Can I claim money from my landlady?

by Readers Question

11:12 AM, 17th December 2014
About 6 years ago

Can I claim money from my landlady?

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Can I claim money from my landlady?

My landlady left me without heating from the 23rd October to the 27th Nov. Granted she did have a man come out to look and it didn’t work. Can I claim money from my landlady?

My question is can I claim compensation from her toward my electric bill?

For 46 days I had no heating or hot water!

We are a family of 6 with what was a newborn, 1 yr old, 3 yr old and 7 year old.

Also my rent unfortunately fell into arrears.

She’s refusing to fix the integrated cooker too and it’s 8 days from Christmas 🙁

She asked if she could visit on Thursday, I said it was inconvenient but Friday was fine. She said she would write to me but my concern is the post won’t come before she does and if she let’s herself into the property and my dogs should do anything will I may be made to put them down?? That thought is very distressing!!! 🙁

Many thanks

Rachael DuRose


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Comments

Laura Delow

19:35 PM, 17th December 2014
About 6 years ago

Rachel you need to be clear for the benefit of those trying to advise you if i) it is just the boiler or ii) the cooker too iii) how many months arrears you are in iv) when the arrears started vs the heating issue (albeit the landlord is obligated to try & repair the heating/boiler irrespective if any rent arrears) & v) whether your tenancy agreement states you are not allowed to keep pets & finally, vi) what access to fix the problem has your landlord experienced & vii) has she tried to deliver other heating appliances in the interim eg blow heaters etc?
I ask about access as recently a tenant of mine who was not in arrears but stated he wished to leave & not renew his tenancy, didn't vacate on the due date & ultimately I ended up having to go through the courts then getting a bailiff, in between times of which the tenant complained that the fridge freezer wasn't working & after numerous attempts by phone & email to gain access to investigate, he eventually responded and allowed us access on the day he was moving out (the day the bailiffs went in) for us to find that as a result of his anger over us appointing bailiffs, he had maliciously damaged the property (graffiti on walls & doors, glue over furnishings, hammer or such like tool used to smash holes in the walls, cupboard doors ripped off etc etc etc) and then on us withholding his deposit (nowhere near enough compensation for the cost of the damages) he had the audacity to dispute our withholding this by saying amongst other things, we hadn't fixed the fridge! Hence it is important to understand what landlords are sometimes up against. I therefore would ask if intentionally or unintentionally, have you been awkward? If not, then you should be in a strong position to negotiate with her, subject to the amount & time you've been in arrears and the attempts you've made to resolve this, & the access you granted your landlord & what she's tried to do to fix the problem or mitigate the lack of heat whilst trying to fix it, and your tenancy agreement re having a pet (a bif no no for most landlords). I tend to find that unless a landlord or a tenant is a rogue one, more often than not, there are 2 sides to every coin & it can be worked out if both sides try to be sensible.
Good luck

Anthony Endsor

19:57 PM, 17th December 2014
About 6 years ago

Sorry, but where does it say the Landlady provided the cooker?
And even if she did, the tenants have had use out of something the landlady didn't have to provide, but when it's gone, it's gone. No obligation to replace.

Monty Bodkin

21:18 PM, 17th December 2014
About 6 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mark Alexander" at "17/12/2014 - 18:19":

I agree also.

But if the agreement is silent on the matter, then the landlord doesn't have a legal obligation to repair.

Please read the many arguments on other landlord and legal sites before disputing.

sue thompson

21:39 PM, 17th December 2014
About 6 years ago

The tenant actually says initially that she was without heating from Oct 23rd to Nov 27th and then says she was without heat and water for 46 days - does this add up? When did she inform the landlord of the problem? Is she a reliable witness or just hoping for some compensation. She should have taken the proper route i.e. go to the LOcal Authority who would then ultimately (after investigating) serve a Notice on the Landlord. In the meantime she still had a responsibility to pay her rent. She is most probably in rent arrears because she is feeding a dog and four children. Is she on benefits? Is the landlord getting direct payments of LHA? or is the tenant using her rent entitlement to buy other things?

Sue

Sally T

22:02 PM, 17th December 2014
About 6 years ago

The tenant does state it's an 'integrated cooker', which to me means built in, in this case I would consider it the landlords responsibility. Why should a tenant be expected to repair/replace something they can't take when they leave.

Monty Bodkin

22:22 PM, 17th December 2014
About 6 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Sally T" at "17/12/2014 - 22:02":

Please read the many arguments on other landlord and legal sites before disputing.

Gilly

1:00 AM, 18th December 2014
About 6 years ago

I cannot believe that a landlord would supply an integrated cooker (an indication that this property is not just the basic) - but only be responsible for it until it packs up. What sort of agreement is that? Let's assume that the legal aspect is covered by the inclusion of the item in the Inventory. If it is included then it needs to be kept in good repair, if not then it needed to be made clear at the outset.

Morally and legally neither side should mix up rent arrears and disrepair. The tenant has a right to hot water and heating and over a month is unacceptable and she should be offered some compensation (i.e. nothing tangible but something knocked off the arrears I suggest, irritating as that may be).

Tenants often feel they don't have to pay their rent when something goes wrong in a property - but that just needs to be talked about and sorted. We all know we have few real powers without taking the legal route, so communication is always the key.

Monty - your repeated reference to other sites is not particularly helpful. We are on this one! Obsessive as I am with all things landlord, even I would not immediately know where to look without a fair bit of effort.

Colin Dartnell

8:55 AM, 18th December 2014
About 6 years ago

"Cookers are not a legal requirement for a landlord to provide, so she has every right to refuse to fix this".

It may not be a legal requirement but if a cooker is supplied as part of the original agreement then it is the landlords responsibility to keep it in working order otherwise they are breaking the agreement.

It sounds as though she is holding back on the repair due to not receiving her rent, but it won't help her in court if it goes that far.

Mark Alexander

9:03 AM, 18th December 2014
About 6 years ago

It is not been said yet but it is also possible that the landlord is suffering severe financial hardship.

She may have lost her job, her partner may have left her,we know for a fact that she has suffered rent arrears, she may even be on the verge of repossession or bankruptcy herself.

I wish both of them all the very best.
.

Monty Bodkin

10:34 AM, 18th December 2014
About 6 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Gilly " at "18/12/2014 - 01:00":

Gilly, I'm not sure Mark approves linking to other advertising sites although I hope he won't object to the one below.

This subject has often been discussed and it can easily be searched. It usually has people claiming they know what they think the law should be but they are unable to solidly back it up.

In the following link, Tessa clearly sets out the legal position and Westminster concludes it in the comments. They are both well respected experts.

http://www.landlordlawblog.co.uk/2013/03/07/is-the-landlord-responsible-for-the-repair-of-kitchen-white-goods/

It will be interesting to see if this gets classed as a 'revenge' eviction. I suppose it will depend on the political persuasion of the EHO on the day.

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