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  • FIRST POST
    • Ezima1995
    • By Ezima1995 11th Jun 19, 9:03 PM
    • 7Posts
    • 6Thanks
    Ezima1995
    Reducing My Rent - Landlord Won't Respond
    • #1
    • 11th Jun 19, 9:03 PM
    Reducing My Rent - Landlord Won't Respond 11th Jun 19 at 9:03 PM
    Hi all,

    First post, so go easy...

    Essentially, I have been renting my current abode for approximately 6.5 months on a 12 month contract. It's an apartment located on the 12th floor of a high-rise block - one which has failed the recent cladding tests and is due to have work carried out to change the cladding in July. I'm unsure of the extent of works that will be completed between now and when I leave (October 2019), but understandably knowing that the works are coming I thought it would be a good idea to ask my landlord if I could reduce the rent. Minor works and disruptions have already been carried out, and the building has had a couple of fire scares due to occupants chucking cigarettes off their balconies (causing a fire) and my neighbour had his fusebox (something electrical but unsure what exactly) melt the other day.

    It started with the disruptions that would hinder my experience of living here (I'm paying a lot of money for a balcony water view - which will be ruined by scaffolding & fire works), but it's become more of a fear of my home becoming a burning inferno. Recent flat fires across the UK DO NOT give me hope. I know the landlord has no control over this whatsoever, it's not their fault, and that's why I politely asked for a reduction of 100 (from 800pcm).

    Long story short, I requested this reduction 45 DAYS ago, only to have two messages a few days after from the landlord's agent saying that the landlord was talking to property management? I have now sent a final email informing the agent that I will be reducing my rent to 700pcm unless the landlord gets back in touch to accept or negotiate. It definitely seems that they're trying their luck to delay any response for as long as possible to get as close to the end of tenancy as possible.

    I'm really unsure if how I responded is right, I'd really appreciate some thoughts on what I did, and possibly what I should do next? Can the landlord take action against me if I reduce my rent without his permission? My family and colleagues said that this action would be best to force their hand, but I'm not sure...

    Thanks in advance,

    Alex
Page 1
    • anselld
    • By anselld 11th Jun 19, 9:16 PM
    • 6,428 Posts
    • 6,369 Thanks
    anselld
    • #2
    • 11th Jun 19, 9:16 PM
    • #2
    • 11th Jun 19, 9:16 PM
    Don't reduce rent unilaterally. You are in a contract and yes, the L will take action against you if you fail to pay the agreed rent.

    You don't have a strong negotiating position so the best you could do is ask nicely, which you have done, and you have got your answer. Issuing ultimatums is really not going to help your case.
    • da_rule
    • By da_rule 11th Jun 19, 9:17 PM
    • 3,541 Posts
    • 3,210 Thanks
    da_rule
    • #3
    • 11th Jun 19, 9:17 PM
    • #3
    • 11th Jun 19, 9:17 PM
    You have no right to impose a decrease in rent.

    The landlord is not obliged to respond to such a request.

    You signed a contract agreeing to pay a certain level of rent for a certain period of time. If you fail to do so your landlord can sue you for the shortfall and also his costs in having to sue you.

    If you can identify a term of the tenancy agreement that the landlord is breaking in regards to the building works then you can take action for that breach, if you are suffering a loss. However, withholding rent puts you in breach too.
    • elsien
    • By elsien 11th Jun 19, 9:19 PM
    • 19,851 Posts
    • 50,413 Thanks
    elsien
    • #4
    • 11th Jun 19, 9:19 PM
    • #4
    • 11th Jun 19, 9:19 PM
    Of course you can't just unilaterally reduce your rent then expect no comeback. Your flat is still habitable and as the work hasn't started yet you don't acually know how disruptive it will be.
    How did you come up with the 100 figure - just picked a number?

    Read this before you make things worse for yourself:
    https://england.shelter.org.uk/housing_advice/repairs/rent_reductions_when_repairs_are_a_problem

    You're far better living off in a block where you know the work is being done, rather than one of those where they're still arguing about it.
    Last edited by elsien; 11-06-2019 at 9:22 PM.
    All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.

    Pedant alert - it's could have, not could of.
    • Ezima1995
    • By Ezima1995 11th Jun 19, 10:16 PM
    • 7 Posts
    • 6 Thanks
    Ezima1995
    • #5
    • 11th Jun 19, 10:16 PM
    • #5
    • 11th Jun 19, 10:16 PM
    Thank you for all your responses, it looks like asking for a reduction is ok, but giving demands is not. I think I've put myself into a negative position by doing this so I feel a bit silly now. Hopefully I hear back from the landlord, and if I do I shall provide an update to my situation.

    Fingers crossed the works beginning next month aren't too disruptive and I'll be out of here soon ha ha!

    Thanks again all :-)
    • FBaby
    • By FBaby 12th Jun 19, 6:08 AM
    • 17,183 Posts
    • 42,186 Thanks
    FBaby
    • #6
    • 12th Jun 19, 6:08 AM
    • #6
    • 12th Jun 19, 6:08 AM
    Your argument is laughable. You claim to be scared for your life, how will 100 a month reduce that concern? Also, why would the LL agree to reduce rent on the basis of work impacting on your life before even knowing it will happen? For all they know, the work will be phased starting on the other side of the building and you'll leave before they start on 6iyr side.

    I would have laughed at the request, put it in the bin and ignored it too.
    • Chandler85
    • By Chandler85 12th Jun 19, 7:25 AM
    • 48 Posts
    • 60 Thanks
    Chandler85
    • #7
    • 12th Jun 19, 7:25 AM
    • #7
    • 12th Jun 19, 7:25 AM
    You realise that replacing the cladding isn't really that disruptive, with the exception of your view being ruined.


    The cladding also failed fire tests that were near impossible to pass for it, no cladding passed it as far as I am aware.. So they changed the test to make the best stuff pass.


    You do also realise that as tragic as Grenfell was, and that the cladding was an issue, it was the installation of the cladding with made it a deathtrap. Similar building with the same cladding have had fires and they haven't spread because the proper firestops were put in place. Fires in high ride buildings happen a lot.



    High Rise buildings are designed so each flat is a compartment, and the fires get contained within the apartment, if the contractor put cladding on the building but maintained proper fire stops then the flats are still a proper compartment, and the fire won't spread (well not easily and you'll get out).


    I appreciate that you don't know, and the owners of the building also probably don't know, whether the contractor/ builder definitely installed the cladding properly.
    • Ezima1995
    • By Ezima1995 13th Jun 19, 9:00 PM
    • 7 Posts
    • 6 Thanks
    Ezima1995
    • #8
    • 13th Jun 19, 9:00 PM
    • #8
    • 13th Jun 19, 9:00 PM
    Thank you again for your responses. I appreciate that my initial response was ill-judged, I just panicked. Terrible reaction I know. I accept that I'm in the wrong and have sent an apologetic email to the agent and landlord.

    They have suggested negotiating an early release so will see what happens there. Dumb dumb me!
    • zagubov
    • By zagubov 13th Jun 19, 11:19 PM
    • 16,485 Posts
    • 134,294 Thanks
    zagubov
    • #9
    • 13th Jun 19, 11:19 PM
    • #9
    • 13th Jun 19, 11:19 PM
    Due to a variety of reasons, accommodation costs in UK cities are rarely negotiable by the tenants. It might be common elsewhere, but cities here have high-rises due to accommodation pressure on scarce building land.

    Weirdly,I've got a feeling if you'd asked for a reduction of 97.53 because you'd calculated the inconvenience to the nearest penny, I suspect you might actually have had a better chance.

    Loads of people in the big money fields believe in massive approximations and stick endless zeroes on the end of their prices, because they can't be bothered to work out the real value/cost or worth of what they're dealing with, because, in turn, they can't be bothered with / are too lazy for precision
    There is no honour to be had in not knowing a thing that can be known - Danny Baker
    • paddy's mum
    • By paddy's mum 14th Jun 19, 8:12 AM
    • 3,798 Posts
    • 13,601 Thanks
    paddy's mum

    They have suggested negotiating an early release
    Originally posted by Ezima1995
    I suspect they are either very kind/sympathetic to your worries or else just relieved that they can get rid of a tiresome tenant without much more trouble or expense.

    For future reference, it usually pays to ask for advice before chucking your toys out of the pram not try to find out how to proceed once damage is done.

    We were all young once and I certainly made my share of mistakes in life. Smile, learn from it and I wish you better luck in your next home.
    • Ezima1995
    • By Ezima1995 18th Jun 19, 6:14 PM
    • 7 Posts
    • 6 Thanks
    Ezima1995
    Just to let you know, the landlord decided to compensate me 50 pcm for the last three months of my tenancy. Must have felt sorry for me! Little bit of relief
    • diggingdude
    • By diggingdude 18th Jun 19, 8:19 PM
    • 1,191 Posts
    • 1,620 Thanks
    diggingdude
    Think yourself very lucky
    House owner as of 27.3.2019
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