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Can our landlord make us move out whilst doing repairs?

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indie_chick5 | 11:51 Mon 25th Jan 2010 | Property
3 Answers
My boyfriend and I have been renting a little house off our land lord for the last seven months. The other day we noticed that there was a leak on the ceiling caused by the shower in the bathroom upstairs. The seal all around the shower is shoddy and it's leaking by the corner of the shower screen onto the wooden floor. We know this needs to be looked at but I'm worried that the landlord might need to do a lot of work to repair this. What are our rights if we are not able to stay in the house (in case he had to take the floors up)? Would he be obliged to pay for us to stay somewhere else? We cannot afford to stay in a B&B or hotel. Plus is he responsible for the cost of repairs? Thank you for any advice you are able to give.

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If the property becomes uninhabitable, which doesn't sound the case in this instance, the LL has a duty to rehouse you at his expense - either in another rental property or even in a hotel or B&B until the problem is fixed.

As I said, I dont think this is the case here and, from what you say, it should be able to be fixed without you moving out. However, if there is...
10:50 Tue 26th Jan 2010
As someone just giving an opinion I would doubt that the landlord had a duty to pay for your rent elsewhere while the job was done. But unless the problem was from misuse, and it sounds like neglected maintenence to me, the landlord is unlikely to be able to ask you for the repair cost either.

Sounds to me to be the sort of job that could be done while you are still there. He may need to check for rot and lift a few floorboards but that wouldn't take all day. Is it not the sort of thing that could be done in a day while you were out to work, or over a few days at worst.

But that is just my feeling about the situation.
if it was your own house, you would just have to manage. It does not sound that serious - why can't you fix it yourself if it is just a resealing job?

The people upstairs ignored a leak on their toilet and whilst we were away, it brought our bathroom ceiling down, wrecked the flooring, curtains etc and damaged the walls and ceilings of adjoining rooms - it cost thousands to repair, luckily insurance covered it. We had to let it dry out before it could be repaired, but you just have to get one with it and manage.
If the property becomes uninhabitable, which doesn't sound the case in this instance, the LL has a duty to rehouse you at his expense - either in another rental property or even in a hotel or B&B until the problem is fixed.

As I said, I dont think this is the case here and, from what you say, it should be able to be fixed without you moving out. However, if there is a lot of disruption, i.e. floors being taken up etc or your bathroom out of use, it might be appropriate for the LL to offer a reduction in rent while the work was ongoing.

Again, from what you say, I dont think the repairs are down to you, unless youve somehow damaged the seal around the shower, which sounds unlikely. There is a responsibility on the tenant though to inform the LL as soon as possible about any problems so that they dont escalate into something worse.

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