Tenant threatening to withhold rent

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    I agree that this sounds like scale buildup and a 15 minute soak of the head in a bag of vinegar might well have fixed it. Unless this is a very fancy shower a new head can be acquired for less than £10 http://www.diy.com/departments/bq-si.../203067_BQ.prd

    So personally I'd suggest you offer no more than £15 and a bottle of white vinegar with a plastic bag. Your decision to call in a plumber before asking tenant to soak the head so shoudnt invoice for that.


      I had a similar issue with withholding rent about five months ago, but they actually did withhold £100, I sent formal letter by recorded delivery, stating I would take legal action to recover the debt and told them to seek legal advice/contact Shelter/CAB - monies paid in full within 48 hours and an apology. I think my issue arose due to her fiancé moving in with her, she had been an excellent tenant up to that point AND ever since.

      I could now evict or at least take the steps to begin, but it was the first hiccup, she has been with me for over three years and this was the first time there had ever been an issue, so I have held off on S21 but I have not and will not renew her AST, as i can issue at any time and give her the 2 months notice anyway, I am not sure what extra it would achieve? I told her, once the dust had settled down, that I would not be issuing a new AST which, as a result, meant she only had to give me one months notice to leave and I only had to give her two months and either of us could do that at any time.

      I have now informed all my tenants that after their current AST's run out, I will not be issuing new ones.

      as for shower heads - one of my other tenants, had the same 'problem', I went round and cleaned the shower head, told her it was her fault for not cleaning the shower head of built up limescale and I wouldnt be charging her on this particular occasion as it was clearly part of the tenants responsibilities (she isn't inform, elderly, disabled) and she should be doing it - she's never had a problem since with the shower 'being blocked'

      I tend to find that the shower heads with 'rubber' jets are so much easier to keep free of limescale that those with just drilled holes in the head, so if your going to replace shower heads, it might be worth considering those types?


        Originally posted by MisterB View Post
        I tend to find that the shower heads with 'rubber' jets are so much easier to keep free of limescale that those with just drilled holes in the head, so if your going to replace shower heads, it might be worth considering those types?
        That's the type we use at home for this very reason. See the link below for a cheap one.



          Toolstation do some decent ones aswell from less than a fiver, they will deliver free of charge above a certain price range

          I also use toolstation (and screwfix, though they tend to be a bit dearer) because its easier for me to have printed receipt straight to my email AND you can ask them to send (or search) receipts from specific time periods !





            A general rule of thumb is

            Security, gas, dangerous electrical, flooding, heating (for elderly tenants) etc - same day

            Heating and hot water (non-winter months), serious damage or repairs (not dangerous, just inconvenient) - 7 to 14 days

            Maintenance and general failures, inconvenient but not life changing - up to 28 days

            A bust shower head where the problem seems to originate with lack of tenancy care is clearly a 28 day issue. She could only reasonably withhold rent if the property was unusable. If you have a 2 minute shower twice a day it's less than 0.3% of your housing need. We have to assume she continued to live there, eating, sleeping, watching TV, crapping, and all the other reasonable functions of a home.
            If I were the tenant myself, I'd find it inconceivable to consider withholding a months rent when I could have resolved the issue myself in minutes for less than a tenner.
            I may be a housing professional but my views, thoughts, opinions, advice, criticisms or otherwise on this board are mine and are not representative of my company, colleagues, managers. I am here as an independent human being who simply wants to learn new stuff, share ideas and interact with like minded people.


              Rent was due yesterday and is still unpaid.

              I posted last week about tenant threatening to withhold rent, I discussed it with her and we came to a agreement between to to deduct a small amount from this months rent due to a minor issue she believes I took too long to sort out (8 days)

              Saturday evening she reported a more serious problem, I contacted a reliable company on Monday who took contact details so they could contact her directly to arrange a call out that same day or the next at a convenient time for the tenant.

              I phoned her immediately after I spoke to the company gave her the company name and number and asked her to let me know when it was fixed as the company just invoice me at the end of the month and I pay the bill they don't call me unless it's a big job I need to agree.

              Never heard anything more, until 9pm last night had a text message to say she was outraged that the company hadn't come or called her and I better make a offer of a substantial rent reduction.

              As I did explain how the company works I feel she should of let me know the day they didn't call or even call the company direct.

              I contacted the letting agent who found the tenant for me and they said they can't help as they do not manage the house for me.

              As the rent is now overdue do I send a email advising she has 24 hours to make the rent payment otherwise I will start eviction process?

              Can I? As I've looked into section -21 but rent arrears is only at 1 month. She is 6 months into a 12 month AST.


                Two related threads have been merged.
                I also post as Mars_Mug when not moderating


                  It's your responsibility to liaise with company & supervise any workman and visit at the property. If tenant agreed to help, great, but if the repair is your responsibility then it's for you to sort.
                  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...


                    withdraw your offer in writing via recorded delivery/proof of postage, telling her it was a one off offer and as she chose not to accept it, it is now withdrawn.

                    tell her full rent is due and payable. advise her to contact shelter in the same letter with regards to the consequences of withholding rent. tell her that you will seek to recover any monies due. I would also start small claims against her for monies due, that way she ends up with ccj against her - you may want to suggest she considers the consequences of that.

                    the letter may have no impact tho as it sounds as if you've got a 'chancer' who will push you to your limit, so be prepared for further issues until you get rid of her.

                    contact the company yourself (you don't say what the serious issue is for some reason?) in writing of possible (include details of your previous appointment with them) and get things sorted out

                    perhaps in a separate letter to the tenant - keep it brief -ask her to inform you within 24 hours in future if any appointment by anyone is not kept.

                    12 months AST?? OOOPS, hopefully you only have another six months


                      Originally posted by sunnyp View Post
                      DO NOT SEND FLOWERS!

                      AndrewDod advice is spot on.

                      Don't let this slide or else it will happen again and again.

                      You saw to the issue and resolved it even thought can be argued the issue was down to her negligence in keeping the shower clean. Tenant has no right to simply withhold rent. Make sure you collect.
                      SunnyP warned you.


                        Served s8g10 as soon as at least 1p is underpaid, if only for one day.
                        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...


                          Can I ask what a S8g10 is and where to find the info?

                          Interesting conversation with the company that was going to do the work. The contacted her directly after I phoned them on Monday morning and arranged a appointment with her for Friday on her request, she wasn't in any sooner.

                          She's clearly a chancer then.


                            That's not the action of a chancer, but a tenant trying to help their landlord (which she doesn;t have to...).

                            You will get s8 notices from your landlord association (and loads of other places- try Google): For all grounds see here...

                            Ever done any training in landlord/tenant law?

                            You were given info on what to do over a week ago: Did you miss the post(s)?
                            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...


                              Have you thought about having heating/plumbing/electrical cover which can be bought relatively cheaply and is off settable against tax, I think I pay about £25-£30 for each property with British Gas that covers no call out fees, all parts and labour for all of heating system, plumbing and electrics.

                              Its so much easier on you as a landlord as all you have to do is give them the BG number. in the last few years ive had replaced thermostatic valve, some part in the boiler, a hot water system water pump and recently a new flue. Although probably costs me, the fact I dont have to deal with it and try to find reliable trades people is worth every penny.


                                You need to take control of the situation before your tenant runs away with it. From your post it seems that the tenant will defend the section 8 with any trivial matter imagined or real. You need to make an assessment of what these urgents issues of repair are not leave it up to the tenant or workmen to decide.

                                Set a clear warning to the tenant that ANY rent withheld will be pursued with rigour, serve the section 8 & 21 notices as fall due but also consider the MCOL route whist the tenant is still in your property.
                                Any advice I give is my opinion and experience, I am as you also learning.


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