Rui has been the tenant since 1995 of one of six self-contained flats in a small purpose built block. The landlord is a housing association. All tenants have the use of the shared entrance hall and stairway. The tenant of the ground floor flat Gerit has sublet their flat for the past year while on secondment abroad for their employer. Gerit left most of the furniture in the flat, but removed his personal possessions. Gerrit’s subtenant Susie has a habit of leaving her household rubbish bags in the entrance hallway, filling the hallway and stairway with a very unpleasant smell. The bags also present an obstacle to anybody trying to walk along the narrow entrance hall, especially Rui who has difficulties walking.
Rui has mentioned the problem to Susie several times, without any change in Susie’s behaviour. Rui has also informed the landlord’s agent, who so far has taken no action.
i. What action is open to the landlord to take, in response to Rui’s complaint?
ii. Can Rui compel the landlord to take action?
iii. Can Rui lawfully stop paying rent until the problem is remedied?
Support your answers with reference to statute and case law.
“The secure tenancy of the Housing Act 1985 provided significant security of tenure to social housing tenants although the extent of security has been whittled away over the years. Tenants in the private rented sector have fared much worse however, in terms of loss of security.”
Discuss, making appropriate reference to legislation, policy and academic comment.
The House of Commons Select Committee on Communities and Local Government has recently published a report on Homelessness (available at https://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201617/cmselect/cmcomloc/40/40.pdf).
Critically examine the suggestions made in the report to deal with this issue, focusing on the relevant legal regime and any alternatives to the existing law proposed or discussed by the Committee.