Landlord advice - my absentee landlady lives in Russia and is refusing to pay for emergency plumbing that I needed as my kitchen floor was flooded with gunk from the pipes (blockage in the pipes). I moved into the place ~6mo ago and the blockage was most likely due to issues preceding my stay here. The contract states that the landlord is responsible for emergency repairs - but she's just flat out refusing. What recourses do I have in this situation?

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Could you speak to the letting agency and get them to sort it? If you don't have a letting agency then I would refuse to pay rent next month. Make sure you have receipts and emails as she may claim on insurance. Also make sure your deposit in kept in the deposit protection scheme in case she tries to retaliate by keeping it

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Refuse rent. My mate did it due to rats and they sorted it straight away. You’ll not get into trouble

Worst case scenario you pay for repairs and keep all receipts and evidence of communication with the landlord. This way, you can argue the case in small claims court and judge will favour you. Tenants do have protection here, but v important to keep all evidence. Also, do not withhold any rent at all - that will look bad on you and is illegal. Ideally, get this situation sorted out a few months before your tenancy ends, so worst case, you can deduct the repair money from the last months rent (but you’d still need to make sure she pays back your deposit - check if it is protected under a TDS)

helpfullike

Thanks! I’m a landlord so know how it is. Make sure to have clear evidence that you have asked the landlord to pay for it, and in a non threatening way, say that you’ll need to go to small claims court for it. This will work in your favour. As per posts below, also check out citizens advice.

Is she maybe not able to pay because of the Economic Sanctions limiting the flow of cash and payments in and out of Russia? Speak to lettings agent. If none get fixed. Deduct from rent but as D1 said keep receipts etc.

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Deduct it anyway. If she’s in that much economic hardship I don’t think she’ll be evicting you

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Provided you have written proof from both the plumbers report that it was likely not your fault and your reports to the landlord of the issue you are well within rights to withhold the sum you are out of pocket for repairs. You are not responsible for covering for your landlord’s financial hardship as a tenant. Would also consider reporting your landlord to the local council should they have multiple properties or HMOs in the area.

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Don’t withhold rent. It won’t play in your favour.

I reached out to citizens advice before and they were great, they also have pro-bono lawyers that can help but you’ll have to queue for a couple of hours to get seen. But very helpful.

I went to small claims court before and I had all the evidence with me and it was ruled in my favour. But I did everything by the book.

We can recommend a lot of different solutions but the reality is, we’re not lawyers. Speak to citizens advice and get help because you shouldn’t have to pay that. It’s your right to claim that money back. :)

Good luck!

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May be seek the advice of a rental lawyer

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Call your council (will be a slow response but good to have a trail). Speak with a tenants rights lawyer (your Employee Assistance Program will have one) and threaten legal action in writing to both the landlady and the letting agency.

This is full on illegal.

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Just deduct it from your rent. What's she going to do?

If she’s in Russia and struggling economically I doubt she’ll eviction

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