I’ve been renting from my landlady for ten years over three different properties. I’ve lived almost four years in current house and it was in quite a bad state when I moved in. Without going over long history – a few years ago there were issues that have left my landlady and I not on the best of terms. She leaves me alone though and we have little contact. Last year the fences and garden gate needed replacing and she wasn’t happy. She made a veiled threat of increasing the rent even though the fences and gate were old and rotten and damaged due to high winds. Six months went by and she did nothing to repair them but also didn’t increase rent as threatened. Rather than trigger her to do that I paid for and fitted the fences and new gate myself.
Now today I had a visit from Thames water and they said the stopcock valve isn’t working and it’s a legal requirement that my landlady gets a plumber to fix it. Of course I know I need to tell her but I’m worried it will make her increase the rent unfairly to pay for it and Shelter already told me there’s nothing I can do about forcing her to do repairs without accepting her threats. I can’t pay for a plumber myself … That will prob be £200 or so! And I shouldn’t have to. But what can I do other than take the risk? It seems unfair that legally we have no leg to stand on with asking for necessary work without fear of spiteful retaliation?