UK Property Law
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Thanks for your question.
You can treat the contract as terminated if the breach is a breach of so fundamental a term that it goes to the root of the contract to effectively deny her the benefit of the contract. If the property does not meet fire regs and there are also health and safety failings then you could probably claim this as such a breach (legally termed a "repudiatory breach") and terminate the contract.
You must be able to prove the breach so that they do not claim to seek loss from you and I would suggest that you get a statement from building control to this effect and corroborate it with photos that your daughter takes. Also ask to be notified of any enforcement action they take against them.
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Landlord is saying that he will be given time by the authorities to address these issues but this will not be resolved by the 28th June - day of moving in. At the time of signing the contract back in January, would she have been signing for a property that met all HMO standards?
Well if the the property did not have gas safety certificate or electrical test certificate then it would not meet HMO standards.
I think she could probably terminate now, but certainly can do so if the problems persist on teh 28th June.
She should also speak to the HMO licensing department to see if they investigate the breaches of the HMO licence, in which case he would be in breach of the licensing law were he to attempt to enforce the agreement.
I hope this clarifies.
I will speak with the HMO dept guys tomorrow.
Yes, I think this is your best way of getting on the front foot here.