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Thomas, Lawyer
Category: UK Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 7057
Experience:  BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
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Hi, We moved in to a Rental property on the 17th of July.

Customer Question

We moved in to a Rental property on the 17th of July. Initally we were due to move in on the 10th but were unable to do so due to the property not having been professionally cleaned or the furniture having been removed in lines with the terms of the tenancy agreement. Is our contract still valid even though it states the 10th of July or can we ask for a new contract to be written up? I forgot to mention that the property still has not been professionally cleaned!

Furthermore, we actually only received a copy of our inventory on the 3rd of September. In the interim period, we have discovered lots of issues with rising damp, penetrating damp and also mould in a cupboard, the Letting Agent and the Landlord are proving to be very difficult to deal with. Is there any way we can get out of this contract?

Thanks in advance for your time.

Craig Paxton.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: UK Property Law
Expert:  Thomas replied 5 years ago.



If you primary concern is to terminate the contract then you can only do so if the landlord has committed a repudiatory breach of contract. This means a breach which is so serious that it does to the root of the contract and denies you all, or substantially all, of the benefit of it - it effectively means that the landlord has not provided you with accommodation fit for human habitation.


Minor repairs do not fall in to this category, but issues of damp can do. You should contact the enviro health dept. of the local authority and ask them to make an inspection. If they make a declaration that the property is unfit for human habitation then you should ask for this in writing from them. You could then terminate on the strength of this breach.


If the enviro officer does not find the property unfit then you have a right to ask that the disrepair (including cleaning) is remedied.



You should formally write to the the landlord specifying the disrepair, making a list of the reasonable repair required and ask that he make those repairs within a reasonable time (eg. 14 days). State that if the landlord does not make the repair within that time you will pay to have the repairs made and will seek to claim the expense from him and are prepared to make an application to court if necessary.

If the landlord does not make the repair you can pay to have it done and then write formally to him requesting the payment of the cost, again within a reasonable time). If he does not pay you can issue a claim for the money yourself through Her Majesty Courts Service's online service:

Its pretty cheap and straightforward to use


If this has been useful please kindly click accept so that I may be rewarded for my efforts. It will be gratefully received and you will be free to ask follow up questions.

Kind regards,



Thomas, Lawyer
Category: UK Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 7057
Experience: BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
Thomas and 3 other UK Property Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Hi Tom,

Thanks very much for taking the time to reply, much appreciated.

With regards XXXXX XXXXX initial moving in date being the 10th of July and us not being able to move in to the 17th due to the terms of the contract not having been fulfilled, and still not being fulfilled, can we ask for the contract to be re-written with the correct moving in date or is this initial contract still valid? We still do not have a copy of the contract with the landlord's signature on it and only received a copy of the inventory on the 3rd of September.

Kind regards,

Expert:  Thomas replied 5 years ago.

Hi Craig,


Thank you for your very kind accept.


If it was expressly agreed (either orally or in writing) that the property would be professionally cleaned then you would could claim damages on the basis of this breach of contract - the costs of not being able to move in if not being able to move in was your only reasonable option - but if it was not expressly agreed then you would not be able to claim damages because there is no implied term that the property shall be professionally cleaned, just a term that the the property should be in good repair and tenantable condition.


This would not mean that you would be able to re-adjust the term of the lease to reflect the later moving in date though.



Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Thanks Tom,

I've a feeling that the EHO route is going to be our only viable option here as the landlord really is very flippant and dismissive so something formal might just shake him out of it.

I get the feeling my Wife and I have been really stitched up on this one but we won't stop making a nuisance of ourselves until we get the desired outcome.

Thanks again,

Expert:  Thomas replied 5 years ago.
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