I have been renting out my flat since February 2020. It has an immersion tank that causes many problems.
My shower’s hot tap has barely any pressure so when I try to get the right temperature it gets overpowered by the cold water and unfortunately I can’t use it. Instead, I used my parents’ house for bathing.
I also had a leak in June and was withholding my rent. After a month, the landlady finally came by and sorted it out.
Tenants who have problems with their landlord are not advised to withhold their rent at any time
Since the shower is still not working, I also declined to pay my rent this month. Not to mention the place is riddled with mold and after living here for two weeks my walls were covered in mold.
What rights do I have? Do I have to withhold my rent until it is sorted?
Grace Gausden, This is Money, replies: Unfortunately, you had quite a bit of bad luck after moving to a new flat in February.
If not being able to shower isn’t bad enough, you’ve also dealt with a leak and mold, which can be incredibly bad for your health if you don’t treat it.
As such, you withheld rent because you discovered that your landlady was not taking any steps.
However, despite the delay, tenants are always advised to keep paying the rent as this could lead to a potential lawsuit if it is not paid.
Litigation with landlords is always difficult because you want to keep things civil, but also make sure that all necessary work is done.
Your landlord is responsible for most major repairs to your home if you rent privately, including repairs to hot water or heating, such as your shower.
When contacting your landlady, make sure to send enough photos and emails so that you have an overview of the complaints.
Once the landlord has been notified, corrective action should be taken as soon as possible. However, there is currently no set timeline for when they should take action.
Having fungus is unpleasant, but it can be difficult to know who is responsible for clearing it up
You also said that the flat is “riddled” with mold, which could mean that it could be unsuitable for human habitation.
However, with moisture, it is not always easy to find out if your landlord is responsible for fixing this problem as it can be difficult to find the exact cause of moisture without the help of a surveyor unless it is clear, such as a leak. roof.
This will be the case in most situations, but you may also need to take action, such as increasing ventilation in the premises and ensuring that you dry wet clothes outside if possible.
Check your lease and speak with your landlord before taking any drastic measures to deal with the moisture.
If you still think your home is unsafe, contact your local council housing department.
They will conduct a Housing Health and Safety Rating System assessment and should take action if they think your home has serious health and safety risks.
Another option is to seek help from Citizens Advice, who can provide you with more tailored solutions to your problem.
If all else fails, you can take the matter to court. Hiring a specialist attorney who regularly deals with landlord and tenancy law is the best course of action. However, this should always be the very last option as it will be costly.
Tenants should always read their contract when resolving a dispute with their landlord
A spokesperson for the Tenants Voice replies: The most important thing to advise is that under no circumstances do you have the right to withhold your rent.
A landlord’s recovery obligation is an ongoing obligation throughout the life of a lease and will occur at various times, but it is never correct for a tenant to withhold rent.
If you are rent arrears for up to two months, that is ground for compulsory possession.
The landlord’s duty with regard to what water is like to provide adequate washing and heating facilities. Adequacy is a matter of case by case.
However, if the shower is the only wash basin available, it must be in good working order and the water must be able to be heated sufficiently.
If there is an alternative washing facility such as a bath, the landlord is not obliged to install a shower. Poor water pressure wouldn’t be doable if there is enough flow to make a shower as annoying as it would be.
With regard to mold, it is a health hazard under the Homes Health and Safety Classification System and must be reported to the Environmental Health Officer of the local council.
If the landlord continues to refuse or fail to remedy any forfeiture, action may be taken against him under sections 11 and 9A of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 or sections 79 to 82 Environmental Protection Act 1990.
Adam French, which one? Consumer Rights Expert, answers: Moisture and mold can be a common problem in rental properties. Depending on the cause and type of mold, it’s usually the landlord’s responsibility to fix it, so make sure to report it.
If it is the landlord’s responsibility, but he takes no action, and the fungus is causing ill health or making the home unsafe, gather evidence, including a medical letter, and report it to the local environmental health department to inspect the home.
If the landlord still refuses to make repairs to make sure the property is safe, the tenant may consider using alternative dispute resolution or starting legal proceedings as a last resort.
Some of the links in this article may be affiliate links. If you click on it, we may earn a small commission. That helps us fund This Is Money and keep it free. We do not write articles to promote products. We do not allow commercial relationships to affect our editorial independence.