Suing Your Landlord For Disrepair

Suing your landlord

Hold me!

I’m in a dark and morbid place right now. I’m going through a very traumatic transitional period in my life, which many of you have already been through, so I divulge with confidence and expectancy of empathetic ears.

Regrettably, I’m starting to see some early signs of old age; not just biological, but also social and behavioural. First came the unexpected and mortifying growth of nasal hairs, which started gaping out of my nostrils like nobody’s business!! Seriously, who the hell would have even anticipated that to be the first signal? Freakin’ ridiculous. And scary. It was a disgusting day when I had to look at myself in the mirror, all teary-eyed, to prune my own nasal pubes with special ‘nose pruning scissors’.

Then came the more expected and traditional sign, a sporadic growth of grey hairs under my bottom lip. Although, currently limited to 4 strands, which mostly manage to remain hidden at a glance, but of course, I bloody know they’re there and that’s all that matters. And now, most recently, my obscure interest in listening to LBC talkshow radio station whenever I hop into my car. It was only last year when I was religiously listening to the ‘freshest’ RnB & Hip Hop beats on KISS FM with regular sized nostril hairs. Now look at me! I’m a withering shambles.

Now, to answer the million dollar question that’s inevitably on your mind: yes, my sex drive is still in tact and comparable to a chimpanzee in his prime. There’s nothing old or diminished about my engine or my stamina. Tip top condition. So in case anyone was about to completely write me off and ready to render me useless and throw me onto the scrap heap, DON’T! Call me :)

For those unaware, LBC stands for “Leading Britain’s Conversation” It’s truly as dry, ridiculous and un-youthful as it sounds. It’s a phone-in radio station where people with largely too much time on their hands, call in to put forward their passionate, and often stupid, opinions across live on air, regarding the hot topic of the moment, which is mostly political and/or current affairs based. I’m sure many of you are familiar with the setup and perhaps also avid listeners.

I mostly find it car-crash listening, and that’s probably why I’m hooked, and why it’s ironically the default station that’s blaring when I start my car. Incidentally, I remember when the elderly used to feel intimidated by the inappropriate and offensive lyrics blasting out of my sub-woofer, now they just give me a thumbs-up and signal me to increase the volume. Sigh.

LBC is actually quite a scary listen, because you really begin to realise how many dangerous assholes walk among us in every day life. Many of the opinions are extremely right-winged and self-righteous drivel, which is like cancer to my ears, since I’m particularly left-winged and hippified. I’m not opposed to hugging thy neighbour, regardless of race, colour, sexuality or social class, nor am I opposed to prancing around in a summer meadow with a tambourine in my hand, stinking of goat urine.

LBC attracts a broad range of listeners and contributors, from professionals to the every day common folk, residing from all areas of the political and social spectrum. However, the common denominator between us all is old age and the overgrown floppy ears that come attached with it. If my body continues to show signs of aging at the current rate, I suspect my ears will be swinging by my ankles to join my 3 other legs in no time. Badum tish!

Anyways, point is, I’m old and consequently listen to a ‘talkshow’ radio station.

The pursuit of suing the landlord

Last Wednesday (14th January 2015) I was driving homebound while listening to the Clive Bull show on LBC. He has a regular Wednesday night slot called ‘The legal hour’ where listeners’ can call in for free legal advice from LBC’s resident Barrister, Daniel Barnett. They cover a whole array of issues, from parking ticket disputes to… well, everything. I’m a big fan of the duo.

On this particular night there was an interesting call (note: I’ve also discovered that the word “interesting” gets used very loosely with old age) from a tenant that was angling towards suing her landlord because of a disrepair issue and subsequent health defects. I remained in my car eagerly listening until the segment was over, even though I had arrived at my destination 5mins prior and also freezing my nuts and tits off.

I didn’t think the case was particularly unusual or gripping- there wasn’t a sex scandal in sight – not even borderline nudity – to make the situation even remotely worthy of salivating. So what has urged me to discuss the issue? It was the advise given by the Barrister, he raised points worthy of sharing, so much so that I actually did the unmentionable. I, perhaps regrettably, took things 100 steps too far by actually signing up to the LBC paid subscription service, which gave me access to the “listen again” podcast feature so I could record the segment and make it a resource on here, for you. I love you.

Not only do I listen to this godforsaken radio station, but now I’m also an official ‘paid’ subscriber. I feel physically sick.

Is it true that Eskimos dispense of their elders when they reach a certain age by floating them off into the ocean because they’re rendered useless and too weird, or is that just an urban-myth? If it’s true, someone put me out of my misery. Set me free.

I’m pretty sure I’ll never use the podcast service again, but I paid the piper because I genuinely believe the segment can help many landlords and tenants gain, perhaps a ‘different’, perspective to their situation.

Why the tenant wanted compensation

The caller claimed she got woken up by fumes during the early hours of the morning, which was caused by a “fuse box issue” She felt compelled to call the fire services for assistance, and was then advised to leave the property until the issue was resolved. The tenant did the right thing. Good job.

The issue was quickly reported to the landlord, but he took 6 sweet weeks to repair the problem, which meant the tenant had to stay with friends during that time. The tenant was also left with various side affects after inhaling “secondary fumes”, such as disorientation and confusion, along with mood swings at work (really? Sure you weren’t just pissed off with the situation?).

If you’re relatively bored and/or eager to waste company time, you can listen to the segment below. It’s particularly worth the listen if you’re contemplating seeking compensation from either your tenant or landlord. Otherwise, I wouldn’t prioritise it over, well, anything at all.

If you do listen to it, I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Listen to the 5 minute segment!


Firstly, I think 6 weeks to resolve the problem was totally ludicrous; the tenant was obviously inconvenienced to an unacceptable degree. The lazy buffoon of a landlord failed to fulfill his obligations, there’s no disputing that. He would ideally be whipped for his incompetence, but not in the pleasurable way I’m subjected to on a Friday night. He freakin’ wishes!

The tenant deserved some compensation, but I also think she was fishing for a larger payout than what she was entitled to with her airy fairy, bullshit medical side-affects. I wasn’t convinced by her wallowing, but I am ultimately on her side. She seemed pleasant enough.

But what’s sad is that we’ve started adopting this whole American suing culture, where we’re quick and eager to sue the shit out of everyone for every little thing. I’ve personally been a victim of this shameless practice, and I imagine many others have too. A few years ago I lightly bumped into the car in front of me because I momentarily lost concentration, I was completely liable. Thankfully, there were no damages and everyone involved walked away unscathed; the incident couldn’t have been more graceful. The impact was the equivalent of gently caressing a flaccid penis up against a bumper; if anything I polished the surface of his bumper by removing dust particles and debris. We parted the scene on friendly terms (especially since he now had a cleaner vehicle), with no incident to report. However, out of good sense we did follow protocol by exchanging numbers/details.

Two weeks later I received a call from the chap, and that’s when he dropped the bombshell on me. The douche-bag proceeded to inform me that he’s cottoned onto the fact that he and his partner (who was in the passenger seat) can claim for whiplash and sign off work for two weeks, so that’s exactly what the assholes did. He shamelessly tried to comfort me with the assurance of knowing that the only people that will lose out is the insurance company. Seriously! At that point I let my insurance company takeover, and I never heard from the snake-oil prick again. He probably got a handsome little payout that funded a nice holiday or two.

I hope he choked on his Travellers Cheques and caught a vicious Mediterranean disease that made his penis permanently inverted and dysfunctional. I didn’t give a shit about the insurance company losing out, it was the general practice of playing the system that irked me.

Of course, I think the tenant has a genuine case, but also believe she’s trying to milk it, and I think Daniel was quick to spot that, which is why he focused on getting compensation purely for the issue of disrepair and nothing else.

There’s actually a lot that could be analysed about the call, but here are the key takeaways from my point of view:

  • To sue or not to sue, that is the question?
    The key point I extracted from the entire situation wasn’t the issue of disrepair. In fact, I’ve completely ignored the specifics of the case because it’s your run of the mill tenant/landlord problem. It happens every freaking day, all day long. The key was that Daniel was bang on the money when he said the experience should be chalked up as “life experience”, even though she was probably entitled to some compensation and was blatantly mistreated. It’s ultimately a shit deal, but it’s usually the way it is.

    As a landlord I’ve had to waive dozens of incidents that I was probably entitled compensation for, from tenants vacating a property while leaving it in a condition that even a barnyard animal would be disappointed with, to tenants walking away with outstanding arrears.

    It’s probably one of the hardest lessons to learn as a novice tenant or landlord, which is, you some times need to let shit slide because chasing losses is often futile and not worth the, often unbearable, hassle. Whether it be down to pride, greed or stubbornness, there’s something that drives many of us to seek justice, and it’s understandable. But it’s truly a fruitless practice in many cases. I don’t think the system is fair, but I know how it generally works, and I know which battles I want to pick.

    From my experience, the legal system isn’t designed to handle small claims efficiently, especially if we’re talking about £800. Mostly, in this industry, that kind of loss is better marked off as collateral damage. It can be gut-wrenching to let it go, especially if your cashflow isn’t particularly healthy, but those losses are part of ‘the system’. Instead of going to battle, you might be better served concentrating on finding a better landlord and/or improving your contingency plan for the future.

    By the time you go to court and calculate the amount of time, energy and stress it’s taken, the end reward usually doesn’t compensate for what you put yourself through (that’s also assuming you win). If you’re talking about a couple of thousands pounds, it might be worth pursuing (money is always relative to the individual, so you can make your own benchamrk). But before pursing any relatively “subjective” case, it’s worth weighing the variables and then consider weather it’s actually worth it.

    This principle applies to both landlord and tenant.

  • It’s not always the landlord’s fault when things break
    Another key point that tenants often don’t appreciate. I quote,

    The landlord isn’t automatically liable just because something has gone wrong with the house or the flat. Things go wrong with flats; fuse boxes blow, electrical faults develop, that’s not the landlord’s fault. But if they then fail to take ‘reasonable care’ to get it repaired, that’s where you might have a claim against them

    It could reasonably take a week or two for it all to be repaired, that’s not the landlord’s fault, it’s the delay that’s caused you problems.

    The real problem is that the landlord didn’t take ‘reasonable care’ to resolve the problem, which left the tenant with a property that wasn’t habitable or in working order, and NOT because of the actual problem with the fuse box. It can be complicated and difficult to claim for disrepair alone. That’s a very crucial point.

    I’ve had disgruntled tenants’ contact me in the past, raging and fuming because, for example, the boiler packed up and died. Judging by their reaction you’d think I took their daughter’s virginity and blogged about it (something i’d probably do, mind you). It’s almost like they don’t understand I’m NOT offering a property with infallible fittings, and that appliances naturally break with usage through no fault of my own. I know it’s inconvenient as hell for the tenant, but it’s also inconvenient for me; not only because I have to arrange and pay for the repair, but also because I now have to endure the tenant’s irrational and petulant bellowing, which I honestly couldn’t give a shit about.

    However, I do believe a landlord could be held liable almost immediately if they provide a property with blatant negligence of safety. For example, if there’s a problem with a gas appliance and a valid gas safety certificate isn’t in place.

  • Only sue for what you’re entitled to sue for
    I was pleased that Daniel was quick to stray the tenant away from chasing compensation for the damages associated with the alleged adverse affects to her health. It seemed like a sketchy claim and a losing battle, and something that may have been extremely difficult to prove. Many unscrupulous lawyers may not have been so sensible with their advise.

    Sue for what you’re entitled to sue for, don’t be a hot-dog eating gluttonous American.

  • You can make a small claims if the value of the claim is below £10,000
    Any claim under the value of £10,000 can go through the small claims court, which can be dealt with a written application, without a hearing. More details on the GOV website.
  • Health & safety concerns
    If you believe your landlord is neglecting their health and safety obligations, you can contact the HSE (Health and Safety Executive) and lodge a complaint. If they believe you have a case they will take the appropriate steps to resolve the situation, which could lead to compensation.
  • Landlords should make repairs in reasonable time
    Message to landlords: don’t be an idiot by allowing repairs go unattended for too long. Act reasonably and don’t disregard your landlord duties. Your tenants are valuable and they have the power to either make or break your investment, so it’s in every landlord’s best interest to provide a certain level of good service.

Landlords duty to repair & maintain

It’s probably a good time to briefly cover what the landlord is legally responsible for in regards to repairs and maintenance. Most general queries will be covered by Section 11, Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 (Repairs & Maintenance) and the electrical equipment (safety) regulation.

Repairs & maintenance
The landlord is responsible for the structure and exterior of the property; baths, sinks and other sanitary items; heating and hot water installations. The legislation requires the landlord 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

Electrical safety
Every electrical appliance supplied by the landlord must be safe to use; the electrical installation in the house must be completely safe. There is no mandatory requirement for the equipment to undergo any safety testing, but that should NOT be an incentive to be careless.

For more information, go to the landlords legal obligations page.

Still want to sue?

The intention of this post isn’t to stray anyone away from suing the crap out of their tenant or landlord (whichever the case maybe), every case is unique. This post is more intended towards making people aware of the fact that it isn’t ALWAYS worth pursuing, and you may not have a case just because something breaks and consequently suffered from inconvenience. Moreover, the gold at the pot of the rainbow isn’t an easy snatch, particularly because there are often consequences beyond the financial rewards that should be taken into consideration.

In recent years, as I’ve gained wisdom (and exposing nostril hairs), I’ve written a lot about valuing life by avoiding stress. I used to get stressed and sink into a pit of depression far too often when it came to my tenant related woes, but I soon realised it wasn’t worth jeopardizing my own health and happiness over. I’d rather let some asshole get away with a couple of hundred pounds than putting myself through the meat-grinder, because the end result didn’t make me feel any better or richer.

Do I value my money? Yes. Would I have liked that money to be lodged firmly in my mitts so I can support my hideous and unmentionable addictions? Absolutely. Do I want that person to be held responsible for their actions, and physically tortured like a daddy longleg being departed from its legs by an intrigued 6yr old? 100%. But realistically, I value my general well-being more, and if a person is capable of doing those things to me after I was a good landlord, their life is already pitiful enough and they have bigger demons to conquer.

Also, as said, it’s good to bear in mind that letting things slide and writing things off as ‘life experience’ and ‘collateral damage’ is part of the game, and pretty much every business (i.e. out of date stock, damaged goods). I know, that can be a difficult mouth-full-of seminal fluid to swallow.

In any case, here’s a more detailed post on how to sue your landlord, if it’s still of interest. Like I said, I don’t want to sway you away from your pursuit for happiness; your idea of happiness may drastically differ from mine, and I don’t want anyone to be a doormat. But essentially, you should make your own choices based on your unique circumstance, and value accordingly based on your needs and wants in life.

I just want to clarify, I’m strictly talking about subjective disrepair issues here. There are circumstances that naturally provide much easier wins. For example, it’s relatively easy and straight forward for tenants to claim compensation when landlords fail to protect deposits. But I still think it’s worth assessing all factors, including whether your landlord truly deserves to be sued (some tenants sue needlessly, for the sake of making a quick buck).

Avoid the need to sue

Unless you’re a raging, psychotic sadist, it’s probably in your best interest to take every reasonable step to avoid getting tangled up in any situation where you may want/need to sue someone. The best way to achieve that is by carefully selecting your team wisely. Entirely escaping from the possibility of getting tangled with a dip-shit tenant/landlord is impossible. You won’t ever achieve it. However, the key to avoiding these incidents is to keep the odds considerably stacked in your favour, whether you’re a landlord or tenant, and that’s typically achieved by appropriate insurance policies and thorough referencing.

Tenants should be referencing landlords just as equally as landlords should be referencing tenants.

If anyone has any further advice and thoughts, particularly regarding how to handle old age, please make yourself heard!

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32 Comments- Join The Conversation...

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Benji 21st January, 2015 @ 22:13

Good call from the barrister.
It would be interesting to hear the landlord's side of things.

"I’d rather let some asshole get away with a couple of hundred pounds than putting myself through the meat-grinder, because the end result didn’t make me feel any better or richer."

This is where you are going wrong.

By having a laissez faire laid back attitude, asshole tenants will be attracted to you and take the piss.
Like iron filings to a magnet and flies to shit.

If you remorselessly pursue every last tenner owed, asshole tenants miraculously disappear.

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The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 21st January, 2015 @ 22:25

Yeah, I thought the Barrister was pretty sensible about everything he said.

Not sure I agree with your logic, unless all tenants talk to one another. I'm pretty firm and clear with my expectations before I accept any tenants, and I'm rigorous with my referencing, so I don't think I give away any obvious tell-tail signs away that I may let shizzle slide. That's probably when they'll find out if I'm a pushover or not.

I don't think tenants would find out from one another whether I'm firm or soft [insert innuendo], so I'm not sure I'd increase the chances of attracting asshole tenants.

In any case, I don't let everything slide, but I do put a lot of value on my time and general happiness. I'm usually happier when there's little hassle and complications! But then again, some people genuinely don't mind the struggle as long as they get paid.

I've generally avoided shit tenants by rigorous referencing.

But I get your point(s).

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Mike 22nd January, 2015 @ 08:46

Each situation is totally unique, therefore each situation needs and must be evaluated independently. If you treat your property and customers in an unprofessional way, you can expect nothing in return that what you gave.

Start by treating your customers as equals, always look after your property otherwise you will financially suffer in the long run. Always look after your customers, without them you have no income!

Don't delay with essential repairs, otherwise things get totally out of hand and the cost of repaire only goes one way, up!

The court room is the last course of action, stay well away, no one is a true winner.

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The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 22nd January, 2015 @ 08:57

@Mike

I can't argue with any of that. But I especially agree, every case is unique and all aspects should be evaluated independently!

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Bisk 22nd January, 2015 @ 09:01

Great article, I'm a new landlord, you always have me in stiches. Thanks for putting it together.

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Frances 22nd January, 2015 @ 09:58

Loving the thumbs-up from the elderly! I think you mean "unscrupulous lawyers" too, not "unscrupulous layers" :)

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The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 22nd January, 2015 @ 10:04

@Bisk
No probs, and thanks, it's appreciated!

@Frances
Nice spot. Updated! :)

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Mandy Thomson 22nd January, 2015 @ 10:05

The NLA ought to hire you to run their training courses - at least the trainees would remember!

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Bozman 22nd January, 2015 @ 11:05

A very interesting article.
I have been on the receiving end of a claim for Damages as a result of Disrepair. The claim was without merit as the delay to completing the repairs was entirely due to the tenant repeatedly refusing access to tradesmen attending to do the work. Fortunately I had all of this logged, and had several witnesses to support my version of events.
However, when I forwarded the matter to my insurers, I had to push them very hard to contest the claim. Their initial preference was to just agree a settlement with the tenant's solicitor without making any real effort to establish the facts of the case. This would, no doubt, have resulted in a substantial increase in my premium the following year.
Once I did persuade the insurer to contest the claim, the tenant's solicitor quickly informed us that they would no longer be representing the tenant and had advised her to drop the claim.
It seems to me that the real winners in these situations are often the "No win, no fee" solicitors, some of whom appear to bring forward as many claims as possible, regardless of merit, in the knowledge that insurers are generally far more inclined to settle a claim rather than contest it.
It was refreshing to hear that the Barrister clearly didn't support such an approach.

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Thunder Balls 22nd January, 2015 @ 12:24

My landlord is being sued for over £10k. He is cutting off his nose to spite his face by refusing to negotiate at all and keeping the place in disrepair while he does so.

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Landlady M 22nd January, 2015 @ 12:37

When I saw this in my inbox I actually thought my tenants were about to try and sue me, as I have just this morning sent them an e-mail about some work I need to get done.
Hopefully they can't sue me, as I have done everything I can to get the work done and they are being obstructive. I have kept records of all communication.

Long story short, there is a (lifestyle-related) condensation problem in the house which I have spent thousands trying to resolve for the last 2 years. The problem has been repeatedly misdiagnosed and expensive, unnecessary work done. I believe I have finally discovered what the problem (and therefore the solution) is, but having recently received a section 21 notice from me, the tenants have decided to refuse all contact and are not allowing me or my appointed tradespeople access to do the work. They previously told me that they intend to wait until I take them to court etc so they can be housed by the local authority.
I now have no choice but to seek access through the courts to get the work done as my house is going to be ruined if I can't get this work done (plus the tenants complain about mould etc). They have lived there for almost 5 years with no rent increase and their rent is about 70% of market rent in the area.

I hate being a landlord.

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Rach 22nd January, 2015 @ 17:36

Hi Landlady M,

If you aren't confident in handling the eviction yourself, I recommend a company called Legal4Landlords. it's about £500 to evict a tenant through the courts. They also have a slightly pricier fast track option which I would only really recommend if the tenants aren't paying rent or you want them out quicker. I have had a 100% success rate with them and have previously obtained quotes from solicitors and they come out at least double the price! I have used solicitors and while it is likely it's down to the company we used, we found that it was a dragged out process!
Good luck!

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Thunder Balls 22nd January, 2015 @ 18:58

Landlady M. You may want to get an injunction if they will not allow access for repairs if doing so really does mean your house isnt ruined whilst you try and evict.

you might want to make things easy for your Tenants. Offer them cash to leave and a reference. Cash youd spend on injunctions repairs etc anyway..

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The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 23rd January, 2015 @ 11:37

@Mandy
Ha, what a dangerous concept. I'm an acquired taste. I'm sure half the people would walk out, while the others would sit there wondering if I'm actually for real or not :)

@Bozman
Not uncommon for tenants to obstruct repairs from being made and then complaining about it. Strange people!

I'm really surprised that an insurance company was so eager to pay out. That's generally unheard of!

Pleased to hear you didn't just roll over, but you actually handled your business and got a win!

@Thunder balls
10k? Holy crap! It must be an absolute disaster zone! Is the property a pile of rubble?

@Landlord M
Apologies for scaring you :)

I've been in your God awful situation before. I wish you the best of luck. Let me know how it goes!

On a sidenote, condensation can lead to mould infestations (has it already?), which could be 1) dangerous to one's health 2) very expensive to fix, so you "might" get away with entering the property under the grounds of it being an emergency. But the term "emergency" is so ambiguous, so who freakin' knows!

I agree with T-balls in regards to it possibly being a sensible idea to get an injunction.

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Property Manager 23rd January, 2015 @ 12:37

Along with the tenants not allowing access I think the Landlady M's other big issue is that she has served a Section 21 notice on the tenants for them to vacate and now won't allow access and have indicated that they won't leave unless she gets a court order because they will be claim housing benefits. The council will not house them if they leave the property without a court order. I've had an elderly tenant who wanted to move somewhere else and the council refused to re-house her without the Landlord obtaining a court order.

Correct me if I'm wrong but an injunction costs £150 just to send an application form so if you aren't confident you may need to pay a solicitor to do it. (mistakes may mean your request is rejected and having to re-apply). It can take up to 2 months for you and the tenant to provide relevant evidence and you will then need to wait for a hearing date which depending on the court may take another 2 months. Then the courts are likely to give the tenant notice that the works need to go ahead and this doesn't mean if they refuse you can barge in, you would have to apply again.

If you do just want your property back (as her post indicates) I would just go to court to evict.

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The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 23rd January, 2015 @ 12:52

@Property Manager
I think it usually depends on how busy the courts are, but I've of heard of cases that have been resolved in 14 days with an injunction. I think someone left a comment a couple of days ago where it took them a couple of weeks. But in any case, she has served a S21, which means it can be a relatively straight forward repossession without an injunction.

I think it largely depends on the attitude of local council. In the past, a DSS tenant only required a letter of "intent" (that I was going to start the eviction process), which was enough to get her rehoused into a council house, despite being 2 months in arrears. But she also had a 2yr old child, so that may have been a factor.

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Thunder Balls 23rd January, 2015 @ 15:04

Look.

The law is clear on landlords gaining access in an emergency.

if your Ten agreement (check your copy )says you can gain acces with 24 hrs notice etc .. well unles you have a specific refusal (that will reasonably astand up in court eg letters from tenant0 of course you can go in.

What stops you realising you lost your copy of your key and need to replace the house lock to ensure property and ten safety either ?

All this comes down to is being reasonable within the law not some imagined technicality or possible far fetched argument a tenant might come up with allowing them to refuse entry to a reasonable landlord doing reasonable inspection or repair in accordance with statute or the ten agreement.

My 10k case is as a result of a house with endemic wood rot stretching back over 5 years and an absent landlord.

I would also say.. this Barrister advice needs to be considered carefully because it seems to me hes saying she has a case for £800 AND it isnt worth going after it because of potential difficulty getting hold of the landlord.

A small claim against a UK based landlord, and that £800 is looking like a more realistic prospect for the Tenant to go after with a reasonable prospect of success.

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The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 23rd January, 2015 @ 18:26

@Thunder balls

Look.

The tenant IS refusing access, so the landlord isn't allowed to just enter the property. The tenant's statutory right is to live in "quiet enjoyment", that would override what it says about accessing with in 24 hours. The law states that the landlord must give 24 hour notice if they wish to enter the property, but cannot enter if they are refused.

Nothing you said is actually about gaining entrance based on an "emergency"

If there's a fire in the property, the landlord can enter immediately. That's what the "emergency access" is referring to.

"What stops you realising you lost your copy of your key and need to replace the house lock to ensure property and ten safety either ?"

But the tenant is allowed to change the locks without permission, and refrain from giving the landlord a copy. That's also the tenant's statutory right.

I agree, in this particular case, the fact the landlord maybe difficult to get a hold of AND also because she had already vacated 8 weeks prior, were factors taken into consideration.

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P.Stewart 7th October, 2015 @ 09:28

Having been a tenant for nearly 17 years with the same landlord's property there had been issues since 2004/5 and ongoing.Having been
advised that the LHA Environmental Office for Health & Safety could
inspect & make recommendations from 2004/5 I had to call them in
on 5 occasions! The last in November 2011 when a second water seapage
& dispel flooding sourced from the top flat of a divided residential
property gushes down into my living room, outside storecupboard,kitchen
& especially the bathroom. The Senior insurance assessor attended immediately as did the Senior Environmental Officer.The bathroom had
black patches marking the walls known as mould spoors.If the walls were
not attended to immediately the resultant issue of inhaling into one's
lungs could seriously cause health issues. The landlord was informed
but took over 2 weeks to inspect(even though he lives 10 mins away).
Meantime a qualified tradesman known to me undertook the urgent work
to the walls but not rfe-decorating. As the property was without central heating the mould and damp worsened due to the water which washed down into the living areas mentioned above.Humidfiers were
needed and a long process of drying out.Remember it was winter and
the time this drying process took was nearly 4 months.Meanwhile I paid
a qualified suryevor to make a report which he did. It did not read well
as plaster work was involved due to the water density.
In 2012 I was served with a N21 Notice from the landlord's
recently appointed Lettings Agent that he wanted the property
back.Not for any use other than to re-let at a higher rent
causing what is now commonly called retalitory eviction.(200,000
people were hit by this tactic last year).I even had the Rent Officer
attend who set the fair rent at a sum lower than what the landlord
thought he could secure elsewhere.
With written signature the landlord promised to repay winter tarif
electricity costs incurred by a small humidifier he supplied which
with the extent of water damage for take years to dry out.Other
monies he owed.
I sought counsel's advice and he said my case had merit to sue.
A claim for various breaches of the contract together with monies
spent by myself was issued January 2014 including Disrepairs,failure
to fulfill his side of the tenancy contract,items not in working order,
Safety negligence etc.etc.
Throughout 2014 litigation began and is still in progress for the
issued claims.
Anyone need my advice or help how to sue your landlord for Disrepairing
matters or how to go about staging your case with Court Fee Exmeption
please get in touch. The government could have cut your legal funding
so you have a right to sue using the Fee Exemption which is your legal
right if on Pension Credit or low income. It's just taking money from
the government in a backhanded route since they cut your legal funding!
Get in touch!
Peter

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Mouldy Tenant 17th November, 2015 @ 13:18

I have a landlord who I think is an ideal candidate for the courts. in 2011 I moved in to a property and not only was inset mould in the walls not disclosed, but the property has ill fitting windows that let heat escape, a bathroom that has leaks to the downstairs flat, a dangerous artificial roof in the kitchen, a large vent in the kitchen that lets heat escape, no gas certificate even to this date, and I have been ill 4 times from mould.
I reported the issues straight away and still to this day, they have not been fixed. When I call for mould, the letting agent sends nobody out. I have whatsapped the landlord photos and the landlord tells me that I am not respecting the property.
All the issues were present when I moved in. It is my first place I have lived in since my parents and have paid all the rent and never withheld.
I have missed days of work, I have been ill, I have had aggravation from the flat downstairs... my landlord has made a lot of mistakes like serving notices for no reason. The council has now served abatement and repair notices due to EXCESSIVE COLD, FIRE HAZARD both Cat 1 and 2, ABATEMENT FOR LEAK AND NUISANCE and now the work has gone into default also.
I want to sue for days missed from work and paying for a flat that has not been in good condition since I arrived and have been complaining and even the manager of the letting agent knew and did nothing. I have been promised tomorrow but tomorrow has never come and the landlord still thinks it is all my fault.
So here I have a letting agent and landlord ignoring my requests for repair and I was let a flat that wasn't safe by the letting agent who only cared about commission. If they are letting me have flats like this, imagine other people etc.

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Landlady M 17th November, 2015 @ 13:59

Well, bailiffs finally evicted the tenants in JUNE 2015!!! The court process is frustratingly slow. I did not bother with the injunction in the end because I had too much else going on in my life, including the death of my husband (and I have very young children).

I am now selling 2/3 of my property portfolio as it's just becoming too much hassle right now. I have a tenant right now in another property who always pays late, and one who stopped paying rent altogether about 3 months ago. Thankfully there are no maintenance issues in those places.

But apart from my update, the other reason I have ventured back into this discussion is that I read the above post and couldn't help asking:
I myself am currently both a tenant and a landlord. As a tenant, I cannot understand why people who are unhappy with their living conditions and their landlord's response to their problems doesn't just leave at the earliest opportunity and find a better living arrangement. I get that you shouldn't HAVE to, and I'm not saying you shouldn't take action against your landlord. But certainly that's what I would do if I felt that my family's health was at risk and I was losing days of work etc.

When I first moved into my current home the boiler packed up a few days in and I was left with no heating or hot water for two weeks with two very small children, one of whom is particularly vulnerable to the cold. Unacceptable. I would never do that to my tenants. My current landlord is on notice right now that if he delays unreasonably the next time I need urgent repairs or maintenance, I will move into a hotel with my children and forward him the bill.

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Thunderballs 17th November, 2015 @ 14:00

@mouldy

You need to get onto this as soon as possible. There is potentially £5k plus here for you but you wont be seeing it unless you get onto this like flies on shit.

It will cost you some £ upfront depending on how much your income is (becasue if you are on low income you will apply and get court fees free) but you are you are going to need a surveyors report (c£300) or 50% of that if you can get your landlord to agree to instruct them as a joint expert)

1. Check out the Property Disrepair Protocol

2. Decide if you need to follow it - try and avoid mediation like the plague and make sure you keep the pressure on by not letting your landlord string out the timescales and fob you off by way of delaying tactics.

3. If necessary - make an application to court - to start proceedings - it is a s easy as filling in a simple form after doing some basic research on the internet abbout how to phrase your complaint in simple terms - plenty of examples out there to follow.

4. Follow the simple court process - they will contact you with directions (instructions to progress your case - again all easy to find out about on the internet)

5. Consider the use of Part 36 offers (a method of trying to get an early settlement)

6. Consider using services like answer.com where you can pay £15 otr £50 foir amonths expert advice (online) from lawyers/Barristers to help you with your case at a tiny cost vs rolling up to a hight st solicitor.

So far .. my case - and it is now at trial stage - has cost me c £300 for a surveyors report and £13 on answer.com to get help from a Barrister, I bought 3 second hand barrister books (that cost me £30 - and in realiity I have not needed), about £30 on computer ink, postage and paper. Maybe £10 for petrol to get to court (so far) So aboput £380. Im in fast Track = claim for over £10k

It is not as complicated as you think but if you are grade 3-5 CSE or grades below C GCSE level acheiver - you might need help for a friend.

dont let the mget away with it and you have very little to lose.

When faced with severla thousands of £ of fibnes ot you , it is not something your landlord can ignore too easily.

Obviously you need ot be able to move elsewhere or hang on and fight (possibly in other court actions) t oretain your tenancy.

You are lookign at 18 months to go through the process of starting and getting a judgement in a simple disrepair case.

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Thunderballs 17th November, 2015 @ 14:40

http://nearlylegal.co.uk/2014/04/disrepair-damp-and-quantum/

Very useful to get an idea of what ££ you are going to be getting for what types of disrepair if you do a decent job.

These ruings should encourage nay landlord to take their disrepair obligations seriously even in the face of considerable adversity from a ruinous tenant.

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Thunderballs 17th November, 2015 @ 14:45

@Landlady M Very sorry to hear that. Thank you for updating us and my very best wishes for a happy future for you and your children.

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Mouldy Tenant 17th November, 2015 @ 15:17

@Thunderballs. I'm very educated. I have represented myself in the Multi track Court versus an insurance company with two folder fulls of letters, documents etc. It is the least pleasant experience I have had in any official setting.

The illness I have suffered has been 4 times and can be proven that mould caused and was the only factor behind my chest infections for which I have had to be prescribed anti-biotics and miss work (I do not get paid unless I work). I am busy gathering up everything and it has been historic.

Notice has been served and work is commencing shortly. So you are saying I need to get a surveyor to establish that there is mould or that the property is in disrepair? An Officer from the council has already served a huge notice and ALL THESE PROBLEMS WERE HERE WHEN I MOVED IN! they are not new. For years! The landlord is now rude, and assumes all is my doing and fault wuithout realising that a landlord has obligations! By law also.

The letting agents conduct has equally not been great. The cycle has been the same for years.

- I complain
- Letting agent contacts landlord
- Landlord doesn't send official person but corner cut trade guy
- Trade guy establishes that there is a lot of work to be done
- Quote given
- Work not done because it is expensive

Same thing all the time.

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Mouldy Tenant 8th December, 2015 @ 14:39

I have now visited a solicitor and I spent an entire evening without sleeping, writing all the points in a case file in court format. Proceedings will commence against the landlord soon.
Thank you very much all for your help. I have also created a new petition for existing tenants for the deregulation law to be applicable.
https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/114092

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clemintine 12th March, 2016 @ 22:22

I haD the worst experience in my life, I rented a terrace house in Read Lancashire, Damp walls dripping that is , drains over flowing which carried the toilet waist, the smell was so bad i used to sleep with my head under the covers, I change my bedding regular to try and help with the smell, the Land lords Were INFORMED about the problems and I have Copies of photos and conversation on all the problems but no repairs where done (pretend to fix the oven. told me they had a New one to install)
they would text me to say they had called but I must have been out.I was in every evening, i have proof.
she also said because I had boxes in one of the rooms it cause the damp with bad ventilation,(windows had no keys) I had sold my house which was dry , my cream tetrad was green across the bottom can i claim for this I have photos of all the rooms and damage. DO NOT RENT 94 WHALLEY ROAD READ ....VERY BAD HOUSE TO BUY ALSO, VERY BAD LANDLORDS...LEGAL INFO PLEASE I HAVE REPORTED TO ENVIRONMENT...

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Mandy Thomson 13th March, 2016 @ 12:35

Clementine

As you are aware, your landlord is obliged to maintain your home, provided the damage was not caused directly by you (which I'm sure it wasn't). For example, she is obliged to pay for replacement window keys, provided you didn't lose them. These can be sourced from Handles and Hinges http://www.handlesandhinges.co.uk/window-handle-keys/ if you're not sure of the window make, you can send them a photo and they'll either source or cut the keys for you (I recently used them and they charged me around £13.00 for replacment keys).

Where the cooker is concerned, if this is included in the inventory/AST, she is obliged to repair or replace it, provided she hasn't stipulated otherwise.

Where condensation is concerned, this is somewhat subjective as it can have many causes, and is very common, especially in older, single walled houses. As you know, the main preventive measure is to the keep the property warm AND ventilated at the same time - which is a bit difficult if you can't even open your windows - which is also a fire safety hazard!

If you have tried and tried to NICELY inform the landlord about the maintenance issues, and you're getting nowhere, then of course you should inform environmental health - as a last resort, and they will put a maintenance order on the property if they find the landlord wanting.

You can also get repairs done yourself and deduct this from the rent, but again, only as a LAST RESORT be very careful to follow the correct procedure (legally known as setting off rent) outlined by here: https://www.mydeposits.co.uk/sites/default/files/Landlord%20Factsheet%20Can%20my%20Tenant%20withold%20rent.pdf

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Bhavana 16th August, 2016 @ 14:03

Hi,
Can you please suggest something regarding my problem.. There is a horrible smell in our bathroom and we are emailing our tenant agency for 10 days.. They said that it is building management problem n they will fix it. Building management people sent some expert who gave report that it is inside the flat so landlord has to do it according to rules.. We have passed report to agency and they contacted some person to fix who hasn't call us yet. Thus is second time we are having this problem... Last time also same man came n he didn't find anything.. Can we lodge complaint to health and safety ... I am sorry for such a big story...

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crai cox 4th February, 2017 @ 13:20

I hope everyone of you that is whining about tenants suing you is ripped off by the most untrustworthy, excessive crack smoking hillbillys that this God forsaken country have to offer. Moreover, i hope they have a pack of wild dogs that not only defecate in every single square millimeter of floor space, but scratch, chew and destroy everything in your houses.

The author of this worthless attempt at anecdotal humour posts the most crude, unwanted sexual inuendos throughout his pathetic little post.........which goes toward showing that you scoundrels who pay pittance for a house and then rent it out for large gains are nothing but perverted, immoral C U Next Tuesday's.

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Eric 4th February, 2017 @ 14:20

lol crai cox, and I hope you remain a bitter tenant forever... you're clearly in a terrible situation thats caused bitterness and from the sounds of it you're getting what you deserve. Bad Karma

Carry on whinging and wishing ill on a blanket of people that you know nothing about because that will resolve your problems i'm sure.

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Thunderballs 4th February, 2017 @ 17:30

In the end I got 11K out of my landlord on top of the 3 times deposit i got back for not protecting my deposit

The silly bastard was had over a barrel because he didn't repair, did not inspections etc.

I will be letting his new tenants know too as he has undoubtedly neglected to repair properly and they may find my legal documents, evidence useful when they sue the selfish immoral tool somewhere down the line.

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