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rats / no heating/ dripping tap

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570 views 1 replies latest reply: 05 February 2016

I live in a privately rented house, I was left without heating and hot water for over a week about 3 weeks ago whilst I waited for the plumber to fit the job in. I have a leaky tap which I can’t fix because the stop cock doesn’t turn off the mains and the letting agent said its my job to fix it, but I said I can’t so a plumber has been coming for 2 weeks still not here… I also have a rat infestation, informed them that I need the access point of the rats, repairing a week ago and nothing has been done. I’ve paid for pest control myself to sort the problem but my letting agent is not helping me at all. They did a house inspection and said clean your guttering I thought that was there job Also…. Any help / advice about what I can do apart from moving would be much apricated… I am saving to move just not quick enough obviously! 

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I’m not a lawyer but anything to do with the plumbing and jobs such as cleaning the gutters as usually the landlord’s responsibility – have a look at what it says in your tenancy agreement. If it doesn’t specifically mention that you need to clean the gutters then you don’t need to clean them. It should also mention taps and plumbing as being part of the landlord’s responsibility.

In terms of the rats, I think you need to warn the agent that you’re going to get the council involved unless they start taking action as that’s a health hazard. Contact the local environmental health team of the council and they should be able to send someone to investigate.

It might be worth making direct contact with the landlord – contact details should be in your tenancy agreement. The landlord is paying the agent to manage the property and the agent is not doing it very well, if I was the landlord I’d want to know that. Explain what has happened, including a timeline of events, what you’re not happy with, the expenses that you’ve incurred and what you’re planning to do about it and ask the landlord to push the agent to take action to help you.

In theory, you might be able to claim for any loss (such as paying for pest control as long as it wasn’t your behaviour that attracted the rats) and distress caused by the poor state of the property. You can certainly ask for a rent reduction for the period without heating and hot water.

Other options for help and legal advice include Citizens Advice and a law centre.


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