Ceiling collapsed and landlord/agent refusing to offer compensation

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Dear Sir/Madam,

My daughter is a tenant of a 2 bedroom flat and last week the ceiling in the lounge collapsed damaging her own furniture and clothes. The area of collapse was serious and comprised of about two thirds of the lounge ceiling. My daughter had previously reported that the ceiling showed signs of damp.

As a result, my daughter has been staying with friends and occasionally staying at the flat whilst the repairs are carried out, hence she has not had full enjoyment of the property so she has held back this months rent and has asked the agent to ask the landlord for some compensation. The agent has stated that the landlord has flatly refused to consider compensation and if she doesn't pay the rent by Friday an eviction notice will be served. Furthermore, the agent has hinted that my daughter is liable for the damage to the lounge carpet (a hint I guess that she will loose her deposit).

The agent has stated:-

"The property you occupy is on an assured short hold tenancy and therefore the Landlord is entitled to possession at will, subject to serving the necessary legal notices. This Section 21 notice was served at the commencement of your Tenancy and expired on the 3rd November 2006."

"As previously mentioned the damage was not foreseeable and has been dealt with quickly and efficiently by this office on behalf of the Landlord. The builders working at the property have confirmed that there is no water damage or leaks into the affected area and the partial ceiling collapse could not have been foreseen. The rent was due on the 4th April and remains unpaid. If this sum is not paid in full by Friday then we shall have no option but to apply to the Courts for possession of the property."

"One of the reasons we insist upon contents insurance, and make it a part of the Tenancy Agreement signed, is to insure the Landlords carpets against such perils (Clause 9.3). Therefore I must speak to the Landlord about this point and will respond further at a later date."

The agent also refuses to provide my daughter with the postal address of the landlord. I have checked with the land registry and the address for the property owner is shown as the address of the letting agency.

What do you advise?

John Pearson

11/04/2007 00:00

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