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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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    (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?

    Any advice on this would be amazing.

    Thanks.
    Hi,

    I'm certainly no legal expert my advice is thus.

    You do not have a legal right to withhold rent (except to carry out repairs yourself, but the process is strict and I wouldn't recommend it) so I certainly would not suggest doing that. If you feel that there has been a breach of contract then you are entitled to claim damages in the same way as you can for any breach of contract but you will need to be able to support your case.

    I think it is likely that the court would want to see that you had attempted to resolve the issues with your landlord which would probably involve writing to them explaining which clauses of your tenancy you feel they have breached and asking for these breaches to be rectified otherwise you will take court action. Turning the communal room into a bedroom might breach the contract but you will have to interpret that yourself (or ask CAB).

    Lastly, if you do decide to make a claim you are going to want to have photos to show, a chronological explanation of the actions made by each party, receipts of any costs incurred and I would imagine copies of any correspondence between the two of you (letters, emails etc.).

    Best of luck.
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    My first suggestion is to speak to your Student Union's housing officer to get some advice.

    I think you're right about your first option. If the property's in that state, the landlord doesn't care and you're unlikely to win a court case. Did you raise issues with them in writing, about the problems that existed when you first moved in? Otherwise there's no point bringing them into your current argument.

    Skipping rent would indeed put your Dad in the legal firing line as your guarantor, so that's really not the way to go. Even if he has no assets, it would mean months - potentially years - of legal nonsense targetted at him. As a retired pensioner with no property, savings or significant possessions, he's already in a precarious position. Extra stress won't do him any good. Another few months of you living in a sh*thole is better than the potential long-term lasting damage your actions could have on his health.
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    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/....php?t=5403665

    A suspiciously similar post eh? Well, I agree with the posters there. You are an idiot.
 
 
 
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