Can I pay less rent if landlord doesn’t fix things?
Can I pay less rent if landlord doesn’t fix things? It’s frustrating dealing with a landlord who ignores requests to fix issues in your rental property. You may wonder – can I legally pay less rent until my landlord makes needed repairs? In this blog post, we’ll look at your options as a tenant in England or Wales.
When You Can Withhold Rent:
There are very limited situations where you can lawfully withhold rent payments under the Landlord and Tenant Act. This is only permitted if:
- The disrepair is severe enough to make the property unsafe or uninhabitable
- You have informed your landlord of the problem in writing and given reasonable time to repair
- You place the withheld rent money in a government-approved escrow account
Unless these strict conditions are met, your landlord can begin eviction proceedings for non-payment of rent. So withholding rent is very risky in most repair situations.
Seeking a Rent Reduction:
A safer option is to request a rent reduction if your landlord refuses repairs. You can propose paying 10-50% less rent until the landlord fixes the problem.
To do this effectively:
- Reference your tenancy agreement terms on repairs and rent obligations
- Outline in writing how the disrepair reduces your ability to enjoy the property
- State you believe a rent reduction of x amount is fair until full repairs are made
- Consult a solicitor to ensure your request is valid
If the landlord denies the reduction, you can open negotiations or make a rent tribunal claim. With evidence of the disrepair, you may be granted a legal rent decrease.
Pursuing Other Options:
Besides a rent reduction, consider:
- Reporting health/safety issues to your local council
- Contacting a tenants’ rights group for advice
- Seeking mediation to resolve the dispute
- Ultimately, terminating the tenancy may be required.
Withholding rent without proper procedures rarely ends well for tenants. Seek legal advice to determine if a rent reduction request could motivate your landlord to finally make needed repairs.
Housing Disrepair Advice: https://housingdisrepairadvice.org/contact
Housing Ombudsman: https://www.housing-ombudsman.org.uk/