Draughty Windows – Landlord SOS

by Readers Question

16:00 PM, 15th February 2013
About 6 years ago

Draughty Windows – Landlord SOS

Make Text Bigger
Draughty Windows – Landlord SOS

Draughty Windows - Landlord SOSMy tenant has complained about draughty windows and vents. I put draught seal on the windows but there wasn’t anything I could do about the vents as they are there to prevent damp etc.

My tenant has now got back to the letting agent informing them that the windows are still draughty and that she is holding back the rent.

I have checked the energy performance certificate and it states the windows are efficient, giving an over all grade C for energy efficiency for the property.

My letting agent has now informed me that even though the windows are suitable on the EPC there is no detail if the fixtures and fittings which the double glazing windows come under and that the tenant is within her rights not to pay.

This is the second winter my tenant has been in the property.

I had no complaints from her last year about the house being cold.

The tenant has stated she spends £10 per day on heating but pays a meter so there is no proof.

We both arranged for an energy efficiency care company to come into the flat and give her advise on saving energy and to make any insulations necessary.

The tenant was sent a letter to organise a visit from them but she has not contacted them.

Can you please advise, I have had problems with tenants not paying rent before (due to money issues) and its a nightmare.

Many thanks

Leigh



Comments

Mark Alexander

16:12 PM, 15th February 2013
About 6 years ago

Hi Leigh

This sounds to me like it might well be a 'try on' given that the tenant hasn't taken up the offer of energy efficiency advise and also didn't complain last year. from what you've said you sound like a good landlord and you've done all you can. I suggest that you instruct the agent to let the tenant know that withholding rent is not acceptable and that you will be serving a section 21 notice and instructing a agency to recover any unpaid rents. Sometimes this is enough of a wake up call to get things back on track. Hopefully you have a meaningful guarantor signed up or an RGI policy in place?

16:42 PM, 15th February 2013
About 6 years ago

Thank you for your advice Mark. I have been informed by my letting agent that the tenant is within her rights to not pay the rent as double glazing comes under F&F and my EPC only states the windows are effient but doesnt give details for the double glazing under fixture and fittings. Do you think this is right? I have asked my letting agent if there is a test that can be done to show that the windows are efficient.

16:49 PM, 15th February 2013
About 6 years ago

hi mark, please see my above comment, I replied in the wrong section. I dont have rgi. Thanks for your help.

Mark Alexander

20:44 PM, 15th February 2013
About 6 years ago

I'm no expert on this Leigh but I understand that there are certain circumstances whereby tenants can withhold rent, however, I don't think from your explanations this is one of them. Fortunately for once, i think the law is on the landlords side as you will certainly have the right to serve notice, unless of course your agents committed you to a new fixed term tenancy.

Mark Alexander

20:53 PM, 15th February 2013
About 6 years ago

You may get lucky this time Leigh but either way look upon this as a learning experience. Please see out Lettings section.

Freda Blogs

23:06 PM, 15th February 2013
About 6 years ago

I'm with Mark here, and it begs a question as to whose interests your agent is looking after. I would ask them for chapter and verse on which statutory or other authority they think the tenant can withhold their rent. Your arrears will build up quickly and if the agent is incorrect you and not the agent will be out of pocket. Curious the tenant didn't raise the issue last winter....

23:45 PM, 15th February 2013
About 6 years ago

Thank you . I have read that its the responsibility of the tenant to draught proof the windows and doors. I do not believe there is a problem with the windows, Im not sure why the double glazing is not included in the epc, it just states windows. Do you know if there is some kind of check I can get done on the double glazing to prove this? thanks

9:36 AM, 16th February 2013
About 6 years ago

If you followed the rules when she moved in, she has absolutely no case. The Law says she must be given a copy of the EPC before she agrees the tenancy and by definition she therefore accepts what it says. It will say double glazing & any improvement which should be made.

If the EPC just says "windows" then frankly it looks like a forgery ! I issue them !

Industry Observer

10:31 AM, 16th February 2013
About 6 years ago

This is all complte nonsense on the part of the tenant and the agent.

The tenant because she is withholding all the rent for one problem, and one element of renting the property. If say one bedroom in a 4 bedroomed house becomes unusable for any reason does that mean the entire rent is withheld? No of course not - hers is a disproportionate response and I'd serve notice on her. Truth is of course she hasn't got the rent and the draughty window is an excuse.

The agent you should change, never heard such tripe in all my life. As someone else has posted they need reminding where their contractual duty lies - with you not the tenant. They are clearly failing in their Duty of Care to you and stewardship of the property and not looking after your best interests.

Industry Observer

10:32 AM, 16th February 2013
About 6 years ago

Complete nonsense.

Evict the tenant and change agent

1 2 6

Leave Comments

Please Log-In OR Become a member to reply to comments or subscribe to new comment notifications.

Forgotten your password?

OR

BECOME A MEMBER

Will you be at the AFTER PARTY?

The Landlords Union

Become a Member, it's FREE

Our mission is to facilitate the sharing of best practice amongst UK landlords, tenants and letting agents

Learn More