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landlord refusing to do repairs.

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383 views 2 replies latest reply: 11 October 2015
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Tenant

Hi all, this is my first post. Just looking for some help.

we have reported a crack in a shower tray which is causing a leak into the garage. the crack is in the indent around the plug and is following that line. it is just wear and tear that has happened over time, the letting agent is saying that he has never heard of a shower tray cracking. And, that it must have been damaged in some way by us. our landlord lives over seas so we can only contact the letting agent. he is saying that as there are other wash facilities in the house that the landlord is refusing to repair the damage.

It has taken 6 weeks from reporting to get to this stage.

Could anyone shed any light on this for me?

Thanks.

Dave

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Administrator

Hi Dave

It might be worth contacting the landlord direct – there should be an address in your tenancy agreement. If not then you have a legal right to know the landlord’s address. Ask the letting agent and they have 21 days to give it to you (Section 1 of the Landlord & Tenant Act 1985).

Of course the letting agent will say that this is your fault – that’s a standard response. Everything cracks or breaks if it’s used for a long enough period of time so it’s also a bit of a stupid response.

The point you need to make to the agent is that you have fulfilled the obligation on you in the tenancy to report the problem. If anything structurally damaging and expensive should result from the leak then arguably it won’t be your fault because you’ve reported it to the agent (hopefully you did this in writing and have proof). If there is any kind of a safety hazard with the water leaking near electrics then this becomes a pressing problem for the landlord, which the agent needs to take seriously or they are opening up the landlord to being sued by you for any damage that results. So, the agent needs to take action now – you could send a signed and dated letter setting out what has happened, including a timeline, and what you want to happen and give them five days in which to do it and then contact the landlord.

In terms of who pays it’s difficult to say – cracks in baths and basins are normally not wear and tear to be honest. But it really depends on how old the shower tray is and what condition it was in when you moved in. What does the inventory say about the condition of it? You could try and get some legal advice (I’m not a lawyer) from a law centre or from an organisation like Shelter or Citizens Advice (all free). They might have more experience on what counts as wear and tear and what doesn’t.

Either way I would take plenty of photos and keep all the correspondence with the agent. When it comes to moving out no doubt they will try to make you pay for the crack and any resulting damage. You can raise a dispute with the deposit protection scheme that has your deposit and they can decide. That will force the landlord to prove that it’s damage you should pay for rather than you having to prove that it’s not.

Alex

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Tenant

Thanks for your response. We have been told to only contact the letting agent, the landlord lives in turkey. Someone came yesterday to cap the shower off so it can’t be used. 

The shower tray has been in from new, so around 20 years. No mention of a crack in the inventory, but the place it’s in, it could have been there years. We only noticed it once it got big enough to see. 

Thanks for your suggestions. I will speak to the agent again tomorrow.

 

Dave

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