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-   -   Landlord problems (https://britishexpats.com/forum/barbados-109/landlord-problems-526343/)

martin18 Apr 2nd 2008 5:46 pm

Landlord problems
 
Hello everyone. Wonder if you can give me some advice on how to deal with a Bajan landlord.

My landlord refuses to do most of a medium-sized list of repairs to the house we are living in. The ones he has done have taken months because he uses cheap contractors that only work on Sunday afternoons.

None of the remaining repairs are life-threatening issues, but they are necessary and not just whims. I have thought of doing the work myself and deducting the costs from the rent payments, but I'm concerned about whether that's legal or not (and whether he'll chuck us out of the house and deduct the deduction from our security deposit).

Maybe this is not a resolvable situation, but I'd still love to hear some views about how this could work in the Bajan context. (I''d be much surer of my legal rights if I was in Europe or the US....)

Thanks!

yellowsunset Apr 3rd 2008 4:16 pm

Re: Landlord problems
 
My advice would be to move! In my experience over the past 4 years you may have a long wait! It seems fairly common here too that tenancy agreements include a clause stating that tenants have to pay for minor repairs under a certain amount - which is completely different to the UK. We have had a similar situation with 2 previous properties - the first one we waited 2 years for the repairs and gave up and moved, the second one we moved after 7 months! Good luck.

Sunniebgi Apr 3rd 2008 11:17 pm

Re: Landlord problems
 

Originally Posted by martin18 (Post 6148749)
I have thought of doing the work myself and deducting the costs from the rent payments, but I'm concerned about whether that's legal or not (and whether he'll chuck us out of the house and deduct the deduction from our security deposit).

Thanks!

Have you approached him about this option?? I'm not sure that it's something that would be in a basic rental contract around here, but I certainly don't think it's illegal for you to do this. It would obviously have to be an agreement worked out between you and the landlord before you did anything.

if the list is too long and he/she is just totally unwilling, you could move. Of course the problem with that is finding another place, and getting out of your exsisting contract.

Good luck.

Foxy_fromCanada Apr 4th 2008 12:52 am

Re: Landlord problems
 

Originally Posted by Sunniebgi (Post 6155976)
Have you approached him about this option?? I'm not sure that it's something that would be in a basic rental contract around here, but I certainly don't think it's illegal for you to do this. It would obviously have to be an agreement worked out between you and the landlord before you did anything.

if the list is too long and he/she is just totally unwilling, you could move. Of course the problem with that is finding another place, and getting out of your exsisting contract.

Good luck.

This jogged my memory about a question I had. When we were in BB in February, one of the real estate agents told us that it would cost us three months' rent to break a lease if we wanted to leave early (this was for one particular residence and was not a blanket statement). I found that odd. Is that normal? We didn't end up going with that place but I was wondering all the same (in case we move at some point).

Foxy

Sunniebgi Apr 4th 2008 2:08 am

Re: Landlord problems
 
I would imagine that if you are renting, regardless of where you are, if you sign a years lease (or more), which most people would, and you leave before the end of that time, you would be responsible for paying either the remainder of the lease or paying something for breaking the contract. The only "out" on that would be if the contract said you could give a months notice or 3 months (or whatever) notice of vacating the home.

When my husband and I first rented a place here, we lived in it for 5 years. I think the first few years we actually had a years lease and would sign a new lease at the end of each year. We then ended up just paying month to month with no signed agreement for maybe a year or so, until we finally moved out. There may have been a few minor things that we did with no problems from the landlord. We rented through an agent as the Bajan Owner lived in Boston.

martin18 Apr 4th 2008 1:51 pm

Re: Landlord problems
 
Hello everyone and thanks for your responses. To Foxy from Canada, it depends on the terms of your contract, but mine has a 3 month notice period for leaving, and that's probably standard. Also, we had to pay the first and last month's rent and a one month security deposit (ouch) upon signing the contract, so they still have two months worth of our money in their hands (not a lot of point doing a runner!).

On the deducting, Sunniebgi, it's very easy to anticipate the landlord's reaction to something like that (let's just say we are not on good terms at this stage)! We would have to do it in the full knowledge of how he would take it. I'd just love to know for certain if the law would be on my side or not - suppose the only thing I could do would be to consult a lawyer ($$$!). Anyone know where I can find the law, though?

Thanks again.

Foxy_fromCanada Apr 4th 2008 11:28 pm

Re: Landlord problems
 
Thanks everyone. Good info. The security deposit thing is slightly new to me. Here in Canada (or at least my part of it), we don't (usually) have to give more than first and last month's rent at the beginning of a lease. We did, however, give first & last as well as a security deposit for our place in BB, knowing that's common.

As for breaking a lease, if I have my facts straight, here in Canada (again, my part of it), you can actually get out of the lease by giving 2 months' notice. Giving less notice than that will earn you a penalty, but by law you can break it by giving 2 months'. It's good to know how things work in BB so that we aren't surprised if we ever find ourselves in a position to terminate our lease early (which we don't anticipate doing).

Thanks again to all for your info. Hope to meet some of you in July when we arrive :)


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