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Rent dispute due to work not finished

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612 views 1 replies latest reply: 07 October 2015

I have rented a house for the past 2 years, after 2 months I discovered that the roof leaked making one of the bedrooms unusable and reported it to the landlady who said she would get the roof replaced. 6 months ago after it still wasn’t sorted she reduced the rent as we weren’t able to use the bedroom. It has finally been replaced now and the landlady has asked for the rent to be put back up. But the window hasn’t yet been completely finished and the back garden still has the scaffolding up and all the rubbish from the old roof dumped in the garden . This making the garden unusable what with having 2 young children and the rubbish not being overly safe for them. So I was wondering if I had the right not to put the rent back up till the job ws completely done or if I had evidence of when the leak started and rent was decreased, If i could possibly back date it? Please help 🙂

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Hi Lee

Do you have the landady’s consent in writing to the rent reduction for the bedroom? If so then what exactly does it say? If the reduction in rent is to cover the period during which the bedroom is not fully usable then arguably that period hasn’t actually passed as the work isn’t complete (although I’m not sure what’s left to do to the window obviously).

In terms of the garden you could say that, on the same basis as the rent was reduced for the bedroom being out of order, there should be a rent reduction while the garden remains affected. It might also be worth pointing out that while there is construction rubbish in the garden it poses a risk of injury – or worse given that there are children around – for which the landlord would be responsible should anything happen. The fact that there are children is another reason why having the scaffolding/rubbish in the garden makes it just as unusable as the bedroom was.

I would take photos of everything and keep a record of your correspondence. One thing to be wary of is if you don’t have the landlady’s consent to keep the rent as it is then you could be in breach of the tenancy and she could start proceedings to evict you. So try to negotiate her into agreeing to keep the rent reduction in place (even if it’s less of a rent reduction than before) rather than just not paying the rent.


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