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Told not to use bathroom for foreseeable future.

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1190 views 1 replies latest reply: 13 June 2014
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Tenant

Hi,

I’d really appreciate any help.

I live in a privately rented one bedroom flat. The tenant from the ground floor directly below me has informed me that there has been a leak coming through her ceiling into the kitchen. This has been going on for a few weeks.

The leak is directly below my bathroom, however no water comes through the ceiling when I run any water in the bathroom. A plumber has been round and checked under my wall tiles but can’t see where the leak is coming from. However, he has seen a patch of water by looking through the ceiling of the flat downstairs.

Anyways, my landlord (who is also the landlord of the tenant downstairs) has told me not to have a bath or shower and that my whole bathroom floor needs to be ripped out to find and repair the leak. I appreciate that the leak needs to be fixed but I also need access to my bathroom and can’t go potentially weeks without having a shower or using the sink.

I’d really appreciate anybody informing me of my rights. I’ve tried to look but I can only find the landlords responsibility for the flat downstairs.

Thanks everyone.

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Tenant

Hi George, thanks for posting in our forum.

This is quite a predicament, as clearly the leak must be sorted, but you are going to be quite inconvenienced without the use of a bathroom. And these sorts of things can often take longer than expected.

It is good that the landlord is taking action; have you been given an estimate on how long the work will take? If it is reasonable and you can find alternative arrangements for bathing, then you could negotiate a reduction in your rent.

The Shelter website states that you can request a rebate of rent but only after the work has been done:

‘If you haven’t been able to use your home, or part of it because of disrepair, you may be entitled to a reduction or refund of rent – this is called an ‘abatement of rent’. You may be able to claim for inconvenience and disrepair, and the amount you can claim will depend on how much of your home is uninhabitable. If no part of the house can be used, 100 per cent of the rent may be reduced/refunded. If only part of the house is unusable then the rent will be reduced proportionally.’

See their site for more information: http://england.shelter.org.uk/get_advice/repairs_and_bad_conditions/common_problems/compensation_for_disrepair

If the amount of time is unreasonable, you may have to consider the possibility of moving out. Shelter has advice regarding this matter also:
http://england.shelter.org.uk/get_advice/repairs_and_bad_conditions/common_problems/moving_due_to_disrepair

Best of luck.

Disclaimer: This information is derived from personal experience and should not be relied upon as a definitive or accurate interpretation of the law.

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