Housing Disrepair Pre-Action Protocol – need to reply in 20 days!!Make Text Bigger
Can anybody help me please?
My previous tenant has appointed a solicitor who has written to me claiming for numerous things. One issue is “Repairs”. The solicitor states that the tenant complains of the following defects at my property since the beginning of the tenancy in June 2011. These include:-
(1) The screws behind the toilet kept on coming loose and the landlord up to date has not changed them;
Comment: I’ve visited the property on two occasions and tightened the screws. I saw this as a maintenance issue that the tenant should be dealing with. Where do I stand?
(2) The door to the master bedroom does not close and when it does it gets stuck;
Comment: The latch on the master bedroom door was working ok for 21 months of the 2 year tenancy. Once again, I viewed this an a maintenance issue for the tenant to deal with as they caused the disrepair. Where do I stand?
(3) Two light fittings in the upstairs bedroom do not work;
Comment: These did not work prior to the tenants moving in and these were not requested to be repaired before the tenants moved in. I tried to purchase new fittings but could not find suitable replacements at a reasonable price. Where do I stand?
(4) Dampness in the bedrooms upstairs;
Comment: As a landlord with 15 years experience and having tested the areas concerned for dampness with a meter. I’m of the opinion that this is condensation caused by the manner in which the tenants lived.eg. not ventilating the property adequately and drying clothes close to electric storage heaters. Where do I stand?
(5) Electric meters downstairs is not covered;
Comment: This is fabrication. The electric meter is in a metal-clad cabinet secured by a child proof latch about 1.25m above floor. However beside it is a consumer unit and it is this the tenant may be referring to. Where do I stand?
For your information, my tenants vacated my property having damaged many of the roller blinds in the conservatory and kitchen area. Carpets throughout the property are filthy and need to be cleaned or disposed of. They have also left a huge bedroom wardrobe that is falling to pieces and needs to be dismantled and disposed of. The tenants have left large items of kids toys and carpeting in the garden.
Their solicitor expects me to compensate their clients. Is there anybody out there who can offer advice on how I should proceed. I understand I should reply within a 20 day period.
I would appreciate any assistance and advice available.
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