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Question

Landlord Responsibility for Repairs and Maintenance (England) | Landlord Wants Tenant to Leave (England) | Preventing Controlling and Recovering Rent Arrears (England)

How best to deal with a problem tenant..

19 Jun 2020 | 1 comment

I sent a question in last week regarding a tenant complaining about repairs to her conservatory roof taking a long time.

She is still witholding rent and demanding compensation. She owes £2025 (her rent is £625) so is well over 2 months in arrears.

The tenant texted me today to say she is going to report the matter as I am “taking her for a mug”. I’m doing everything in my power to get the roof fixed and am only pursuing her for rent as that’s my job and I work for the landlord, not her and that’s what I’m being instructed to keep doing.

To make things worse, the landlord instructed me to send a letter which will arrive tomorrow morning offering the tenant £200 in compensation, to be deducted from the arrears IF she pays the outstanding £1825 within 7 days.

If she doesn’t, the landlord wants me to serve her notice. The landlord thinks she is using the leaking roof as an excuse to not pay rent and her family have advised her to get the tenant out.

Do I need to seek legal advice on this, incase she complains about me in particular? I’m a member of the Property Redress Scheme, do I send her the complaints procedure or would that be encouraging her?

In the landlord’s eyes, she has had full use of the rest of her 3 bed house so should have been paying rent despite the leaking conservatory roof. How long does one spend in a conservatory anyway?

Yes, the repair took longer than anyone expected and it’s not our fault it has leaked again but we are trying our best between us to get it sorted out for her, even though she hasn’t paid her rent and sends long ranting messages most evenings and weekends.

Working for yourself sucks sometimes, when there’s no one to to deflect the nasty stuff onto.  Any advice appreciated before another weekend is ruined wondering what she’s going to threaten me with next!

Answer

1 Comment

  1. Imported

    07/12/2018 4:05 pm

    We agree with everything you have said (and the landlord). It’s unlikely the court would rule she’s entitled to a rent free house. Yes, there “might” be some compensation due (but not if everybody has done everything they can) but it will be based on the usage of the room etc. If it were a bedroom, it would likely be higher than a conservatory for example.

    In any event it’s likely her claim is against the landlord for the lack of repair as opposed to yourself.

    As long as your membership of the redress scheme is displayed prominently in your office and website (if any) then that’s all that’s needed. Otherwise only give the details if asked in our view.

    There would be no harm in serving both a section 8 and 21 notice if the landlord instructs. The landlord might choose not to act upon the section 8 due to the repairs but there’s no problem in just serving the notice.

    For a measure of damages for breach of landlord’s covenant, please see here.

    guildy

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