Compensation for Breach of Contract

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Lucy Landlord
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I am a landlord but I also rent a property for myself.

To cut a long story short, I was left unable to use one of the bathrooms in the property I'm renting for 2/3 months. It was left in a poor state of repair because there was a leak from the flat above and the letting agent did nothing about it. There was damage to the ceiling from a leak a few days before I moved in but it was repaired quickly and the agents assured me categorically that the SOURCE of the leak had been fixed so that it wouldn't happen again. This was clearly not the case, because shortly after I moved in, there was a huge leak causing extensive damage and rendering the room unusable. Obviously they didn't want to sacrifice the start of the tenancy. The problem was exacerbated by the fact that the entire air extraction system for the kitchen, bathroom and shower room never worked from the day I moved in, so I could only use the shower room instead of the bathroom and this was very unpleasant because there was no air extraction or windows.

I'm pretty confident that the agents are in breach of the tenancy as well as the Housing Act and Supply of Goods and Services Act. In short, they delayed fixing the air extraction system because it was costly, even though I told them that it was affecting my health, and they lied about the leak in the bathroom being fixed so that the tenancy wouldn't be delayed.

I'm entitled to compensation for this, but is there a formula used to calculate an appropriate amount based on the length of time and proportion of the property I couldn't use etc, or should I just use my common sense? I will obviously notify the agents of my intention in advance so that they have the opportunity to make me an offer.

I know for sure that I don't manage my own property like this and would never subject my tenants to such treatment. If I had a managing agent, they would no longer be my managing agent if they behaved like this!

Thanks for your help.

06/01/2011 00:00

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