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Milton

Scum Landlords Who Break The Law Because They Can

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I would appreciate some advice from someone who is knowledgeable on this subject.

A family member, [tenant] slipped recently and put a small crack in the bath in their rented house.

[He has been there for a few years. Tenant has Never met the landlord. Never broken anything before.]

The tenancy agreement states that they are covered under the landlords insurers for this type of accidental damage.

The Landlord and Tenant act 1985 states that the landlord must repair this type of damage.

(to keep in repair and proper working order the installations in the dwelling for the supply of water, gas, electricity and for sanitation (including basins, sinks, baths and sanitary conveniences) but not other fixtures, fittings and appliances for making use of the supply of water, gas or electricity,

They quoted these clauses to The Estate Agent who would not respond, in writing. We belive they are purposefully attempting to keep their client, and push the repair cost onto the tenant.

The tenant demanded a plumber be sent round. One was sent, who quoted 250 to repair it. But he would not give the quote to the tenant in writing.

[Turns out he's not a real plumber but a friend of the landlord]

The Landlord simply refuses to pay for it.

He agrees its covered under his Insurance, but he says it might affect his premiums. So he says the tenant must pay for it.

[Caused a lot of arguments between the tenant and his partner. They are on low wages. They cannot really afford the time and cost to go to court, and of course if the Industry was regulated AT ALL they would not have to]

If a landlord fails to carry out the repair work which they are responsible for then the tenant may try and obtain a court order to ensure the work is carried out. However, this process is costly and time-consuming.

Any suggestions on how to deal with these scumbags?

Information taken from here: Tenancy Agreement Service

Edited by Milton

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I'm confused by the ambiguity. From the same source, the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985, you have different interpretations of the meaning.

1.] Here, it States:

http://www.mypropert...d-landlords.htm

Assuming that your tenancy is an Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement (AST) your Landlord will have certain statutory obligations under The Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 in relation to how the property is maintained and repaired:

to keep in repair and proper working order the installations in the dwelling for the supply of water, gas, electricity and for sanitation (including basins, sinks, baths and sanitary conveniences)

The tenant has a duty to act in a tenant like manner so for example if you were to accidentally break a window at the property this would be down to your carelessness and you would be responsible for the repair yourself.

2.] Yet here, it states:

Under the Landlord and Tenant Act, 1985, landlords are obligated to keep the structure and exterior of the property in a good state of repair. You are entitled to incorporate potential cost of repairs into the rent you charge, but you may not charge the tenants separately for repair to any of the things mentioned You have final responsibility for ensuring that the following areas are safe and fit for use, as well as effecting repairs when necessary to restore them to a fair condition
  • Basins, sinks, baths and other sanitary or drainage installations.

Does this mean that he would have to pay for a window, but not for a bath, sink basin, or sanitary convenience?

That's what it reads like to me.

Edited by Milton

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I would appreciate some advice from someone who is knowledgeable on this subject.

A family member, [tenant] slipped recently and put a small crack in the bath in their rented house.

[He has been there for a few years. Tenant has Never met the landlord. Never broken anything before.]

The tenancy agreement states that they are covered under the landlords insurers for this type of accidental damage.

Sounds unlikely to me. Tenant's insurance more likely (some household contents policies explicitly cover accidental damage to landlord's property).

The Landlord and Tenant act 1985 states that the landlord must repair this type of damage.

Sounds almost equally unlikely. The 1985 act deals with long leases: the type you take out a mortgage for and get [many] years for a nominal rent of, say, £10/year. That would be the structure of the property, but certainly not fixtures and fittings. Did you get any of that from a lawyer?

I'd certainly expect to have to pay if I damaged the landlord's bath. But in contrast, I expect the landlord will pay to fix the grouting around it: the deterioration there being fair wear and tear.

IANAL.

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Sounds unlikely to me. Tenant's insurance more likely (some household contents policies explicitly cover accidental damage to landlord's property).

The Tenancy agreement states that the landlord must have insurance as must the tenant have contents insurance. [Different from baths]

The Landlords insurance does cover 'damage' caused by the tenant. The Landlord has admitted as much through the Estate Agent. The Insurance company have told him he is covered. But the Landlord is able to refuse simply because he doesnt want his premium to go up. [Even though it wont] So refuses to pay for it.

The 1985 act deals with long leases..................I'd certainly expect to have to pay if I damaged the landlord's bath........

You obviously didnt click on the link I provided. It's Bona Fide. And relevant to shorthold tenancy agreements.

The Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 refers to all short leases for residential property and tenancies agreed for a period of less than seven years i.e. Assured Shorthold Tenancies.

This Act came into effect on 30th October 1985 and applies to all short leases (of less than seven years) and periodic tenancies.

The Act states that where a short lease of less then seven years or periodic tenancy is in place then the landlord is responsible:

(a to keep in repair the structure and exterior of the dwelling, including drains, gutters and external pipes,

(b to keep in repair and proper working order the installations in the dwelling for the supply of water, gas, electricity and for sanitation (including basins, sinks, baths and sanitary conveniences) but not other fixtures, fittings and appliances for making use of the supply of water, gas or electricity, and

(c to keep in repair and proper working order the installation in the dwelling for space heating and heating water .

(Section 11, Landlord and Tenant Act, 1985)

Ive had enough of this.

Looks like he's going to have to pay for it. Even though he clearly should not have to. These acts are as worthless as the paper they are written on.

As he cannot afford the time and expense of the legal route.

There is not point in having these regulations, without a governing body, to issue rulings. And if real penalties, were introduced, Im sure the Estate Agent would tell the Landlord exactly what their obligations are.

The Entire Industry needs serious regulation. Its full or charlatans, and robbers.

You just cant get anywhere in this godforsaken country. Everything is purposefully piled against you.

Bring on more riots.

Edited by Milton

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The other option is just to bodge the job yourself, I once knew someone who painted the bath with ordinary white gloss house paint - I'm sure that would have lasted about a week, but somehow he got his full deposit back when moving out.

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Section 11 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985, which amongst other things imposes upon a landlord the obligation to repair baths, applies to residential tenancies of less than 7 years whether or not ASTs. The only possible exception would be if the damage was caused wilfully. If the landlord chooses not to make an insurance claim that is his problem. The tenant cannot insure the bath because he has no obligation to repair it and therefore has no insurable interest. In any event, a bath is not "contents", but a fixture.

The OP can make a claim through the county court. Since the value will be under the limit the matter should be assigned to the small claims track. The OP should send a letter before action and if the landlord fails to repair or replace the bath, sue.

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Section 11 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985, which amongst other things imposes upon a landlord the obligation to repair baths, applies to residential tenancies of less than 7 years whether or not ASTs. The only possible exception would be if the damage was caused wilfully. If the landlord chooses not to make an insurance claim that is his problem. The tenant cannot insure the bath because he has no obligation to repair it and therefore has no insurable interest. In any event, a bath is not "contents", but a fixture.

The OP can make a claim through the county court. Since the value will be under the limit the matter should be assigned to the small claims track. The OP should send a letter before action and if the landlord fails to repair or replace the bath, sue.

You understanding is perfect.

However, the legal route would be a lot of hassle and time and expense. And frankly its an alien process full of unknowns.

And the bath/shower would still be broken. The tenant is filthy after work.

Finally, the Landlord, after he was found to be liable to repair the bath, using his insurance, could be spiteful and vindictive, and could simply evict them with a couple of months notice. Which he undoubtedly would if he was summoned to court and lost.

[The tenant paid for the place painted, and decorated when they moved in.] Plus it is very conveniently located for the tenant's place of work.

The role of the Dispute Service [for the Tenancy Deposit scheme] should be enlarged to encompass these kinds of disputes as part of their remmittance, as well as disputes over the bond. An immediate ruling from an independent arbitrator.

Many tenants feel they have nowhere to turn. And feel completely powerless to fight back.

Edited by Milton

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There comes a point in any dispute which remains unresolved where you are faced with a choice: give up or take legal action, whether it be through a court or some tribunal or arbitration service - all of which (in the case of a straightforward dispute) are an equal hassle but also equally informal. You are quite right that "wrongdoers" rely on inaction by the "wronged" whether the issue is one of landlord and tenant or something else, but the fact remains that the machinery is there to right wrongs. I do not see what can be done other than to make the machinery available - anything else suggests righting wrongs without a proper investigation. If people do not use the power they have to right wrongs no progress will be made and, to use your words, scum landlords will continue to break the law because they can.

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Dunno, but maybe try having a bath twice a day.

See how long it takes to get fixed that way.

good point...a crack leaking water will destroy the fabric of the house....and his insurance would be invalidated as he didnt take steps to recitfy.

Edited by Bloo Loo

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  • 285 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

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