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THE PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATION FOR LANDLORDS

DEALING WITH COMPLAINTS

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It is especially critical to deal with complaints quickly.  If a tenant makes a complaint about something the landlord must respond in writing within 14 days.

If they don’t respond and the tenant makes the complaint to the Council and the Council issue a notice on the landlord, the landlord will not be able use a section 21 notice for the following 6 months.

It might be that the landlords response states that there is actually no problem, for example it might be that the tenant is complaining about mould in the bathroom, but the landlord keeps finding they have turned the bathroom fan off.  But if there actually is a problem it doesn’t have to be resolved within the 14 days if not possible/practical.  It might be that the landlords response states that the problem will require longer term work, and/or quotes.

The important thing is to respond in writing within the 14 day period.

 

Note additionally that the tenant can now go direct to court if they feel they have problems the landlord won’t rectify.  This is Homes (Fitness for Human HabitationAct 2018.  Note that the landlord cannot be held liable where:-

  • the unfitness was caused by the tenant’s failure to use the premises in a tenant-like manner
  • the dwelling needs to be rebuilt or reinstated following destruction or damage by fire, storm, flood or other inevitable accident
  • repair or maintenance is required to anything the tenant is entitled to remove from the dwelling
  • carrying out works or repairs would cause the landlord to breach other legal obligations, for example breaching of planning permission or listed building consent
  • the landlord requires the consent of a superior landlord or other third party (for example of a neighbouring leaseholder or freeholder, or of a council) and despite reasonable endeavours to obtain it, consent has not been given
  • the unfitness arises because of the tenant’s breach of contract, for example the tenant has denied access for repairs
  • the landlord is not liable for disrepair because of an exclusion or modification by court order under section 12 Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 – that is, where the court authorises the landlord to limit by express term in the agreement the extent of her/his repairing obligations

 

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