hiking the rent and the less he is doing to ensure permanent repairs.

    Could someone tell me if there is anything I can do in this situation? I regret signing the lease as it's painful to pay such an increase in rent with an outstanding repair, however I agreed to it on the basis that it would be looked at. Are there any visible legal flaws here on the part of the landlord and am I within my rights to escalate the matter to the council?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you!

    #2
    It begs the question...

    Why don't you leave?
    Allow tenants to protect their own deposits. I want free money when they do it wrong

    Comment


      #3
      NOt everyone is in a position to leave so quickly for personal reasons I shouldn't have to disclose on a public forum.

      So a sensible reply to my question would be appreciated.

      Thank you.

      Comment


        #4
        Sorry, your post seemed to suggest that it has been going on for years.
        Someone will be along with a sensible reply soon. Good luck.
        Allow tenants to protect their own deposits. I want free money when they do it wrong

        Comment


          #5
          Sorry for the sensitivity - t's just that leaving is not a choice right now which adds to the frustration.

          Thanks though. I'll wait to hear from someone.

          Comment


            #6
            Does your landlord own the entire building that the flat is in, or does he only own your flat?

            Comment


              #7
              It's a block of flats owned and split between two landlords. I assume he has been responsible for the roof above our flat as he has been the ones to directly hire someone for the repairs.

              Comment


                #8
                i.e. one landlord owns 5 flats, the other landlord owns 5 flats. It's a new build, so I'm assuming the construction of it was a joint investment.

                Comment


                  #9
                  I suggest you contact The Enviromental Health department of your local council.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Ok thanks I will contact them.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Really, just leave. Its a free market (well sort of in the rental world -- its a skewed market). Clearly the timescale is long and you have repeatedly contracted, so on the balance of benefits versus detriment versus price -- you must have judged to be in your favour. See Economics 101 http://www.investopedia.com/universi...economics3.asp

                      If I eat a meal out and it's bad, I complain and ask for my money back. If I eat there and pay again and again and it's always bad, I can hardly complain. To get to this point, where YOU can freely choose how you spend YOUR money has cost millions of lives.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Flatmate withholding rent - legalities?

                        Hi,

                        I posted yesterday about the flat I'm renting with an ongoing leaky roof. I am a leaseholder with a flatmate who pays his rent to me.

                        The aforementioned leak is in his room, and he has now decided he's not going to pay this month's rent until it's fixed - despite my very obvious efforts at trying to get the landlord to sort it (calling him straight away, chasing constantly, calling the council, keeping him in the loop, etc….). The landlord has since been in touch and has said they are sorting it this week. But they still won't pay and rent was due yesterday.

                        I completely understand his frustration but I have been more than doing my bit to try to sort it. Essentially it's in my best interest too for the flat to be liveable so we're all in the same boat but he is just being difficult (and has recently come into financial difficulties so think he is using this as an excuse to save money). I'm completely flabbergasted by this as I've been doing all I can and I feel this is a really unfair way to handle the situation.

                        Could someone tell me:

                        1) As a lease-holder, I know it's illegal for me to withhold rent from the landlord but how does this law apply in a flatmate situation? Am I protected by this law if I'm only the lease holder and not the landlord of the flat?

                        2) Can I use his deposit to retrieve lost monies?

                        3) Can anyone recommend what I can do in this situation?

                        I once had a situation where a flatmate split without paying bills and I was able to issue a court order on the basis that I could prove he was part of the household. Would the same hold true in this case?

                        Any advice would be great.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Do you actually own the flat (leaseholder) or do you just rent the flat with a tenancy agreement (tenant)?

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Sorry no, I am NOT the owner of the flat.

                            I rent it from the owner/landlord. My name is the sole name on the tenancy agreement and my flatmate pays me a portion of the rent which I pay in full to the landlord.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              What agreement do you have with the flatmate?

                              Is part of that agreement that you cannot enter parts of the flat without his consent?
                              When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
                              Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

                              Comment

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