Landlord Legal Responsibilities, Obligations & Regulations

Landlord Obligations & Requirements - The Law

As a landlord there are a number of legal responsibilities and obligations which you MUST (and should) abide by. These are all necessary; failing to comply with these could result in prosecution.

Please note, this article is for private residential properties in England and Wales that is Governed under the Housing Act (the official rule book), which may not necessarily apply to mixed use premises such as houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) where unrelated occupiers, who live independently from one another, share common areas of the same building.

Landlord License

Sections 79, 80 and 81 of the Housing Act 2004 provide for the introduction of a “landlord licensing” scheme.

Landlords with properties in selective areas are required to get a “landlord license” from their local council before being permitted to let their property. These areas are selected based on low demand for housing and significant or persistent anti-social behaviour problems. Failing to do so can result in punishable fines of up to £20,000.

To qualify for a licence a landlord must be able to demonstrate that they are acting within the law and taking appropriate steps to manage their properties, which is defined by the local council. If you’re unsure if your property is in a landlord license zone, you can call your local council or speak to local letting agents.

Go here for more information on the landlord licensing scheme.

Gas safety appliances

The Gas Safety Regulations 1998 place a statutory duty on all landlords of residential property to ensure that all gas appliances, pipe work and flues are maintained in a safe condition.

A inspection of all gas appliances that is provided with in the property by the landlord must be inspected annually by a Gas Safe Registered Engineer. After inspection a warranted Gas Safety Certificate will be issued for proof of inspection; both tenant and landlord should keep a copy.

Fire Safety, Housing Act 2004

Fire Safety in Rental Property
This area of law is covered by both the Housing Act 2004 and the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.

Landlords are under a common law duty to ensure that the property they provide is safe. All residential properties in England and Wales should comply with building regulations.

Fire Extinguishers
There is no legal requirement to provide fire extinguishers or fire blankets in single occupation tenanted properties, but again, this may be a wise precaution, at least in the kitchen area.

Having made the decision to provide fire extinguishers though, the landlord or agent must then arrange for regular servicing – usually on a 12 monthly basis. They should also not be used by untrained persons.

Smoke alarms
There is currently no legal requirement for landlords to provide fire/smoke alarms in single occupation tenanted properties. However, neglecting the installation of smoke alarms could mean that the Landlord is failing to ensure that the property provided is safe, which is his duty under common law. It is strongly advised to have smoke alarms installed.

Reference: Smoke alarms not required.

Smoke alarms are required for houses of multiple occupation (HMO). The building regulations require that all properties built after June 1992 must have a mains operated inter-connected smoke alarms fitted on every level of the property. Although older properties do not have to comply, it is advised for landlords to provide at least battery operated smoke alarms in the property.

The Furniture and Furnishings Regulation 1993

All furniture a landlord provides must be fire resistant. Furniture must meet the fire resistance requirements in the Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988.

These regulations require that the following furniture supplied by the landlord in let properties meet fire safety standards:

  • beds, headboards of beds, mattresses
  • sofas, sofa-beds, futons and other convertibles
  • nursery furniture
  • garden furniture which is suitable for use in a dwelling
  • scatter cushions, bean bags, window seats and seat pads; pillows
  • padded stools and padded chests
  • put-u-up beds and garden loungers/seats
  • loose and stretch covers for furniture

Furniture manufactured since March 1989 will comply with these regulations and most will be marked with a label showing compliance.

The regulations do not apply to:

  • sleeping bags
  • bed-clothes, duvets and pillowcases
  • loose covers for mattresses
  • curtains and carpets
  • furniture and furnishings manufactured before 1 January 1950 as the inflammable materials were not in use prior to 1950
  • properties let continuously to the same tenant since prior to December 1996 until there is change of tenancy

Non-compliance with the above regulations is a criminal offence and carries penalties of a £5,000 fine, 6 month’s imprisonment, or both. In the event of a death, charges could extend to manslaughter.

Repairs & Maintenance- Section 11, Landlord and Tenant Act 1985

The landlord is responsible for the structure and exterior of the property; baths, sinks and other sanitary items; heating and hot water installations. However, this only applies if the tenant has a fixed tenancy contract for under 7 years, else these issues become the tenants responsibility. The landlord is not responsible for damages caused by the tenants.

This legislation requires landlords to:

  • keep the structure and exterior of the property in good repair, including drains, gutters and external pipes
  • keep installations for the supply of water, gas, electricity and sanitation in good repair and proper working order
  • keep installations for space heating and water heating in good repair and proper working order
The Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994

Every electrical appliance supplied by the landlord must be safe to use; the electrical installation in the house must be completely safe.

Unlike the Gas Safety Regulations, there is no mandatory requirement for the equipment to undergo any safety testing, but that should NOT be an incentive to be careless.

Although there is no requirement for equipment to be checked, it’s recommended for every landlord to check all electrical appliances and electrics before the start of a tenancy and regularly thereafter.

The following guidelines apply to all electrical appliances supplied for the tenancy:

  • live parts should not be accessible
  • leads should not be worn or frayed and be complete with no joins
  • trailing leads and the use of multiple plug adaptors should be avoided
  • correct plugs (marked ‘B SECTION 136’) should be fitted and correctly fused
  • plug sockets should be firmly fastened to the wall or skirting
  • any moving parts should be guarded
  • electric blankets should be serviced according to the manufacturer’s instructions
  • microwave doors should be clean, free from corrosion and effective
  • washing machines, cookers, etc, should be serviced and in good working order
  • electrical heaters and central heating appliances should be serviced annually
  • fireguards should meet BS3248
  • any fire extinguishers should be marked ‘BS6575 1985’.
Plugs and Sockets (Safety) Regulations 1994

This regulation requires that any plug, socket or adapter supplied for intended domestic use complies with the appropriate current standard, and specifically that:

  • the live and neutral pins on plugs are part insulated so as to prevent shocks when removing plugs from sockets and all plugs are pre-wired.
Obtaining consent to let a property

Before letting a property, landlords must obtain permission and/or inform the following:

  • mortgage lender
  • In respect of leasehold properties, the head landlord
  • Any housing association or other body which has regulations applying to the property, e.g shared ownership
  • Any adult who has been living in the property with the landlord as husband, wife or partner who may have occupancy rights.
  • The landlord’s insurance company who must confirm that cover will be maintained if the property is let.
Tenancy Deposit Protection

Landlords must secure their tenants deposits into one of three government approved Tenancy Deposit Protection (TDP) schemes.

Over the years a lot of tenants have complained that they have unfairly lost their security deposit; consequently the government introduced this legislation to help apply some unbiased moderation to the disputes. For more in-depth details about this ‘landlord obligation’, please go to my Tenancy Deposit Protection Easy Guide article.

Taxation of Income from Land (Non-Residents) Regulations 1995

Any landlord who is considered non-resident for taxation purposes is liable to pay tax on their rental income from letting property.

The details can be complicated depending on your circumstances, so it’s best to check with the Inland Revenue how much tax you’re liable to pay, or if you’re permitted to be exempted from tax.

Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)

Landlords must provide an Energy Performance Certificate to all new and prospective tenants.

The certificate will give each building a SAP (Standard Assessment Procedure – out of 100 possible) rating, and this will equate to an energy rating from A to G, similar to those seen on white goods. For those who don’t speak geek, in English it means, it will show the energy efficiency levels of a property.

More information on Energy Performance Certificate

Check for legionnaires disease

This is a bit of an odd one. It’s fairly new, and probably the most unknown and neglected legal requirement.

The person responsible for managing the property, whether it be the Landlord or letting agent, is responsible for combating Legionnaires Disease.

Health and safety legislation requires that risk assessments for the Legionella bacteria which cause Legionnaires’ disease are taken. The assessments must identify and assess potential sources of exposure, and steps taken to prevent/control any risk that is identified.

Anyone can be appointed to assess/monitor Legionella as long as they have the relevant skills to implement the control measures and strategies i.e. they are suitably informed, instructed, trained and assessed. There must be evidence to show that the risk assessment has taken place, and records showing what precautions were taken.

Here’s a more detailed article on landlords and their responsibility to combat Legionnaires disease on the HSE website. It discusses the legislation in-depth and how to comply.

‘Right to rent’ immigration checks

Under section 22 of the Immigration Act 2014 a landlord should not authorise an adult to occupy property as their only or main home under a residential tenancy agreement unless the adult is a British citizen, or EEA or Swiss national, or has a “right to rent” in the UK.

This legislation rolled out on the 1st of December 2014, but only to a select few areas in the Midlands (Birmingham, Walsall, Sandwell, Dudley and Wolverhampton), but it will roll out to the rest of the country in 2015. You can use this tool provided by the GOV to check if the legislation currently applies to you.

Essentially, the landlord is required to check for proof of ID and citizenship. More details can be found on the landlord ‘Right to rent’ guide, including how to fully comply.









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435 Comments- join the conversation...

Showing 385 - 435 comments (out of 435)
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Benji 20th May, 2013 @ 18:13

@ Kayleigh,

1. A bitch pissing on an average lawn will destroy it within a month at this time of year (a dog is not nearly as bad). Your landlord is being reasonable and normal.

2. It is reasonable and normal that any alterations to the property should be done professionally.

3. Are you decorating the property in neutral colours and banging holes in the wall to a professional standard? If not, your landlord is being reasonable and normal.

4. 'We are renting the house with a view to buy....' that implies there is nothing legally binding and you could walk away after 9 months leaving your landlord to rectify your 'improvements'.

5. Note down the uncleanliness on the check in inventory.

6. Am I expecting too much...

Unless you have exchanged contracts agreeing to buy the property (with a 10% deposit).

- then yes.

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ana 3rd November, 2013 @ 11:29

Can anyone tell me if I am wrong? I am a single mum, just had a new baby, for that I am on housing benefit. My house that I was renting was to expensive so the council was helping me finding a low rent house. I found a house sooner, I went to the council and told them that and I ask what kind of help can I get from the council because I couldn't afford to move on my own, pay rent in advance and deposit. My advisor told me to get that money from a loan, from a friend or relative, and I made a claim to help me with those costs and that I receive the money to pay the loan back. I explained to the agent the situation that I was a council tenant and that I was making a claim... The agent told me: 'we don't accept money from the council' you must have the money for rent in advance and deposit and our fee. Ok! I went to the council and I was told that the money will be send to the agent because they don't pay directly to the tenant, but because the council was already working with me only I found a property sooner, that they will pay and I should warn the agent that will receive that money and should give it to me because I was already paying. The agent agreed. So I made a loan, pay rent depose and fee and I was waiting for that money from the council. When I knew that the council paid that money more than a week ago I contact the agency and after a lot of calls when they said they didn't know if they received and so, the agent told me that won't give the money to me because that money belongs to the agency as a gift from the council. After my advisor from the council spoke to them explained what they already know the agent decide that because after all they were not entitled to that money that was sensed on my behalf and they said that they cannot give it to me that they will send the money back to the council. The financial department of the council already send them email asking them to refund the money and two months later they still didn'tq they are holding the incentive money from the council and also the money that I paid. They are being paid twice for the same thing. So I think if the want to hold the money from the council sended on my behalf they should give what I paid back to me. It's only fair if I discount that money from the next rent. What do you think. Thanks

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clifford 1st December, 2013 @ 13:24

what if the landlords are your parents and they are slumlords sorta speak, wanna do for one tenant and not do for me, i am still waiting for a heating guy to fix the burner, i don't want to report her but i will have to do what i have to do, can i just call a guy in to service my heater and send him upstairs to landlord with bill?

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James 30th December, 2013 @ 09:50

Hi, i was just wondering if anyone knows the answer to this question, basically we have moved into a rented property and the landlord has left a gas cooker here which is all working fine, however in her agreement she says it has been left here for us to use and she takes no responsibility for the repair or replacement if the cooker stops working, just wondering if she can do that? Many thanks in advance

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lynn 16th January, 2014 @ 18:21

Hi My house needs rendering work done on both front and back of property. After waiting for a year and them promising when the weather breaks , now they tell me I have to move out for the work to be done. I want to know my rights has this house has a lot of memories for me and my animals buried in the garden. When they did this to my friend they gave her an house and never let her back in...I am not moving out if this happens and the house can fall down around me if that is the case. does anyone know what rights I have if any to stay in my home? thanks in advance for any help or advice.

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Janice rice 1st March, 2014 @ 12:47

When I moved into my private rented property in 2011 I (an old Victorian terraced house)I asked the estate agent acting on behalf of the landlord if I could decorate they said I could as long as it improves the property.(but I didn't get this in writing)So I have started to decorate the kitchen(2014) and utility room and found it to be very damp (both on the walls and the floor).The Lino in the utility room has black coming through it and the old tiles under the Lino were damp and coming up quite easily . Then I steam the very old wood chipped wall paper off to find big holes and cracks in the vey old plaster,whilst sweating my way through the stripping and steaming the kitchen wall couboard falls and hits me on the the arm and all the tins out of couboard the on me and nearly knock me out !!! Then I notice a massive crack in the wall were the wall plug and screw should be that hold the couboard up .Then I notice the ceiling socket in the utility room is hanging off !! I don't know what to do as I feel the landlord might blame me as I decorated in the first place.the manager who manages the property has been ok when it comes to small repairs but this one is going to cost him an arm and a leg when it nearly cost me mine!!(pardon the pun) and the spelling .what advice can you give me ? Cheers

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Craig 1st March, 2014 @ 19:51

Hi Janice,
I think you're in a sticky situation - I would hope that your letting agent had spoken to your Landlord before agreeing that you can decorate, but if it hasn't been agreed in writing and signed by your Landlord, it may as well not have been said. It should have been included in your tenancy agreement under additional or special clauses which your Landlord should have signed and agreed to. Hopefully your Landlord will be sympathetic to this.
However - it sounds like your property is riddled with damp - I would urge you to bring it to the managing agents attention asap so they can work with the landlord to get it resolved before it becomes worse (which it inevitably will once it's there) and starts to cause health problems. It will be your landlords responsibility to fix however it sounds like it might be at a point where it is quite expensive, so don't be surprised if your Landlord cannot afford it - I've been in situations before where the landlord has needed to sell to a developer and unfortunately has had to serve notice on their tenant. If you're no longer in a fixed term, my best advice (other than to inform the letting agent of the issue) would be to start lookung for alternative accommodation. Sone many of my applucants are lookung to move because of damp or excessive ill repair. I know it'll be little consolation, but you're not alone.

Craig - Letting Agent

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Craig 1st March, 2014 @ 19:56

James - good question. If the landlord gifted the cooker to you or you bought it from him, it's your problem, however if it was included as part of the tenancy, it is his statutory obligation to repair or replace as necessary unless it's fault is down to your negligence. As this is statutory law and supercedes contract law, even if he put it in your tenancy agreement it idnt enforceable and will still be his responsibility. Hopefully it'll just stay in working order and won't be a problem you have to face!

Craig - Letting agent

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Benji 1st March, 2014 @ 22:51

@Janice,

What does it say on your check in inventory?

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yachhu 6th March, 2014 @ 21:33

hi craig,
these HMO PEOPLE came to visit one of my landlords property and i am letting agent the hmo officer said that i am responsible for buying the fire resistant beds and furnitures . Is it ture? i just earn profit of £100 from letting that property how can i buy the furnitures for the tenants??

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Frankie 10th March, 2014 @ 12:20

Yachu, are you sure you're a letting agent???? What a question. Of course you're responsible for ensuring that the property is being managed within the legal requirements. And of course you deduct all expenses you make to ensure the property is within legal requirements, from the landlords rental payment. When the property needs a gas cert, you get it done. If the cooker breaks, you get it sorted. If the furnishings aren't up to spec, you get them replaced. Questions like this really fill me with dread at the so called professional agents, who've not got a clue about the basics of the service they're supposed to be providing. Both from a tenant point of view, and a landlord.

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ken nicholson 18th April, 2014 @ 08:09

Does anybody know what checks landlords have to make regarding the UK residency status of prospective tenants? Do we have to check that people are in the UK legally? Do utility companies have to make checks? If so can we rely on them, to save us the need to do that?

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Rob Adams 10th December, 2014 @ 18:12

Can a private landlord increase rent for repairs that are his legal responsibility, ie:- repairs to a lathe & plaster ceiling

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Chantel 21st January, 2015 @ 11:46

Okay, we had a fire in our kitchen yesterday morning and we live on top floor, they locked the girl door on the ground floor but there is no fire alarms in our flat and we have a dodgy cooker that gets so hot the rings are red and that is what set the pan on fire but can I sue that landlord for this?

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Observer 21st January, 2015 @ 19:59

Just a quickie answer to the last two questions; Rob, yes a landlord can increase rent but refer to your tenancy agreement. More often it's an annual review. This is very different to passing on repair costs. If you're suggesting temporarily raising the rent to cover repairs and then reducing it again, it's a no no. But if your rental is competitive and within reasonable band of rental costs for your area, then a standard rent increase would be acceptable. If you're at your top limit though, you'll be shooting yourself in the foot and will struggle to find/keep decent tenants.

Chantel, firstly what's a 'girl' door? Secondly, in a nutshell, the answers no. There is no legal requirement though it is viewed as good practice. What I would say though is, why haven't you put up your own smoke alarms? If you're so concerned about fire safety you would have picked up a £6.99 smoke alarm the day you moved in. The issue with trying to force landlords to take responsibility for smoke alarms is that tenants have the nasty habit of a/ disconnecting them/covering them up as cooking chips set them of. B/ tenants refuse to replace batteries or nick the batteries for their Christmas toys that they forgot to buy batteries for and c/ they nick alarms regularly. If your flat has a current gas safety certificate and your cooker and appliances have been tested, then your landlord is doing nothing wrong. Glowing red rings are how most cookers work, you're supposed to supervise cooking at all times and then perhaps you would have noticed the pan smoking for at least 5 minutes before it caught fire.

Interested to here about the 'girl' door though, as if you're referring to a communal fire door, that has been locked, then Id phone the fire brigade immediately as they will enforce action to ensure it remains open rapidly.

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Chantel 22nd January, 2015 @ 05:14

I ment a fire door and iv researched on my situation and it say's "ten things a landlord should do before a tenant moves in" “The Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 requires landlords to ensure electrical installations and electrical appliances are safe for use and electrical safety and PAT test reports must be provided. No tenant should be allowed to move in without the safety certificates and checks having been carried out.” we have no safety certificates at all and no one has been out to check anything. The cock isn't suppose to get that hot at all as my mum and she few of my friends have the same cooker and even they said and there's don't do it. The last tenant that lived here, he got raided and the door is a mess, you have to lock it with the key to keep it shut, there is a big hole covered with a piece of wood and the landlord knows about it, we have lived here for 4 month and he still hasn't sorted it!

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The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 22nd January, 2015 @ 08:45

@Chantel

Unfortunately, I think the research you have done has been inaccurate.

Yes, it is the landlord's responsibility to ensure all electrical appliances and fittings are in safe working order. However, there is currently NO regulations saying that any tests/certificates must be provided.

I quote, from the HSE GOV website:

http://www.hse.gov.uk/electricity/faq-portable-appliance-testing.htm

"The Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 require that any electrical equipment that has the potential to cause injury is maintained in a safe condition. However, the Regulations do not specify what needs to be done, by whom or how frequently (ie they don't make inspection or testing of electrical appliances a legal requirement, nor do they make it a legal requirement to undertake this annually)."

Secondly, it will be extremely difficult for you to prove that the cooker ISN'T safe just because it gets hotter than your friends. Also, you're going to have one hell of a time proving that the cooker was faulty before you moved in. You need to understand that things break, and that isn't the landlord's fault. Similarly, fires happen. I don't think it's particularly uncommon for pans to set on fire.

My opinion is you don't have a particularly strong case, because it could be argued you started the fire by being careless e.g. not paying attention and putting the heat on too high (i'm NOT saying you were careless, but I'm saying it could be argued, and no one can prove it either way).

I'm not sure what you're after here, but in any case, IF you believe your landlord is in breach of health and safety, you can contact the HSE (hse.gov.uk) and they will investigate further if you have a genuine case. But I'm not sure how successful you will be based on what you've said.

Good luck.

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Naglerudo 17th February, 2015 @ 21:06

I am a tenant in a housing association. flat. I moved in in 2010.Since moving in I have had problems with the shower not coping with the low water pressure(i am on the 2nd floor). Plumbers have been in numerous times sent in by the landlord but the problem persists. I have requested a different type of shower but I have been told that the Mira Atlethermostatic currently installed is the one that meets EU regulations! Does anyone know where I can find EU regs dealing with showers because looking at other EU regs they are not usually that specific.

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Tweetie 25th February, 2015 @ 14:33

Hi I would be so grateful if anyone could help me. We rent our home from the local housing association. We done a mutual exchange back in 2010. There has never been a door on the kitchen since we viewed and moved into the property. Could you tell me if it would be the landlords responsibility to instal a door, is there any fire regulation that stipulates this is a necessity?
Thanking you in advance

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Sam 18th May, 2015 @ 07:47

I signed my tenancy agreement on Friday and when I got here seen they had noted that the shower was broken. There is no bath so I called an asked when they plan on fixing it. A man came out an he's giving a quote to the landlord to either fix the problems or to put a new shower in. It's now Monday. I've been left like an animal unable to shower having to wash in the sink. They knew of this problem an I would of thought they should of fixed it then. I called the estate agents twice later on Friday an no one contact me back. I don't know what my right are but I'm pretty sure it's not good to allow someone to move into a property with no working shower. Could anyone offer any sort of advise please

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Paul 3rd June, 2015 @ 03:27

HI
Please can anyone assist me, I am a disabled person.

My landlord, changed without notice after taking £2.400 for 6 months rent from me which I paid in full .

My landlord never given my deposit back of £400 and never served me with a section 8 .

My landlord kept harassing me. discriminiating me against my disabilities and swapping and changing hands - i.e. kept going from landlord to agent and agent to landlord.

What I would like to know is that "after being served my section 21, by the landlords agent - then 2 days later the agent sent me an email stating not involved with property no more. however continued to harass me via email.

Then just 2 days after I had my door booted off and the original landlord was screaming arrest the f-ing disabled fing this and that i.e. absolutely screaming and shouting harassing me and discriminating me in front of the police as it was the police that removed me from the premises obviously with my 2 children at the time I was absolutely fuming.

The police taken the landlords word, and sectioned me under section 2 of the mental health act.

The landlords agent continued to send me multiple messages backwards and forwards told me that the property was going up for sale by the landlord and nothing further was being done by the agent.

I was sectioned for 31 days, whilst in the hospital the landlord, the agent and others, without my consent stolen a considerable amount of goods, including my children's photographs and my idenityt and my children's identity.

The police helped the landlord .

I had only a sec 21 served, no sec 8 nothing -

The landlord trying say sec 8 8 unpaid rent, I had legal proof of payment from a book landlord claimed had no knowledge of .

police again was called when I tried to access my property after my section and regain my goods etc, as I had no knowledge what so ever of this happening.

I received an email from landlords agent again some time after stating my items had been removed by the police, I contact the police get some items back from them, not all I had over £100k worth of items missing, I report to police they did nothing. Can I sue the landlord? and the agent or ...

Now in regards to the section 21 does it make it void if it is changed over to a different landlord during the sec 21 as im sure I read somewhere if this happens i.e. landlord changes to agent then agent transfers back to landlord then back to agent then back to land etc etc - the landlord or agent must legally send me another section 21.

Is this correct, what can I do.

How many years do I get to make a claim, i.e. take them to court and sue them.

Please please please can anyone asssit

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Observer 3rd June, 2015 @ 08:19

In short, no. You were served a section 21 notice, its irrelevant whether its served by the landlord him/herself or by an agent, and is irrelevant whether the landlord changes agent every week. Section 21 is served, and will be enforced.

On your deposit, it should be held within the tenancy deposit protection scheme. (TDP) You will have been given details of where your deposit money is held. If youve now "lost" those details, merely request a copy of these details from the landlord. If he refuses to tell you where your deposit money is (this is different to paying your money back) contact your local citizens advice bureau. They will help you find out who is holding your deposit, and what you must then do to request it back.

Thirdly, regards your £100k worth of items 'stolen' by the police. You say you have reported this to the police and they have done nothing. This is a police issue and nothing to do with your landlord. Again citizens advice bureau will assist you with next steps.

Finally, it is apparent that you do need some assistance/support. Do you have a GP and if so i would contact them immediately. There are clearly mental health issues that you do need support with, and your post feels that you are missing some support, certainly with possible day to day living. Your GP can help you and certainly, where children are involved, you have a responsibility to help yourself and help your children by keeping as well as you possibly can. There is nothing in this post that you could "sue" for, with the exception of the return of your deposit (go to Citizens advice), and whilst you may feel your Landlord was responsible for you being sectioned under the MH act, that is infact an impossible situation. No one can be sectioned on the say so of a landlord or anyone else for that matter. It requires mental health professionals, a full mental health asessment and then finally the agreement of at least two doctors.

I do sympathise with you going through this very difficult period, but please do get help to get some further support. Your GP is your very first port of call (ring today) and do speak to the CAB about your deposit. Ask both to explain what further support you can get for day to day living.

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Paul 3rd June, 2015 @ 10:54

TO the observer.

Your a weird nonce that is only intrested in raping and abusing children, their for your comments are irrelevant your the one with mental health issues.

As for police stealing my property never mentioned that I mentioned that I had my property stolen by the landlord. Get your glasses on and get off this site.

Rapist like you "observer" should not be on this site.

No wonder you have no home and live from a skip.

STOP RAPING CHILDREN AND GROW THE HELL UP...

CHILDREN NOT ALLOWED ON HERE ESPICIALLY SCAMMERS RAPIST AND CHILD ABUSERS LIKE YOU

IT IS ILLEGAL TO SERVE A SEC 21 THEN CHANGE OVER TO NEW LANDLORD I KNOW THAT FACT BEING A LANDLORD MYSELF I OWN 900 PROPERTYS ACROSS THE WORLD AND RENT OUT TO VARIOUS PEOPLE SO FUCK OFF YOU NONCE

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Saddat Abid 8th June, 2015 @ 14:52

Often a landlord will put up tenants in poor property that are not even mortgageable. They would mortgage up to the hilt. Unable to sell it. They would let the property and conditions deteriorate. You can learn more about selling unmortgageable property by clicking on this link: http://propertysaviour.co.uk

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Lucy 15th June, 2015 @ 19:49

Hi
There was a fire at our property due to a faulty (brand new) gas hob, it had been installed and certified by our gas fitter and the only fault developed on usage after the tenants moved in. We have landlords buildings insurance to cover the repairs to the kitchen -new worktop, hob, cooker and base unit required and some redecoration to smoke damaged newly painted walls. However tenants are requesting some rent abatement due to kitchen being out of action until work is complete, which could be a few weeks. What would be a reasonable discount to suggest? Also as our insurance doesn't cover loss of rent could we claim this back from the manufacturer of the faulty hob??
Thanks

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Observer 15th June, 2015 @ 20:43

Hi Lucy, Check your Landlords insurance. For the sake of argument, if the fire had made the property uninhabitable, you may have been liable for temporary alternative accomodation to the end of their set tenancy period. So working from that positon backwards, do check your landlords insurance cover regards temporary accomodation. It may be that they will cover alternative accomodation whilst the works are completed (no kitchen makes it pretty much uninhabitable) whereas reducing rent by some private arrangement wouldnt be covered. You may be cutting your nose off by being accomodating and allowing the tenants to stay at a reduced rate.

If your policy doesnt cover temporary accomodation, (make sure your next one does!!!) then yes certainly negotiate the position, as at the end of the day, the tenants could demand that you fund a temporaray alternative. Its highly negotiable however, as of course, if you were left personally liable, I very much doubt their tenancy would be renewed at the end of their statutory period!

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Observer 15th June, 2015 @ 21:02

PS Meant to answer the second part of yiur question, Lucy there should be no loss of rent. Your tenant is obligated to pay the rent as per your tenancy agreement, regardless of fire or uninhabitable etc. The fact a house burns down, (unless the landlord had a disrepair notice in force) doesnt let a tenant off renyal due under a tenancy agreement. That is why the cost of alternative accomodation becomes a sticking point as the tenants would be paying twice for housing, hence landlord insurance covers it. So in short, no, you cant sue for loss of rent, as there shouldnt be any.

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Sarah 10th July, 2015 @ 10:26

Recently i have had an issue with a fire alarm located at the top of my stairs in a hard to reach location. I had fire brigade come around due to the consistent beeping from the device that it was giving off. I was notified by one of the fire men who came, that it was advised that my landlord be contacted about the beeping fire alarm, as he should replace the battery. We spent the whole night not getting any sleep and with our youngest of one, being consitantly woken up by the beeping. The next morning my fiance got on the phone to the lettings agent and informed them of the problem. The agent my fiance spoke to had the neerve to inform us that the landlord had informed them, that he no longer wanted to be contacted about issues with the property (bare in mind he had given us his contact details, at the start of the letting. So we could contact and notify him of any problems and emergencies to do with the property appliances or condition etc.) The estate agent then went on to say that as the landlord wanted nothing to do with the property. They could send someone out at an extra charge unto us. I would like to take this further, and the fire brigade will be round again Tonight. To see if the landlord has done his job or not. I'm asking if the landlord and lettings agent were with thir rights. To handle the situation as they have done so?

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Observer 11th July, 2015 @ 14:23

Where there are fire alarms, Your LL is responsible for a working fire alarm on the day you move in and subsequently an annual test. If it is battery operated (or battery back up as here) its usually then the tenants responsibility to check it weekly and maintain it. Most LLs show their tenants how to do this on move in, and quite often its written into the tenancy agreement. It s utterly unreasonable for a landlord to attend the property every week or every month to test a fire alarm. Also, the number of tenants who then remove the batteries either for kids toys or because it goes off when frying chips, is massive. Landlords cannot be held responsible for tenants action or inaction regards fire alarm batteries. Under 'normal' circumstances, you and you alone would be expected to have changed the battery causing a low power beep, as complaining about being unable to sleep rather than bother yourselves with testing/resolving a 99p issue, is seemingly ridiculous, and smacks of the tenants who have demanded me to go and fit a new light bulb that had blown.

HOWEVER, you do state its in a hard to reach place. This is indeed important. When you say hard to reach, what do you mean? Does it require long ladders for example rather than step ladders? Is it over the stairwell and therefore need a scaffolding platform? If so, your approach should be one of having it moved immediately. You are expected as a tenant to test these on a regular basis, and if it is indeed inaccesible, it needs to be made accessible. The only thing which is therefore conflicting about your question, is the fire brigade would indeed have moved it (or demanded it be moved) when they attended, if it was indeed inaccessible.

So in short, if inaccesible, get the agents to have it moved at the LLs cost. If its accessible and you cant climb a step ladder for whatever your personal reasons are, then you pay the agent to climb the ladder for you as hes offered.

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Sarah 11th July, 2015 @ 16:48

The fire alarm in question which was giving off the alarm, (was) located in the top hallway above our stairs. The second alarm installed which we have not had any issue with, as of yet. Is located downstairs in a hallway which divides both the dinning & living room areas. The alarms are also wired to our main electricity vault box in the home. As mentioned in my comment we had the fire brigade come around to inspect on the night, and had told us they would visit again the next day. Which they did and upon removing the fire alarm, they have none other than noticed a considerable amount of water. Which has gathered in the alarm. Our landlord has given us the explanation that this was due to heat rising up the proerty, and gathering within the fire alarm. And this is what triggered the alarm off.

Well upon the fire men's inspection, and having told them that this is what our landlord had said. They screwed their faces up, & stated that this was absolute nonsense. And that no such thing could occur as the device was screwed on. And so obviously their was a problem with water in the property. Now they checked for dampness of which there is some in the property upstairs, and sometimes downstairs. Upstairs in one of the rooms located next to where the troubled alarm is situated. I was informed also by the fire men who visited, that it was and is of no circumstances my obligation to have tampered with the faulty alarm. And especially given the fact that water had gathered within the device, and there was wiring involved which connects to other wiring in the house.

And so they made a note of my landlords lack of compliancy to have attended to the issue. As well as the fact that he also sometimes does not tend to other jobs right away. (For example an issue with no gas on one occasion, and no hot water or working shower on others, as well as an issue with poorly laid carpeting which resulted in a family member who had come to visit us, standng on a nail whilst climbing the stairs. Bare in mind also that our youngest was within the property during her crawling stage as well during the time of this particular issue.) We recently have now found that our boiler for hot water and heating has once again stopped working. Inconveniently a day after the debacle with the alarm.

To have reached the alarm in question it would have required myself or my fiance, to have situated a ladder used for scalling walls. To be placed at the top of the stairs near the top first step. Now not only is this a risky and dangerous balancing act. At the time when my fiance called the estate agency, and they had been unresponsive to help, he also had to go to work. Leaving myself and our youngets in the property alone. Now had i attempted the job alone, and slipped thus tumbling down our flight of steep stairs head first. There would have been no one else within the property to have called for aid, nor look after our youngest who was in the property at the time. So not only do i put myself at risk, i risk the saftey of my daughter as well. Not forgetting that there was also water and electricity involved, so had i been sucessful in reaching the alarm and attempted to remove it i could have very well electrocuted myself. To remove the alarm safely The firemen had to cut all electricity within the property. Lucky for them they are trained professionals.

Sensibly i did not tamper with anything, and let the firemen do their job. Who have advised me i did the right thing given the circumstances. One of the firemen in particular who has a young child of his own, was particularly disgusted with the landlords lack of wanting to act on the safety issue. And discussed our rights as tenants, & the obligation of the landlord and estate agency in regards to fire safety. And even advised we find somewhere else much more suitable to accomadte us. As we have our child to think about and any property where there is risk of an electrical fire, and or issues with necessities like gas and water. is not worth the hassle.

He was happy to hear that this was actually the last straw, when it comes to problems withing the property. & that we were already in the process of relocating. To be closer to my fiances new work promotion.

On question of the fire alarm the firemen upon their second visit. Have indeed asked that the alarm be removed completely from the ceiling where it was. And a new wired device be put in its place in a more accessible location, such as just outside one of the bedrooms. Which is what they deemed to be the better location. But have also fitted an alarm of their own in this very same spot which is battery operated for the time being, and given the landlords track record of not wanting to do his job.

Yet they have left the landlord a note or recipt of some kind, to be passed on to him & signed by the firemen who visited. Stating the issue that was wrong with the fire alarm causing it to have tripped off into sounding. And the dangers with water and electricity. Also outlinging in print his obligations to have a proper alarm installed and wisely situated in a smarter location.

Now my landlord upon finding out that there was an issue with our water and Gas. Stated that he would re-visit the property today to attend to the issue. He has yet to attend to the issue, and has left a wide time frame for when he would.

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Observer 11th July, 2015 @ 23:57

Good grief. Theres more holes in this dramatic tale of ne'er do well Landlords than a leaky sieve. You asked a question. You stated the firemen had informed you it was a low battery bleep. You stated the LL was uncontactable and uninterested. Youve now launched into a war and piece epic of dramatic proportions including the near death experience you may have had if you foolishly propped up a ladder with no one footing it, etc etc etc and a positive re-write now that not only has your landlord been to the property, inspeced the alarm, been notified there was a water damage issue, but then subsequently ignored that notice to repair it leading to the firebrigade making the repair and agreeing what a rogue landlord he is. How on earth did all that happen in 24 hours from the fire brigades own diagnosis it was a low battery beep??????

To save any other readers having to subject themselves to wasting 10 minutes of their lives reading your missive, Ill summarise.

You called the firebrigade for a beeping alarm which you are quite entitled to do. The firebrigade found the alarm to be faulty and inaccessible to you and therefore switched the power off (which is what you should do to change a mains powered alarm with battery back up) removed it and installed a new one. You now have a shiny new fire alarm installed in a more accessible position for you, that the fire brigade are more than happy with as they fitted it. That is the end of this Macbeth proportion saga.

Regards all your other issues, I will re-iterate the advice given by the fire service. Move out. I can guarantee there will be one far happier LL in this world when you do, who no longer has to put up with the life threatening 'what might happen' dramas his tenants subject him to. Oh, and please as well as learning that power should be switched off from the mains in order to change a back up battery in an alarm, please learn, NEVER climb a ladder without someone footing it for you. No need to thank me, Im happy knowing my advice may have saved you from future possible life ending crises.

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Sarah 12th July, 2015 @ 09:29

Wrong, you have not read my post clearly at all. So i will simplify it better for your understanding.

1. The fire brigade was called to the property about the alarm, i have neighbours naturally, As the noise was keeping them up in the night.

2. The firebrigade inspected and noted all water damage that same night, and went about installing another temporary alarm (keyword there is temporary.) In its place in a better location, and for the meantime until our landlord installed another wired one. I'm sure if you have any expertise and knowledge into the fire regulations, you are aware that a property must have a wired fire alarm that is connected to the mains of a house. So that if a battery fails the alarm will still work, they inspected the faulty alarm and noted that there was water damage. As well as informed that they would be coming again tomorrow via appointment to check that the lanlord had completely removed the device. And been made aware of the seriousness of the issue, and his need to install another wired alarm.

3. The landlord arrived the next day, and gave a very telling lie of a story that there was condensation within the property, which had caused this issue with the alarm. (The firemen have said this is not possible, Trading standards this morning have now said this is not possible.) He never removed the alarm, and also came to find that the hot water & heating was not working. He said he would fix the water and heating issue within a vague time frame.

4. The firebrigade arrived back at our property that same day in the evening via apointment. One of the firemen who had inspected and found the damp came as well as another trained fireman, with experience in fire issues and prevention. They informed us that the landlord is obligated to have installed a properly situated alarm. As well as that the story he had given us about condesation made no sense. As i have already mentioned above, they also made note of his lack of wanting to install a suitable wired device. And was happy to keep the battery operated one in its place. Which the firemen have left temporarily. They to were non impressed with the lack of action the landlord was making, and informed me i could take the issue further. As well as left a signed notice saying so & reminding him of his landlord duties.

Why you would leave an abrassive wishy washy response on my post. Has me question your duties as a landlord if one, & or your behaviour as a tenant. The firemen were clued up enough to see fault on the landlords part. Yet you would try to shift the blame towards tenants, who acted appropriately given the situation and responsibly.

Now i'm sorry but your indirect shamming tactics wont work. We already spoke to Trading standards yesterday about the issue, after dropping them a note as well as the Financial ombudsman service. Whom our landlord is registered with under the agency he has rented the property. And they all to as well as the firemen find fault with this. And have advised us to get in touch stating all as i have shared here, and they will take it further on our behalf. Now are you going to inform me that they are wrong as well? And give another wishy washy response in an attempt to look big? Because maybe then your whole websites credability is up for debate? And i don't say that lightly, I will share every detail of the issue, and will link to here as well for references.

And with that said i think had we been residing anywhere else, this matter would not have been dealt with as swiftly as it has.
Then again we also are renting and are not under some form of housing organisation or council. Therefore i would expect any health and safety issues to be dealt with swiftly & promtly. And kudos to the firemen who acted so as i can now be assured, that given the event of a fire we wouldnt have to wait hours for them to show up. Such things establish my trust within the communiity itself. As for the landlord he clearly is of another kind entirely, but lets be honest you do get the occasional bad apples from a bunch, I'm sure you know what i'm referring to.

We are also smart enough to know the Landlord is failing to do his duty. & we would be better off residing elsewhere. And which is why we have been planning to move again this year in the next coming months. Currently we have a family commitments planned, & would like to see my fiance settled into his new position. Before uprooting to where his job is in Newcastle which is another city, and so we always plan ahead. This recent incident was the last straw that enforced our decision, but after the water & Gas fiasco that was really it for us.

And with your sentiments surely my family will be better off living in better conditions, and as our landlord has shown his lack of interest in wanting to tend to the jobs he should.

As for you rather rude last paragraph. This further informs me that you have failed to read any text shared with you. No need to inform me of the proper safety required to climb a ladder. Nor the need to turn of my mains, however if you had taken the time to read anything clearly you would have noted the issues with electricity in the proprty at times. I'm starting to think that i should have wrote this in another language suitable for your understanding, just what is your first language and mother tongue. No need to answer that was rhetorical it's clearly not English i will explain.

Now to turn off the mains is fine and very possible. But to switch it back on is not as easy, as the switch used to do so often gets jammed. There was already an occasion where the landlord had to come to the property and switch back on the electricity for us to make use of. So let us not jump the gun shall we. Although i did not share that detail earlier. I can see how you would jump to conclusions after conclusions, i see you are only human afterall. And i guess a Thank you for your lack of insight is in order here.

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Benji 12th July, 2015 @ 11:11

The fire brigade turns out for a low battery in a fire alarm?

Good grief.

Seems like a prime candidate for budget cuts if they have nothing better to do.

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Charles 12th July, 2015 @ 18:33

I thought fire services were trained to investigate the sound of an alarm at a house and if her neighbours complained about it? i'd say get well rid of the landlord sounds like a nightmare.

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Benji 12th July, 2015 @ 20:01

@Charles,

The alarm wasn't going off, it was the bleep warning that the battery needs changing. As per;

"I was notified by one of the fire men who came, that it was advised that my landlord be contacted about the beeping fire alarm, as he should replace the battery."

A common occurrence that is a householder's job to replace. If the alarm is found to be full of water and defective, it then becomes the landlords responsibility.

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Charles 13th July, 2015 @ 17:15

Right you are Benji so then all in order with them ironing out the incident. Looks as if you are a frequent reader here do you have issue unsubscribing from posts. Cant through email thought that fluky. I want subscribbed to this blokes newsletter but could do without the clog of mail from the comments.

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kirsty 21st July, 2015 @ 18:04

hi, was just wondering if anyone knew about or could point me in the right direction about glass doors in a rented property?
on all my internal doors I have glass panels, they aren't toughened glass and with 3 children could be dangerous.
was just wondering if there was anywhere to say what type of glass had to be in a rented property as a bit of back up to show my landlord.
thanks

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cardifflandlord 21st July, 2015 @ 19:52

Hi Kirsty,

Yes, any replacement glass in a rented property (and now any glass replaced in 'normal' properties) below a certain height MUST be toughened.However the law is not very clear regarding existing so it seems. I personally would ensure any glass in doors is safety as the consequences do not bear thinking about. I would give your local councils building control dept a call, explain the situation and see what they say.

have a look here https://www.rla.org.uk/landlord/guides/safety_glazing_guide.shtml

Get it straight from the people who ensure the law is obeyed.

Hope this helps

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Kirsty 21st July, 2015 @ 22:10

thank you cardifflandlord I'll look into it tomorrow and get in touch with my landlord

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Angie 23rd July, 2015 @ 09:06

Does a landlord have an obligation to ensure they have locks complying to insurance requirements. I have a 3 lever mortice lock in the door to the back garden and my insurance and I suspect landlords insurance requires a 5 lever mortice lock.
Thanks

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Anna 10th August, 2015 @ 12:04

Our shower room extractor fan caught fire this morning. The landlord sent a sparky round but they have said that the whole downstairs needs rewiring to make it safe. We have been in the house for 8 months, so should this not have been checked before leasing to us? Our contents insurance also says it is the landlord's duty to repair the damage. How would you advise us to proceed with this?

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The Landlord 10th August, 2015 @ 13:38

@Anna
Talk to the landlord and explain that the sparky recommended the downstairs to be rewired, and see what he says. It is the landlord's obligation to ensure the wiring is safe.

I imagine the sparky and landlord will talk anyways.

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Claire 13th August, 2015 @ 03:22

Am a tenant with housing association been in property for over 10 years with old electric storage heaters does landlord have to check them at all please?

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David Hill 31st August, 2015 @ 12:18

Good afternoon,

I own and rent out the lower part of a converted listed Building (Grade II). The upper floor is also rented out by its owner.

My problem is that the other owner refuses to pay his share of maintenance bills. I have a phone number for him, but no address. In the past I have just had to pay these myself as the main effect (water ingress) was on my property; but caused by lack of maintenance on his part.

I am now retired and in no financial position to make full payment for the latest work (new main entrance door and more water ingress). I would be very grateful for any advice you could offer on how to deal with this situation.

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Observer 31st August, 2015 @ 15:44

Hi David, do you pay any annual leasehold or is there an annual maintenance charge? If you have shared areas, which it sounds you do re the front door, there will be a shared 'maintenance' or similar in place and it will be with all your documents when purchased. It's just not clear from your post if there's a leasehold, maintenance contract and all its previously agreed covenants.
I can't see it being freehold but more info is needed

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David Hill 1st September, 2015 @ 14:42

Observer

Thank you for your prompt reply.

There is no annual maintenance charge.

Leasehold

Deeds etc all refer to shared maintenance costs. 50/50 on exteriors (walls, roof. gutters etc). There is no doubt the majority of past and current damage is caused by roof/gutter wear and tear.

The other owner fully acknowledges his liability. But he simply refuses to pay. It is a flat refusal and when challenged he just walks away saying "I've no money". The problem is, and he knows this and exploits it, it it is my flat that is damaged, not his.

I'm told in Scotland I could go to the council, they would carry out repairs and bill each of us separately. Is there a similar route in England

Many thanks again.

David

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Obsever 1st September, 2015 @ 17:22

Contact your leaseholder. Your neighbour is quite simple in breach of his lease (which can in extreme circumstances allow the leaseholder to repossess the flat). There are masses of covenants protected within leases i.e. no commercial activity etc and any breach of lease can lead to the leaseholder repossessing. As your maintenance agreement is clearly specified in the lease, it will be the leaseholder who enforces it. At the end of the day for example, if both you AND your neighbour failed to maintain the areas youre both responsible for, the building may become unihabitable and technically worthless, hence the ability to reposess. These leases are usually owned by original builders or in your case possibly a development company who did the conversion.

Ring your leaseholder (you will have some contact details regards who you pay your leasehold charge to, and ask for their advice going forward. Do they wish you to itemise the works that need doing etc Etc . They will tell you how they would wish you to proceed, which will assist them if enforcement action is needed.

If the leaseholder is the council, then contact them and they should have clear guidance too on this. Good luck, but no, there is no need for you to foot the bill just because your neighbour says he cant afford it. If he continues to refuse to maintain the property as per his legal obligations under the lease, then the lease holder will enforce.

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Observer 1st September, 2015 @ 17:49

Whoops.....kept rfering to leaseholder not freeholder.....you and your neighbour are the leaseholders the people you pay your leasehold rent to is the freeholder..... contact the freeholder etc etc rather than rewrite the whole post, I hope you get my drift!!

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Observer 1st September, 2015 @ 17:55

and PPS. Regards the council here in England, yes they can intervene but only if the disrepair is causing health issues or is dangerous. Common maintenance they cant help you with....(unless they are the freehholder.......read and repeat :)

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David Hill 2nd September, 2015 @ 13:16

Observer

Many thanks again.

As ever, there is a "but". The freeholder is absent. Cannot be traced. The ground rent (which isn't much) is simply lodged with a solicitor pending his resurrection. He used to pay the insurance from this, but we (both leaseholders) now arrange this ourselves. In fact, it is the only thing the other guy pays for, presumably because he wouldn't be able to rent it out without insurance. We tried to buy the freehold, but as the solicitor couldn't track him down, there was nobody to agree a price with or sign anything. Until now, it hasn't really been a problem.

Real pain in the posterior.

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Observer 4th September, 2015 @ 01:40

Oh dear, sorry to read that. For two reasons. Number 1, whilst it is actually far easier now to buy freeholds in the case of an absentee freeholders, its time consuming, complex, and Im not even sure if you would be eligible, and number 2/ Even of you did manage to buy it (or had bought it when you initially enquired) your problem is still there. Owning the freehold would place you in exactly the same position you now find yourself, which is in a nutshell, possibly sueing your neighbour for shared maintenance costs that hes refusing to pay.

I can only add this, your only option is indeed to sue him for his part of the costs for maintenance. As your 'breach of lease' option is now no good (you personally have no contract with this neighbour however YOUR contract relies on his contract being fulfilled) you would be able to sue him directly. This is fraught with pit falls from the "is it an absolutely essential repair" to "did you get 15 zillion quotes from totally independant contractors" etc etc Getting a new front door for example, if the old one still fits in the hole and locks, will be pretty much unenforceable. Also bear in mind, he may at the end of the legal day, merely claim poverty (though I struggle with that whilst hes earning monthly rental income) but you may be stumped even if it all goes in your favour, and in the absence of any action for breach of lease, thats all he need do. Plead povert, and theres not much more you can do.
If its a major repair however, i.e. replacement roof, then you will have additional options in suing him. You could get a charge against his property for example, but lesser day to day stuff like gutters, is going to be a frutless and frustrating mission.

My advice, weigh up the cost (and personal upset) of pursuing a legal route, against the cost of making the repairs. Make sure you do only address absolutely essential areas, Common sense and albeit frustrated sanity says the repair bill will be much cheaper.

Just one other question though, you havent made it clear where the water is coming from?
If indeed its a leak from his flat, i.e. bathroom, not the fabric of the bulding, then thats a whole different ball game.

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