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Considering stopping paying my rent due to issues. Consequences? Watch

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    Hi,

    I am currently renting a Student House with 4 friends. We have separate contracts and guarantors so I am under the apprehension that any decision I make will not effect them.

    Basically ever since I moved, I've had issues with the house. For instance: My room has been mouldy/damp. My curtains had severe mould/damp. The house in general was not cleaned since the previous tenants. And the upstairs communal room had been converted into a bedroom half way through our tenancy agreement which surely is also a breach of contract?

    I'm basically torn between two choices and would like some advice.

    Choice One - I complete my tenancy agreement and then submit a letter to my landlord highlighting the issues and request some money back. (Such as the first 2 months rent back while all the issues were being solved). However, my concern with this method would be that he can simply say no and then I would have to take him to a small claims court which is stressful/costly/risky.

    Choice Two - I don't pay my final 3/4 months rent as I will be leaving the house early to return back home (200 miles away) anyway. I could then submit the letter saying these are the reasons why and if you wish to take me to court I will defend it with this. The concern I have with this method is that if my landlord took me to court I may well lose and be in a worse position? - However, I have a guarantor (my Dad) so would they chase him for it/take him to court instead? - If this was the case it would be fine because he's a retired pensioner who has no assets or money so it would be declared unobtainable anyway?

    Any advice on this would be amazing.

    Thanks.
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    Have you talked to someone at your uni, if you're a student? If you do stop paying your rent, then they could just throw you out.
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    you don't really have any options, you can't withold rent, it would have to be pretty extreme circumstances for this to be okay (e.g. your flat had burnt down and you physically couldn't live there) and your landlord isn't going to reimburse you

    and yes, they will chase your dad... just chalk it up to experience and try and get a better property next time
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    It is a royal ball ache but I would stick to your side of the contract. Have you notified your landlord in writing of the problems you have mentioned? Also, does your contract specify anything specific about the condition or maintenance of the room? I think the point here, is that it is you that should be taking him to court, not the other way around. Apparently the small claims court is pretty good at settling matters like this but it is something you don't need right now.

    That said, I think everyone stays in at least one sh1t pit in their life. I certainly did and so did my wife. Put it down to experience.
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    Have you been chasing to get issues sorted?
    A bit of mould and damp doesn't warrant 4 months rent though! Talk about overestimating.
    Most student houses have a bit... Mine certainly have. Have you attempted to clean it yourself and solve the problems?
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    Don't do anything without talking to your student welfare and Citizens Advice. If you think your house is sub standard, ask the local council to look at it. What do the other tenants think?

    Its a stupid idea to withhold rent and make them chase your father for it. I don't think your father would be very impressed if he had to go to court or pay the rent plus debt collector's fees if you don't pay.
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    (Original post by Anonymous44)
    Hi,

    I am currently renting a Student House with 4 friends. We have separate contracts and guarantors so I am under the apprehension that any decision I make will not effect them.

    Basically ever since I moved, I've had issues with the house. For instance: My room has been mouldy/damp. My curtains had severe mould/damp. The house in general was not cleaned since the previous tenants. And the upstairs communal room had been converted into a bedroom half way through our tenancy agreement which surely is also a breach of contract?

    I'm basically torn between two choices and would like some advice.

    Choice One - I complete my tenancy agreement and then submit a letter to my landlord highlighting the issues and request some money back. (Such as the first 2 months rent back while all the issues were being solved). However, my concern with this method would be that he can simply say no and then I would have to take him to a small claims court which is stressful/costly/risky.

    Choice Two - I don't pay my final 3/4 months rent as I will be leaving the house early to return back home (200 miles away) anyway. I could then submit the letter saying these are the reasons why and if you wish to take me to court I will defend it with this. The concern I have with this method is that if my landlord took me to court I may well lose and be in a worse position? - However, I have a guarantor (my Dad) so would they chase him for it/take him to court instead? - If this was the case it would be fine because he's a retired pensioner who has no assets or money so it would be declared unobtainable anyway?
    Hi OP , I'm a landlord, let me help you out.

    Firstly, if you have not communicated this with your landlord previously, your argument is weak.

    Option 1: This is where you go wrong, which I highlighted in bold. If you have moved into a property, knowing there is mould on the walls, and the property isn't in the best state, then you shouldn't move there, or negotiate lower rent. You can't suddenly state that now after you have been there for x months, there is "suddenly" a problem . It just looks like you're avoiding rent and your argument in this case is very weak. Like I said, don't move somewhere if you don't feel the conditions are suitable.

    Secondly, you need to put evidence to why the mould on the curtains etc is equivalent to 3-4 months rent. Have you got this independently evaluated? How do you know this doesn't cost £30 to rectify?

    Option 2: if you do wish to forget the last few months contract, the landlord could well take your deposit and throw you out for non-payment. With regards to your Dad being a guarantor, he would have signed that document confirming that any rent arrears you may have, he would be able to pay on your behalf, so if it turns out that he is also unable to pay , then he could be in a lot of trouble too.

    Just pay OP.
 
 
 
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