Here is a question to the blog clinic from Sue, whose daughters are tenants.
My daughters have been renting an upstairs flat which has patio doors leading onto a roof top terrace. The patio doors will not lock ( the key they have been given seems to be incorrect).
Despite asking on numerous occasions and promises that it will be fixed nothing has been done. They are concerned re their personal safety and contents insurance.
They have been in the property 4 months now.
What can they do?
The seriousness of this situation depends on whether anyone else could have access to the roof top terrace.
So if it is completely inaccessible other from inside their flat the situation is less urgent. However even so they will want to lock the doors.
I would suggest that they write to the agents saying that they are concerned that they have failed to provide keys for the doors. Point out that not only are there personal safety issues but this could also affect their insurance.
Say that they will give the agents 21 days to arrange for either keys to be provided or a new lock fixed. If the situation is not dealt with by then they will be arranging for a locksmith to attend and get the work done and will be deducting the money from their rent.
Then add that in the meantime, if the lack of a proper lock results in any loss or injury, they will hold the landlord and agent personally responsible and liable to reimburse them for this.
This should be a proper letter, not a text or email and should be hand delivered to the agents with an independent witness. Maybe get someone to sign to confirm receipt (just to show them that you are serious about this).
If the matter is not resolved within the time limit, then they should arrange for locksmiths to fit a new lock and deduct the cost from the rent.
Note by the way that if the agents try to deduct this from their deposit at the end of the tenancy, they should not let this be resolved by adjudication as this is not something that adjudicators can deal with – they will need to have the dispute resolved via the Small Claims Court.